Sangh Samachar

Some sense (at last) on Shambo!

Posted in Hindu Forum of Britain, hindu fundamentalism, hindutva by ravi on July 27, 2007

A brief respite from the Hindu forum of Britain (and its allies’) nonsensical comments on the sacred bull. Jay Lakhani is listed as the Director for Education of Hindu council UK, espouses a Sanghi attitude to religious conversion — he calls it an atrocity — and doesn’t puncture the myth of the sacredness of the bull [see The Myth of the Holy Cow], but is reasonable in his analysis of the Shambo fiasco. Here’re some excerpts from two news sources:

icWales: Jay Lakhani, director of the Vivekananda Centre, a Hindu educational body, said that by turning the dispute over Shambo into a major campaign, Hindu leaders have “undermined the credibility of the religion”

Mr Lakhani said: “Some Hindus might see this as a failing of the system to protect sacred animals. In fact, what this issue has highlighted is a failing of greater magnitude; a failure of Hindu leadership.

“Using highly emotive language, like forming a human chain to protect the bull, has churned up Hindu emotions. No consideration was given to the fact that this exercise was undermining the credibility of the Hindu religion.”

Mr Lakhani insisted that Hindu leaders were wrong to plead for the life of one bullock when it may put other cattle at risk.

“If the life of one animal may endanger the lives of other animals or humans then the Hindu teaching on this issue is very clear – we have to take into account the greater good and sacrifice the individual good.

“Such contextual considerations were completely ignored by a misguided Hindu leadership.”

He continued: “Many Hindu youngsters were made to feel that by signing petitions to protect Shambo the bull they were somehow expressing their loyalty to Hinduism.

“The way this thing is unfolding now will no doubt make them feel bitter and let down. Who will explain to them that it is not Hinduism that has let them down but poor Hindu leadership?”

BBC: A Hindu educationalist has said that monks protecting a “sacred” bullock due for slaughter after a positive TB test have interpreted the religion wrongly.

Jay Lakhani told BBC Radio Wales Shambo should be put down for the “greater good” and that farmers had considered that wider picture.

The credibility of the religion had been put on the line by the actions of the Skanda Vale monks, he said.

Their interpretation of Hinduism was “naive” and “simplistic” he claimed.

Mr Lakhani, who is the co-author of the book Hinduism for Schools, said his opinion was this interpretation was “seriously wrong” because it did not take into account the “greater context in which we operate” as Hindu teachings do.

“If the life of one animal may endanger other lives or human lives as well, then we must take into account the greater good and sacrifice the individual good,” he said.

“(The Hindu religion) says that it is necessary sometimes to use violence in order to uphold the greater good.”

Mr Lakhani claimed that farmers, who he said had been paying a heavy price in order to curtail the disease, were better practising Hindus than the monks at Skanda Vale because they considered the greater good over the individual good.

He also criticised The Hindu Forum of Britain for turning a “local issue” into a major story and making thousands of Hindus feel their religion was at stake unless they stood up for Shambo.

While Mr Lakhani agreed that the cull would be “very sad” he urged the Skanda Vale monks to allow Shambo to be slaughtered.

“He should be sent away with full pomp and glory saying that this life has been sacrificed for the greater good,” he said.

“The money that the brothers have collected and used for fighting the legal battles should be given to the local RSPCA in order to alleviate the sufferings of perhaps thousands of other animals.”


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  1. Sense and Shambo at Blogbharti said, on July 28, 2007 at 4:29 am

    […] and Shambo Published by bhupinder July 28th, 2007 in Secularism, Indiaspora and Religion. Sangh Samachar writes on the Shambo slaughter case in the UK where the Hindu Forum mobilsed opinion against the slaughter […]


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