By SHIVANI BHARDWAJ
The bill banning cow slaughter in Maharashtra, pending for several years, recently received the President’s assent, which means red meat lovers in the state will have to do without beef.
This measure too almost twenty years to materialize after it had been initiated during the previous Sena-BJP government. The bill was first submitted to the President for approval on January 30, 1996.
The law will ban beef from the slaughter of bulls and bullocks, which was previously allowed based on a fit for slaughter Certificate.
The new Act will, however, allow the slaughter of water buffaloes. The punishment on the sale of beef could be 5 years imprisonment and with an additional fine of Rs. 10,000/-
Indian express quoted president of the Mumbai Suburban Beef dealer Association saying “Apart from rendering people jobless, the immediate effect will be the spiraling prices of other meats as the people will be forced to gravitate to them.”
Below are the two different views of how, people might either support or dissent to the recent Beef ban. – The Debate
Drunk driving (first time)- 6 months imprisonment; Molestation- 2 years imprisonment; causing grievous hurt- 7 years imprisonment; evasion of income tax- 3 months to 7 years imprisonment; in a secular country named Hindustan, above is the rule of law. Why….?? Why is cow slaughter considered more heinous than molestation?
It is because age-old religious texts consider “Cow as MOTHER”.
India has a total of 191 million cows and their progeny and not enough shelters to house them. Why aren’t policy makers who have banned cow slaughter in almost 24 states out of 29 states of India looking up to providing these holy beings a shelter to their legs?
Jurist KTS Tulsi argues “the cow is just an excuse and its extremely dangerous that the law is being used to crystallize public opinion against other communities and create diversion in society. Do you want another Babri Masjid or worse, another Godhara??”
Godhara was the place where Mohammad Akhlaq and his son Danish were killed under the curtain of few people’s assumption that they slaughtered a cow. Under the assumption that a cow was slaughtered, the people slaughtered a human being and indeed slaughtered humanity.
Then comes another question: how should secularism in India be defined? Had secularism been defined truly, beef ban would have been subjected to disqualification as an assault on the key principle on which our nation was found: Secularism.
Beef ban violates the right to choice of food, which is certainly a part of right to life and right to liberty. Democratic Youth Federation of India’s President on hosting an event where beef was distributed free said “what one should eat or wear, or what language one speak- all these are personal choices and they can simply not be imposed”. A few petitioners challenged the validity of section 5D of the Maharashtra Prevention (Amendment) Act, 1955 which restricts people of the state from possessing beef even if slaughter is done outside Maharashtra. Arguing against this section, Adv Chinoy said “the act is meant for banning slaughter and removal of the provision in question does not affect the act….. The only reason I can see is easing enforcement, but that is no reason to stop import of beef as it is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution”.
The question in front of us is wide: Does beef ban not violate the right to any occupation within the territory of India? And the answer seems to have varied dimensions!!
Let’s take a few steps backwards and reflect upon the primary ethics and virtues that we need to take care of as the part of natural justice, Humanity for we are human beings (or so we call ourselves, in spite of the widespread demonic instances we seldom fail to display). The relentless slaughter of animals in no way is humanity, let alone the slaughter of men in the wake of the riots these issues cause. An official at a beef transport group in Maharashtra state said around 10 vehicles travelling to Mumbai had been stopped in the last week of February, the animals taken forcefully and drivers beaten up by members of Hindu nationalist groups despite carrying valid documents. These are the ways that the animals that are taken for slaughter are being treated. And in fact, So many times it is even illegal. Introduction of the beef ban could promote a vegetarian culture in the future, the killing of other animals could also stop. Maybe the illegal business would stop too.
We argue that the ban on beef is an infringement of our right to choice, choosing what food we would like to eat, but let us think this way, aren’t we infringing the right to life of the poor animals who cannot voice their claims to live. Oh but, who cares, they are just animals, the fundamental rights are not so fundamental as to extend upto recognizing the rights if the animals. Isn’t it?? The constitution only recognizes the rights of the “superior being” that man today considers himself. Human being as he would call himself with the least bit of humanity.
The matter is being unnecessarily hyped and is wrongly being interpreted as a hurt to religious sentiments of minorities, Or to those who feel that the imposition of ban should not be solely based on hurt to religious sentiments as their rights to choose what to eat is being infringed. But it is worth noting that in the case of Hinsa Virodhak Sangh v. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamal, The Gujarat high court had ordered a ban on meat, during Jain festivals in Gujarat, though it recognized that the basis should not be hurt to religious sentiments, but the ban was considered as a justified restriction.
Another issue being raised is that the people employed in the slaughter industry would massively suffer, and run out of businesses.
Now, lets discuss the disadvantages of having meat, According to the Harvard School of Public Health, meats should be placed at the very top of any food pyramid, which signifies they should be eaten sparingly and in small portions. Meat is relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and atherosclerosis. . Also the conventionally raised beef often contains hormones and antibiotics which should be preferably avoided.
On the other hand, Vegetarian diets are linked to better overall health and lower mortality rates, according to a study published in “JAMA Internal Medicine” in June 2013. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, meat-free diets reduce your risk of such chronic conditions as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, as well as assist with weight maintenance, as reported in “Nutrition Reviews” in 2006. If you’ve decided to go vegetarian for health or philosophical reasons, you have a wealth of options to choose from for your 100 percent meat-free diet.
You, the readers, decide for yourselves, what is better? Shouting from the roof tops about the rights that we feel are being violated or first affirming to our own standards of behaviors that the righteousness and conscience demands, confirming to what the superior law of Morals and our duties demands off us, adhering to the law of Justice of nature and living with all other creatures giving them their share of right that the nature had reserved for them.
Though this Debate might start sparks of disagreement, we respect your views and invite your say in the matter, in the comments section below.