Saturday, September 25, 2021
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If Cow declared as national animal then where will Tiger go?

Rajasthan High Court recommends declaration of cow as national animal. We Hindus, worship almost every animal, what about snake and other animals that we pray? Honourable judge must be aware that India has a national animal called “Tiger” the most majestic animal in the world. It’s our pride. It should have been a concern for all Indians, how to stop poaching of tigers. However, no one is concerned about that but every politics comes to halt at cow. This is additional tool which comes from animal class, earlier tools were/are social animals like Hindus, Muslims, Brahmin, Thakur, Dalit, Pichhra, Yadav, Kurmies, Mahadalit and this is endless list.

The Rajasthan High Court recommended that the Centre should declare the cow as a national animal and increase the punishment for cow slaughter to life imprisonment. In a slew of directions passed on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the court asked the State Chief Secretary to take steps to get the suggestions implemented. The court also appointed a committee of lawyers to keep a watch on the cow shelter’s functioning. The Forest Department was asked to plant 5,000 saplings every year in the gaushala to keep it green. The judge had earlier issued interim directions several times since 2010 for the upkeep of the gaushala, where a large number of cows had died recently due to unhygienic conditions. However, no one is punished for such conditions of Gaushala.

The Centre has used animal cruelty rules, which can be enforced nationally, to order that animal markets will only be able to trade cattle for agricultural purposes and dairy production. If we look at the conditions after ban, this has encouraged cow vigilantes at a time when they have taken to frequent attacks on slaughterhouses and cattle traders. In April, “gau rakshaks” or cow vigilantes attacked a 55-year-old cattle trader, Pehlu Khan in Alwar and four others. Pehlu Khan died, his companions were injured.

BJP has failed on all fronts and using cow and Ram temple issues for vote bank politics. They got nothing to do with these two things. Once they get elected they forget them while in rule, and use them whenever it’s necessary to play diversion tactics.

There are attacks by cow vigilante groups across North India. At least three people have been killed this year so far, and several beaten, flogged and subjected to severe indignities. However, on October 18, 2015, the cleaner of a truck, Zahid Ahmad of Anantnag, died of burns suffered during the petrol-bombing of the Valley-bound vehicle on October 9 in Udhampur by a local mob protesting a “beef party” hosted by independent MLA Engineer Rashid in Srinagar a few days earlier. In Himachal, a person called Noman was lynched in Lawasa village on October 17, 2015 by villagers who chased the truck in which he was ferrying cows to Saharanpur.

Rakesh Kumar and Ramesh Kumar was beaten for allegedly slaughtering cows outside Malout, Muktsar district and booked under cow slaughter Act. Indian authorities should promptly investigate and prosecute self-appointed “cow protectors” who have committed brutal attacks against Muslims and Dalits over rumours that they sold, bought, or killed cows. Instead of taking prompt legal action against the vigilantes, many linked to extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The police, too often, have filed complaints against the assault victims, their relatives, and associates under laws banning cow slaughter.

Many Hindus consider the cow to be a holy animal, and slaughter is forbidden in most parts of Hindu-majority India. Since May 2015, a violent vigilante campaign against beef consumption has led to the killing of at least 10 Muslims, including a 12-year-old boy, in seven separate incidents of mob violence. In July 2016, in Gujarat, vigilantes stripped four Dalit men, tied them to a car, and assaulted them with sticks and belts over suspicions of cow slaughter. In a number of cases, the attackers have also robbed their victims of cash and cell-phones and damaged their property. Self-appointed ‘cow protectors’ driven by irresponsible populism are killing people and terrorizing minority communities.

In one recent case, on April 21, 2017, in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir state, a mob brutally attacked five members of a nomad cattle-herding family, including a 9-year-old girl, on suspicion that they were taking their cows for slaughter. A video posted on social media showed a group of men chanting slogans commonly used by BJP supporters, breaking down the family’s shelter, beating an elderly man with rods and sticks even as women begged for mercy, and finally setting the shelter on fire. Several policemen can be seen in the video while the mob carried out the attack, but they appeared to be outnumbered and stayed back when the mob pushed them back. Police have arrested 11 people for the assault. But no one knows what happened to them.

Since the BJP came to power in May 2014, extremist Hindu groups supporting Modi and his party have led vigilante mob attacks across the country to enforce “nationalism.” There are many such examples where these people have harassed, threatened, and extorted money from Muslims and Dalits. Dalits, so-called “untouchables,” are equally vulnerable as they traditionally carry out jobs to dispose of cattle carcasses and skin them for commercial purposes.

Amid such chaos, hope the Judges put to good use the Judiciary instead of such trivial issues.

 (Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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