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You are a Buffalo
by Ravi Pipal Bookmark and Share


Earlier apartheid was rampantly practiced in Africa. Today it is almost dead there. India too has had a long tradition of discrimination on the basis of caste, color, creed, birth, sex, education, wealth, clothes etc. etc. Constitution framers had to insert article 14 to proclaim that the State shall not discriminate on above grounds. However, social problems need social solutions, therefore, discrimination on all the above grounds exist in some form or the other. If you ask an average Indian he will vehemently deny having ever discriminated on such grounds and may well continue to do so. Reason'we are hypocrite par excellence in the whole world. Otherwise how do you explain in a country where there are temples dedicated to rats, snakes are mass-worshipped, and cats fondly addressed as aunt (mother's sister). It is in India only that monkey is called uncle (maternal) cow is as sacred as ones mother and misbehavior with peacock is a serious national offence. Poor buffalo neither has respectable title nor any temple worth the name 'why ..just because she is black. Poor thing ! she has been discriminated against since time immemorial but has been quietly giving you milk. You have been mercilessly giving her harmful injections to extract last drops of her milk. Have you noticed her habitat ? Poor thing eats most unhygienic food and is found to be starving. We hear any number of stories how buffaloes suffocate to death after consuming polythene bags.

In India there are hordes proverbs and sayings involving buffalo. Unfortunately, all of them are inspired by age old prejudices against poor buffalo, for no fault of hers.

Jiski lathi uski bhains (He who wields the baton owns the buffalo).

This is a popular saying in India, more popular among the losers, among the weak who console themselves by repeating it as often as required. On second thought you will agree these are not the times of stick and baton. This is 21st century, times of human bombs,AK-56,AK-47,remote controlled arsenals. Baton is utilized only to shoo away cats and dogs. This proverb is gross injustice to buffalo and puts her in poor light. The newest proverb ought to be 'he who wields AK-47 owns India 47'. It sounds more appropriate and relevant. Don't you think so.

Bhains ke aage been bajaana (To play flute before a buffalo)

Another proverb adding insult to injury (or is it other way round.) The conspiracy is aimed at humiliating buffalo one way or the other vis-'-vis other privileged pets. All efforts are in the direction of making a big noise that music is Greek to her. She is devoid of tender feelings required to appreciate nuances of fine arts. She is rustic and best just a dullard. You may call her names but don't forget it is her milk which has brought you up from wailing toddler to today's lad or lady as the case may be. It is old, despicable but widely practiced practice to act as tormentor of your mentor. Remember ! till today new mothers solely rely on buffalo milk to bring up their babies. They fear any deviation will adversely affect their 'figure'. They care two hoots for buffalo, who in any case is already 'disfigured' . However, even then if you feel buffalo has no ears for music, pray ! go and play your flute before some other animal who appreciates ragas and symphony. After all buffalo didn't invite you to play flute for her. Think of it, who has time and ear these days to listen to your flute. Radio-TV also don't air your flute renderings before midnight.

Kala akshar bhains barabar (black alphabet equal to a buffalo)

This is limit. You mean buffalo is illiterate. You don't send her to any school/finishing school. At first instance you don't allow her to socialize fearing she may learn and unlearn many uncomfortable things detrimental to your interest. You call her names, shout at her. By the way which other pet has acquired degree/diplomas. Don't you forget, what to talk of animals even among humans only a small miniscule percentage is literate. If not illiterate buffalo which other educated animal's milk you intend to savor. Who else do you think you want to milk'tigress who will gobble you down with bucket included.

Believe it or not there appears to be a high level plot. Otherwise, think of it, He -Buffalo is the ride of Yama'the death god. Yama when not trouncing humans and couriering their 'pranas' to other world must be taking He-Buffalo for long drives. During one of these joy-rides HB could have opened the topic before cheerful Yama ' Sir ! mrs. Is having a little problem out there' and should have sweet-talked Yama into yielding certain life long concessions for poor buffalo. I find it intriguing and hard to believe that she faces such penury hardships even after having her husband placed so 'highly'. I fear it may be a case of pending divorce, incompatibility or dispute of restoration of conjugal rights. Marriage gone awry, should have been rocking but instead is on the rock. Buffalo too, after all is a self respecting creature, knowing her she must have flatly turned down HB's offer of 'maintenance'.

No independent candidate or political party keeps buffalo as the party symbol. Buffalo is ignored so much we find people and political parties keeping cow, oxen, calf, horse even donkey as election symbol but not buffalo. Aren't you convinced yet that buffalo has been subject of constant humiliation, social ostracisation since ancient times. Women's lib hasn't reached her. It is time to rise in protest for the fundamental rights of buffalo. It is criminal to be silent now. If you don't protest now who will raise for you in your hour of need. High time buffalo is restored her due. First of all she must be bestowed with suitable address e.g. sister, sister-in-law or aunt. What these Animal Welfare societies are doing busy promoting champagne socialism and whisky welfare. They need to raise their voice in favor of buffalo. The issue has kicked around enough flak already.

' Buffaloes of the World unite
You have nothing to lose but your chains' 

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14-May-2006
More by :  Ravi Pipal
 
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