Beef has been banned more or less throughout the country, and armed gangs roam, searching vans and trucks, thrashing those they think are carrying the flesh of cows and bulls.

Unfortunately, apart from taking the law into their hands, most of those vehicles are not transporting beef but buffalo’s meat.“This is getting embarrassing!” said a senior government official, “Our prime minister himself has said that this kind of attacking should be stopped!”

“What do you plan to do?” I asked, “Increase the police force along highways and other roads?”

“No, we plan to train the country to recognize the difference between buffaloes and cows! We have already started classes. You may peep in and see!”I looked into a class filled with cow vigilants, ruffians and mobsters, still carrying bloodied sticks, glued to the blackboard, some even taking notes.

“This,” said the teacher, “Is a buffalo!”

There was a murmur throughout the room, with certain of the mobsters looking at each other in amazement, “Many of them never knew the difference!” said the official and then stopped short as a vigilant got onto his feet and challenged the teacher, “How do you know?” he asked and all the other mobsters agreed.

“Well there are definite differences!” said the teacher.

“Are you a meat eater?” asked another cow vigilant.

“That has nothing to do with what I am teaching you today!” snapped the teacher a little afraid.

“That is not a buffalo, that is a cow!” shouted the class, and rose together walking threateningly towards the teacher.

“This here is a cow!” shouted the teacher, showing immense presence of mind and putting up a picture of a cow, “See the difference!”

The mob stood still for a moment, then shook their heads and went back to their places.

“The buffalo!” continued the teacher, his voice a little scared after having escaped a sure lynching, “Is black in colour and it’s horns are very different from a cow!” 

I watched as the vigilants hastily scribbled notes, some drawing both the cow and buffalo in their notebooks.“They will carry those notebooks now, when they go beef hunting!” said the government official with a smile.

I looked at the official a little puzzled, “Tell me,” I said, “Are these cows and buffalos carried as meat in the trucks or as live stock?”

“Live stock of course!” said the official.

“Then how will they differentiate what’s beef and what isn’t?” I asked curiously.

The government official looked scornfully at me, “You can’t expect us to do everything at one go do you?” he asked, “With the limited funds sanctioned by the government, “We can only teach them what is a live cow and live buffalo!

And so the lynchings, murders and thrashing continue throughout the country as a democratic government with a Constitution which promises freedom for its people, interferes in the eating habits of herpeople..!