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Goa BJP won’t ban beef

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BJP may say anything or make hue and cry against ‘Beef Ban’ but Goa would not ban beef as it is an essential part of the cuisine of minority communities in the state. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had gone vocal about saying that it had taken several years for his party to earn the trust of the state’s Christians and Muslims. Regardless of what the Centre does -in Goa minorities comprise 39 to 40 per cent of the state’s population – if it is part of their food habits, why and how can we ban it? For people – especially minorities – eating beef is a part of their cuisine. The BJP government had lost election last time after cancelling the Good Friday leave. By banning cow slaughter, they may remain out of power forever in future. It’s a good move from BJP Chief Minister as citizens of this country should be free to choose what they want. The minorities are the integral part of the Indian mainstream and their eating habits have to be respected. Goa CM played the minority card, as he is very well aware that BJP was elected mainly due to the minority community and you are very well aware that if you ban beef this will spell doom for BJP.

Recently, cow and calf slaughter was banned in Maharashtra by passing a law — a move that took almost two decades to materialise and was initiated during the previous Sena-BJP government. The data shows that Indian States can be classified into five categories — north-eastern States with no restrictions on cattle slaughter; Kerala with no law but a caveat; Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam which allow the slaughter of cattle with a certificate; Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Goa and Odisha which ban cow slaughter, but allow the slaughter of other cattle with a certificate; and the rest of India which bans the slaughter of all cattle. Ban on slaughtering has made thousands of people jobless and many traders who invested in meat exports got a jolt with this ban.

Eating any meat is a subject of personal preference which comes under the Fundamental rights included in the Constitution of India. As per the Constitution, when it was written post Independence, the Beef slaughtering was written as a state subject in the Constitution. That is, every state can exercise its right to ban or allow cow slaughter. Many people do not know that even in a banned state, one can kill a cow and eat its meat and share it with others without trading it for monetary gain. This fundamental right cannot be snatched by any legislative body like the Parliament or assembly by banning it, as it is provided in the Constitution.

A democracy is supposed to guarantee basic human rights to every individual. It is also supposed to show good governance with focus on public interest. The livelihoods of millions are in question by this beef ban. The government has failed on both counts i.e. basic human rights to work as a traders and the ban can hardly be called good governance, because the interests of beef traders have not been taken into an account. Now, what they are supposed to do? Move to another state, where it is not banned yet. There are many problems that require the government attention, like infrastructure, toilets, hygiene, easy norms for doing business etc. However, government has shown its interest in this ban only. So far, we’ve heard only assurance and big talks. However, in the name of reforms, this government has served nothing but hatred. Does this ban take us towards development? Is there any backup plan to compensate beef exports revenues with others?

Now, since the law has come into effect, the authorities are duty bound to take action if slaughter is carried out. Please do not make this a religious and prestige issue, said Justice V M Kanade. The court was hearing an application filed by a beef dealers’ association, which has challenged the ban on beef sale. Even the Constitution of India has an article in Directives to State Policy which mentions that milk providing animals like cow and draught animals should be protected and farming be encouraged. Maharashtra has anti-cow Slaughter bill passed way back in 1976, and it was championed in by Indian National Congress.

The provision of the constitution and the validity of earlier act will come under review. Government act on cow slaughter was an expression of an appeasement of certain religious group which had called for ban on slaughter. Government rallied with certain religious groups while leaving cattle farmer lurch in the cold along with their livestock. Cattle farmers will be affected by slaughtering ban and agriculture farmers will be affected by Land Acquisition Bill, so is this government anti-farmer?

Do people know that India is one of the biggest meat exporters in the world, and because of that it is also the largest producer and consumer of dairy products? Unlike other countries, we simply don’t bring up cattle for meat exports, but for dairy products as well as for farming. Banning beef has made it a religious issue, but it’s not about that issue but every community are bound to suffer. Ban on killing any animals come into effect when it is defined in ‘protected under rare species act’. If you are banning on humanitarian grounds then we should also ban chickens and goats as well.

For millions of people like me, who are hardcore vegetarians, doesn’t make any difference whether a cow is killed or a bird, but seeing a slaughter house is disgusting. However, we have no right to impose our views on others? These are very dangerous in our highly economically and socially charged situation, with India’s population now at 1,275 million, slated to reach 1,600 million by 2060.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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