Cattle Class! Whose Insult is it Anyway!

Mr. Shashi Tharoor has provided much needed fodder for cud-chewing, lazy hacks like me. I presume that by now, everyone has read or heard his tweet on flying economy class “absolutely, (I will fly) in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!”, which, despite the obvious bull-dropping, seems to be what someone from the non-cattle, poodle-class (thanks, Melody) would come up with.
And so for the last two days, while a bunch of politicians and prominent people have without a second thought, slammed Mr. Tharoor for being insensitive, the ones who really should have a beef with him are unfortunately silent and unmooing. Cows, buffaloes, bulls, yaks and all other members of the cattle clan can never be compared to people traveling in economy, since, traveling cows by law, get much more space than humans, 6 square feet being the bare minimum, while our human herds are penned into just around 31-36 inches of width, depending on the airline. So, if Mr. Tharoor, without mincing words, wants to call a cow, a cow, I can’t but help feel that unwittingly he is being meaner to them than to humans.
Take my example and then tell me who’s better off. I am 6 ft 1/2 inches tall. When traveling in economy, my pre-flight efforts are entirely focused on getting either front-row seats or emergency row seats, for the extra leg-space. If this does not happen, then, during the flight, I either have to slump down into my seat so that I can extend my legs below the preceding one, or I have to pull up my legs, so that my knees rest against the seat in front. If the person in front decides to push his/her seat back, then the only way I can manage to continue sitting is to push my seat back as well, which leads to a cascade of further pushbacks behind me. If for some reason, I am unable to push back, then the only alternative I have is to jam my knees into the seat in front in such a way that the other person just cannot push-back. It then becomes an interesting battle of strength between my knees and the seat in front, which is quite similar to the “elbow” game of strategy that one plays to gain control of the armrest from the adjacent co-passenger. Traveling cows don’t need to do any of this!
In any case, for centuries, the world has been divided into the creamy-class (thanks Shimpa) and the cattle-class. The poodle-creamy-class minority remains dominant by ensuring that the cattle classes are corralled, skinned and milked to the maximum extent possible, and kept perennially subservient. If this dichotomous inequality spills over into air travel, is that any surprise? It’s really all about “entitlement”, which the creamy-poodle class believes to be its right; no one minds if the flight is all economy, but if there happens to be a business section, then, even if vegetarian, they would rather eat steak than be seen rubbing jaws with the cattle class.
Is there no fitting retort to Mr. Tharoor’s pithy snub? Isn’t there anyone who can stand up for the cattle and the cattle class? Mind it! There is one person, who Mr. Tharoor has to be very wary of, a person for whom the very Earth is his Bedroom, the Sky, it’s Ceiling and the whole Creation, his Native Place. The protector of cows and related beings, a man sworn to fight non-vegans, our very own Indian cowboy, Quick Gun Murugan! Beware, I say!

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