India's Backward Politics of Food – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

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Is it acceptable for vigilantes to beat a man to death for transporting cattle? In most countries, the question would be ludicrous. In India it has sparked a fresh round of debate on a charged issue: how governments should regulate beef in a land where most people regard the cow as sacred.

Earlier this month, on a busy highway in the northern state of Rajasthan, self-appointed cow protectors stopped two pickup trucks carrying livestock bought at a local market. The mob assaulted Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old Muslim dairy…