A few days back, the Environment Ministry issued a notification which basically banned cattle slaughter. It is not a blanket ban because the ban on cattle slaughter is only targeted at animal markets, but it will hit more than 95% of the industry since very few sources exist which can actually sell beef legally. The notification which is an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 also adds procedures and directions as to how to handle and sell cattle apart from the rules and regulations on the holding of animal markets. This notification is what has been widely called, as the Beef ban.
*Throughout this article, this notification will be called BB
- It is one of the directive principles of the state to prohibit and prevent cattle slaughter. (Article 48 of the Indian Constitution) A Directive principle is like a guideline which a government must keep in mind before framing laws. While there are a lot of other directive principles which the government could have given more importance to, our government probably thought “Cows rule” and implemented this.
- The BJP government has completed 3 years at the center and has come under fire for not fulfilling a lot of its poll promises. This seems to be a diversionary tactic employed by the Government.
- A few states, including the primarily Hindu vegetarian state of Gujarat, are going to polls soon and this move seems to be aimed at consolidating the Hindu majority and gain their votes.
The Ramifications of BB:
- There has been opposition primarily from the North-East, West Bengal, and Kerala, where beef consumption is prevalent. These states have expressed their anger and said that the government shouldn’t dictate the eating habits of the people. I, for once, agree with them. I strongly believe that the government shouldn’t interfere with the eating habits of the people. People who do not believe in consuming beef, please, by all means, don’t. It’s unfair of the government to tell me what I should and shouldn’t eat.
- There have been a lot of PIL’s filed in the courts saying that this order is impugning upon the fundamental rights of people to consume meat. This subject also falls under the state list and the state should have the final call on how to go about this, but since this is being pushed through the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, it supersedes the state list effectively making the states helpless. This is another reason as to why the states are protesting.
- Cow vigilantism, which was already rising, will now reach new heights.
- The punishment for cow slaughter is more severe when compared to crimes like rape, culpable homicide, sexual harassment, etc. in a lot of states like UP, Gujarat, Bihar and the other states of the “cow belt”. Yep, the governments have their priorities sorted. 😀
I personally am very annoyed at this BB and I think that the government should focus on fulfilling its promises, rather than resort to such cheap tactics for political mileage and vote bank. I hear a lot of people saying stuff like “The government will decide based on the wishes of the majority of the people.” To them, I say “Oho :)” This isn’t the first time, religion has influenced the lawmakers. I strongly believe that separation of Religion and the state is very important since India is a secular country and shouldn’t favor one religion over the other.
-An Anti-Indian and an Adarsh Liberal