Ban On Slaughter Of Cattle
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Ban on slaughter of cattle

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See interview of Ashok  Kothare

20 March 2015

Ban on slaughter of cattle


Yesterday as I was going to Chembur station to purchase my provisions, I saw a group of ladies standing on street sides and holding banner in their hands to form a human chain. I asked one of them and their she told me that it is a protest against onslaught on their food by recent act that bans cow slaughter and storing, eating of bovine meat. I told her that I am on their side and then I saw the placards they were displaying there. There it was shown that is a Christian group protesting and complaining that it is violation of their right to eat their chosen food. I told her that I fully agree to their protest but the manner they do will not give proper support from general public since, general public is Hindu; and without their support nothing can work. I also assured her that since more than 30% Hindus eat beef they are also not happy about this law designed to appease pressure group of only 15% Hindus of upper classes. This government is controlled by these 15% Hindus. This law is clear violation of our secular structure and for that this party BJP will suffer in ensuing elections. On that, the group of ladies looked relieved.

After that we had a good conversation on this topic which I wish to put here for my readers. I told her the brief history of this bill to ban slaughter of bovine. In year 1995 this bill to ban slaughter was passed by then prevailing assembly of government of Maharashtra State. After that the bill was sent to president for his approval. The bill waited there for almost twenty years. After the proper time gap finally president considered that as no body objects to it for all these long twenty years the bill deserves to be approved by him. He finally signed it and the bill became an act. Now the question is; I asked those ladies why your Christian and may be Muslim and any other group did not approach president and registered their objection to the bill during this long period of twenty years? They could not reply. This apathy of general public towards bills, presented and passed and then pending with president need to be annulled in appropriate time, shows that we have as yet not understood the legal procedures. If in right earnest some group had approached president and registered their grievance against this bill, convincing him of wrongs (Economic as well as religious) in that bill probably the president might have sent it back for revision or may be president would have canceled it on those merit. But nothing was done by any group concerned in it. Why they did not do it? I asked.

On that the ladies accepted that the mistake due to ignorance of procedure has happened and now what? I told them that there is no such thing as ultimate in democracy. All laws can be revoked and remade as per needs of people. Therefore, they need not feel defeated. I also told them that immediately nothing can be done to stop it as recent PIL filed on the basis of religious reason was not accepted by the court and so we shall have to wait and see how things develop in this regards.

Measure problems those are going to crop up as actual application of this bill begins we have to ascertain. Ban on bovine slaughter has many other implications and measure one is of economics of farmers. Farmers is a very big lobby strong enough to tumble down the whole of government and if this lobby begins to complain government will have to amend or totally remove this act. Second very important reason to cancel this act is of environmental causes and international pressures thereof. Social causes, employment problems, and such are other causes. We shall briefly touch them to understand the gravity of this act and how it is going to sabotage Modi's dreams of development.

Farmer's economy greatly depend on the buying and selling of their cattle. Due to this ban this economy is destroyed completely and therefore farmer's lobby is against this act. Farmers have large count of animals and they make money as and when they want it by selling it to butchers. Butchers are the only sure buyers of animals, whatever be the condition of the animal; but due to this act nobody will buy these animals. Automatically farmers will have to unload their excess stock as stray animals. These are living beings and they need water and fodder to survive. As a result these animals in big numbers will run into plantations of any sort and destroy it. General study shows that an animal eats less but destroys many times over in that plantations. This is going to be the measure problem to them and eventually to everybody as we depend on farmers to provide us with food and other needs. Presently there is a big stock of animals in store of butchers. Government will not allow them to be killed, so what will butchers do of that enormous quantity of animals. They need fodder and water to survive and so far butchers were providing it to them until they are slaughtered. In the new situation butchers will have to let loose these large number of animals in the open. If government wants to confiscate them as being wrongfully detained animals as per new law, government will have to provide for all the fodder and water to them. Butchers will no more bear the cost of that expense. Can government afford to take that burden in this difficult condition? Answer is DEFINITELY NOT.

Cattle is known to be proliferating very fast and so already we have world's largest count of these animals. At all India level there is acute shortage of fodder and water and if we do not control the count of these cattle soon we are going to face one more problem. India is exporting beef to world and we are known to be the best suppliers of bovine meat. Contribution to foreign exchange earning is considerable and when we ban slaughter we are going to lose all that earning. Can we afford to stand that lose?

Environmentally we know each cow produces sizable quantity of Methane gas, known to be responsible for green house effect. The count of methane produced by all the cattle in India can not be balanced by any carbon credit program. The Kyoto Protocol has created a mechanism under which countries that have been emitting more carbon and other gases (greenhouse gases include ozone, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and even water vapor) have voluntarily decided that they will bring down the level of carbon they are emitting to the levels of early 1990s. We have failed in it so far. If we do not control count of these animals we will be coming under punishment for not keeping methane level in safe limit. That means to honor this carbon emission level we have to control the count of these animals. Remember we have signed in this Kyoto Protocol and U.S. has been targeting us because of high count of these animals. That again means, we have to either slaughter them or export them to get rid of growing count of these animals. We cannot slaughter because of this new law! Can we export? NO, we cannot, because our cattle is not of international standards. This is a pretty prickly problem and not easy to resolve. Selling beef is comparatively easy since its standards they can manage but how to make our cattle export worthy. That is not an easy task. Then what to do?

There are other things such as employment problem that it is going to create its backlash. Can our economically hard pressed government stand those things? Our leather industry depends on skin from these animals. It will no more be available. Our export of classic produce from these skins, they will suffer. Can government provide for right type of employment to these millions of people and what about their families. There is going to a big problem in dairy business also. Every mulching cow gives milk because it has delivered a calf. Usually, dairy people would sell that calf to butchers for a good price and make profits; but due to this new law no butcher will buy any calf. What will dairy industry do to this calf? Who will take it? Can government afford to take the burden of this endless liability? Presently we do not have any solution to this and similar problems those will crop up their heads eventually.

These are a few point to consider in relation to this wrong and most impractical law. How a government can pass such an half-baked law? Any law is made to serve some specific purpose and while making any law the explanation must be made available about the benefits of the law, pros and cons of the law, who benefits, who suffers, future effects, exception to law and its limits, time frame, logistics and economics. This is called address of that law. In a truly democratic government this procedure is essential. Regrettably, I see that no such explanatory note is provided with this law and so the ambiguity continues with this law. After careful study of this law I came to the conclusion that this law was prepared to serve some group of people who are not interested in taking the responsibility for consequences of this law. Probably, these groups are guided by some unrealistic ideology; the question is why should they impose their ideologies on other? This is not allowed in a democratic set up; our constitution forbids such an act. Maharashtra Government must explain this. What will be the end of this foolish act? One guess suggests that after administration realizes the stupidity of this law the administration will ask the pressure groups who were behind this law to take the responsibility of keeping this cattle but they will not do it as these groups are much like socialists, only capable of creating problems but not capable of solving any. At that, they will instruct their enforcing agencies like police to neglect any incidence of cow slaughter; cow slaughter and beef sell will continue with undeclared, unofficial consent and beef eaters will get beef. Alternatively corruption will set in and police will make money by allowing slaughter and sell of beef for payment of some bribe. However, to get exports we must abolish this law officially. Foreign exchange lose will make Modi government shaky.

I request my Maharashtra Government to provide all these details (address of this law) to public at the earliest and help law abiding public to respect this law. A law made with ambiguity can cause many complications in future, let us avoid it. I also request my readers to understand this important aspect of law and help me reach to the honorable chief Minister to make things clear. Let us not have a laws full of uncertainties.


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