In what could be meanest acts perpetrated by man on defenseless domestic animals, the youth wing of the Congress party in Kannur, Kerala butchered a calf on the road in broad daylight, in full public view, and shared the meat with onlookers, ostensibly in protest against the new central law that prohibits sale of cattle for slaughter.
This brings to light the deep rot in the so-called party politics in the country where even hapless animals won't be spared to score a political point over rivals.
The Congress tried to distance itself by suspending four members of the youth wing for killing a calf in public. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also condemned the act calling it "thoughtless and barbaric."
''What happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress party. I strongly condemn the incident.''
The activists were also booked under IPC Section 428 and Section (ii) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 by the state police.
Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekhera posted the video of the grisly incident calling it "cruelty at its peak".
The protesters were encouraged by the ant-BJP stance of state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and was thus in part a response to reported acts of violence, including killings of people by cow vigilantes in the North.
The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) also supported beef festivals across the state to declare their right to eat cattle meat.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called the Gazette notification issued by the Government of India – that imposed restrictions on cattle trade – a violation of the basic principles of the Constitution. And among other points, connected the restrictions on the slaughter of cattle to the month of Ramzan, that started on 28 May.
"The restrictions on the slaughter of cattle during Ramadan may be seen as an attack on the minorities. Common man will not be able to get nutritious food. The gau rakshak committees may unleash violence in the name of prevention of cattle slaughter,'' wrote Vijayan.
Apart from objecting to the lack of consultation with states before issuing the notification, Vijayan sees the ban as an attempt to convert Kerala into 'god's own vegetarian country'.
"May I also remind you that meat is the primary source of protein for millions of poor and ordinary people in this country, particularly the Dalits,'' he wrote. The objections, therefore, are served on a political platter, trying to label the BJP as both anti-Dalit and anti-minorities – both of them an important constituency for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala.
Vijayan, for political reasons, has interpreted the notification as an attempt by Nagpur (RSS headquarters) and Delhi to decide what Malayalees eat. But the government has not banned the eating of beef through its order.