Skip to main content

Maharashtra, Haryana may have banned beef, but are among biggest supplier of cattle to Bangla abattoirs

By RK Misra*
He that sleeps feels not the tooth-ache. An India in somnolent slumber after voting for development in 2014 may wake up to find itself saddled with an archaic agenda riding astride a society in strife. For starters, take meat. As if on cue, state after BJP-ruled state has suddenly woken up to the overarching religious need for keeping meat and fish shops as well as abattoirs closed on Hindu and Jain festival days.
Maharashtra took the lead followed by Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir. A similar ban had been placed in Karnataka when the BJP held power. No prizes for guessing where this inspiration/diktat comes from. Obviously, Nagpur.
The Narendra Modi-led BJP government is apparently frittering away a rock solid mandate for forward looking national governance befitting a robust, youthful country on archaic, delusional visions of ancient grandeur.
The Fadnavis government in Maharashtra soon found itself done in when their High Court intervened to restore reason and reduced it to two days but not before BJP’s partner in power, Shiv Sena as well as it’s offshoot MNS set up stalls to sell meat in defiance. The ban, ostensibly because of the Jain festival of Paryushan is a poor and ill-advised attempt at playing petty politics by placing the gun on their shoulders. The entire opposition – Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and MNS – slammed the move. A two day ban had been in place since 1964. Last year it was increased to four and this time to eight days, triggering the uproar and now it is back to two.
Similarly in Gujarat slaughter houses in all the key municipal corporation areas of the state were ordered closed from September 10 to 17 with respective civic bodies issuing notifications for the same. The ban in Jammu and Kashmir only led to public slaughtering of cows in defiance of the high Court order enforcing the colonial-era Ranbir penal code which immediately rekindled memories of a similar defiant cow sacrifice at the lal Chowk in Srinagar in the mid-eighties.
The orders to the Kashmir cops to enforce a 150-year-old rule led to a complete shutdown of the valley and only put the PDP-BJP government up to ridicule. So ham-handed has decision making been that in Rajasthan, along with meat even liquor sale was banned. However, the uproar that followed led to the ban on sale of liquor being removed. Which of the two would be termed as more harmful?
The well-orchestrated move has set alarm bells ringing and it is the Narendra Modi government which is in the cross-hairs of suspicion. For one, it is the sheathed agenda, hidden onion peal like, that is cause of worry. The Jains are a mere fa├žade, the gun is targeted elsewhere. However, the polarization process sought to be crystallized will have a deadly fall-out.
The ethnic ferment being witnessed in Gujarat today is the poisonous repercussion of a process of communal polarization that was initiated by the then newly appointed chief minister, Narendra Modi post-the 2002 Godhra train carnage and the statewide communal riots that followed it. The incipient infection spread through the veins of the state when he embarked on his statewide Gaurav yatra as a prelude to the State Assembly polls that followed in 2002.
Modi swept the polls on a polarized majority community support but the fabric of social and cultural amity sewn together by generations of Gandhians and philanthropists was irretrievably damaged. The process did not stop at communalization but the contagion has now permeated to even Hindu sub-sects.
Post-2002 communities began publicizing their identities and one could see vehicles and shops sporting stickers like Patidars, Desai’s (shepherd), Durbars (Rajputs), Parshuram (Brahmins) to flaunt their religious identities. It was the outward manifestation of a rapidly spreading inner malaise. While Modi sowed the wind and reaped it too, it is his successor Anandiben Patel who is now harvesting the whirlwind with her own community of Patidars in revolt.
Patel MPs, MLAs and ministers belonging to the BJP are being boycotted and hounded by their own kinsmen and are forced to flee from villages, towns and even official functions all over Gujarat. The state function in Gandhinagar on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on September 17 was held under unprecedented security amidst fears of disruption by the agitating Patidars. Similar fears also hound his ensuing visit to Silicon Valley.
It is payback time and I deign to predict that whatever may be the outcome of this agitation, it will be Modi’s own BJP which will pay a very heavy price for it in Gujarat in the next elections.
Interestingly, for all the crocodile tears being shed for the bovines of India, the export of beef has gone up during his rule at the Centre. Modi had led a frontal assault on the UPA government during his 2014 general election campaign.

“India worships cows as goddess but under UPA rule it is the second largest beef exporter in the world.The Congress led government is the initiator of the Pink revolution. This government gives subsidy for setting up slaughter houses but not to set up cow farms.If we come to power we will ban such export ”, he had stated.
Over a year of Modi rule has gone by and there is no ban on beef export anywhere on the horizon. The Prime Minister does not utter a single word on the subject. His minister’s obfuscate the issue, stating that the matter is best left to the states.
On the contrary, in a classic case of governmental double speak, beef exports have actually gone up during BJP rule. Available figures point to a 16 per cent rise in such meat export in the first six months. From April to October 2013, the export was worth Rs 13,917 crores while over the same period in 2014 the figure was Rs 16,085 crores which makes for a 15 per cent increase. The figure is expected to be much higher in the period thereafter.
Though Maharashtra and Haryana may have banned beef, the two states are among the biggest supplier of cattle to Bangladesh. According to a report at least 60,000 cows are smuggled into Bangladesh. They arrive in trucks from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana and UP and are sold in ‘special mandis’ in West Bengal. Ultra-modern abbatoirs have come up on the Bangladesh side of the border.
The beef is then legally exported to other Asian countries as well as to the Gulf countries. In India beef costs Rs 150 per kg while in Bangladesh it sells at Rs 320 per kg. The price in the countries of export could be anybody’s guess. Those in power could do well to remember that the afternoon knows what the morning never suspected!
---
*Senior journalist. RK Misra's blogs can be accessed at http://wordsmithsandnewsplumbers.blogspot.in/

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”