If you are a news junkie like me (and even if you are not), you have probably found your mainstream and social media feeds overflowing with reports of Yogi Adityanath’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Here is one such article from leftist propaganda blog Scroll:
Oh! Such grief! How heartless of the modern Indian state to demand licenses… a whole gamut of licenses from the very finest among us : the operators of illegal slaughterhouses. What is happening to the soul of our society? Such passion for unhygienic food has rarely been witnessed in the history of humanity.
What didn’t make it to “national” headlines is another Chief Minister in a different part of the country shutting down a different bunch of establishments because they don’t have the required “gamut of licenses”:
Will we see mournful headlines about Mamata Banerjee’s “crackdown on education”? I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Hundreds of schools are on target in Bengal. The education of thousands of kids, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of kids, could be on the line. And there is no doubt that schools run by one particular religious group are being singled out for the crackdown.
That’s where the cameras should be, covering the plight of young kids.
But they’ve stuck us with debating whether this or that kabab shop in Lucknow was closed for an hour, a day, a week or whatever. Are their customers getting buffalo meat or are they stuck with chicken and mutton?
Presumably, that stuff matters more than whether 125 schools will have to close their doors in Bengal.
Not only is Mamata Banerjee out to close down 125 schools, her government is going out of its way to showcase the special status of Muslims under the TMC regime:
You can’t have a more clear-cut case of religious discrimination. Schools run by one community are hounded and asked to produce a gamut of licenses, while schools run by another are showered with taxpayer’s money. Even more money than the state of Bengal allocates for irrigation. More money than large industries, textiles and IT put together!
But that’s not worth talking about. Slaughterhouses first. Schools later.
Across this nation, elite journalists are anxiously calling up their contacts in Uttar Pradesh, for a minute by minute update on the availability of Tunday Kabab. And social media is going with the flow of the issue of the day.
Somewhere out there, the Break India forces are laughing at us.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.