Religious slaughter in Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

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Tanmeet Kour, Dr. Shashank Gupta , Dr Monika Singh


Ecofeminism is an interdisciplinary approach that postulates the idea that women have an innate and instinctive relationship with nature. This novel approach seeks to insinuate interlink between women’s wretchedness and subjugation of an amazing nature by patriarchal hegemony. And by encompassing all kinds of discrimination and bigotry, mushrooming everywhere in the society, endeavors to be vocal about such numerous injustices: sexism, classism, racism, ageism, religionism, and male chauvinism. Correspondingly, vegetarian ecofeminism as its subset investigates the intersection and overlapping of all sorts of such oppression with more emphasis upon violence against non-human animals through the analytical framework of ‘intersectionality’ while stringently stressing upon eradication of one and all. Vegetarian ecofeminist activists undermine the concept of ‘speciesm’ privileging one species relatively over the other. Their advocacy holds human beings as fearless culprits on the witness stand for animal abuse and for formulating animal species as per their significance in the moral hierarchy of relevance and butchering them ruthlessly. From slaughtering of animals to distribution of meat pieces as a symbol of devotional offering on religious ceremony of Bakr-Eid has clearly been evident in the novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Imran, a young butcher cut open the jugular of a water buffalo to show-off an affluent display of piety and bleeding buffalo to death. Religious beliefs resulting into butchering of animals has become a matter of grave concern especially in states likes West Bengal, Kerala, M.P, U.P, Nagaland and J&K. Every year millions of cows, buffaloes, sheep, and roosters are slit down in the name of religious sacrifice. Animal activists procure it to be a result of stern religiosity resulting into such sick animality. Animal stunning has been mandated in many countries with legal relaxation for some ritual slaughtering. Acknowledging and relying upon the ‘spiritual’ essence of a religion is the only way out to combat this monster.

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