The Supreme Court on April 7, 2017 refused to entertain a PIL (Public-Interest Litigation) seeking a complete ban on cow slaughter in every state to prevent rampant inter-state illegal transportation of cattle which has come as a relief to many communities and has also avoided a total breakdown of Law and Order in the nation, as the Gau Rakshaks (Cow Protectors) went on rampage in the name of preventing any form of transportation of cattle. It all started after cow slaughter was declared illegal in Uttar Pradesh immediately after Yogi Adityanath took charge as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
Yogi Adityanath’s government also ordered that the slaughterhouses should further operate in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, that outlines further laws to ensure the health and well being of cattle being slaughtered. Amid other things, it requires a large and airy reception, and resting area for the cattle and a compulsory examination by a veterinary doctor, 24 hours before they are slaughtered.
However a Bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana told petitioner Vineet Sahai’s counsel Sarvesh Bisaria that a state may decide to ban it while another may decide not to. The Supreme Court cannot interfere in such decisions.
It may be reminded that in his politically correct speech, Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi in Telangana spoke about the Dalit atrocity on August 7, 2016, asking states to probe the fake Gau Rakshaks (Cow Protectors), while voicing concern over incidents of cow vigilantism. He again called for isolating and punishing the fake “gau rakshaks” as a handful of such people were destroying the social fabric and creating conflict in the society. He was immediately termed as Anti- Hindu by none other than the the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM). Modi was speaking at a public meeting at Gajwel in Telangana’s Medak district after inaugurating the state’s drinking water programme -Mission Bhagiratha.
Gau rakshaks and many Right-Wing organisations across the country have hit back at Modi for his comments against cow vigilantism, with the ABHM even thinking of sending him a legal notice, as they protested against the Prime Minister’s comment that 80% of those “masquerading” as ‘gau rakshaks’ were anti-socials by night.
ABHM National President, Chandraprakash Kaushik has hit out saying that Modi is not worthy of being Prime Minster, he will return just like Vajpayee had to in 2004. Hindu Mahasabha is holding Buddhi Shuddhi Yaga across India to give better sense to the PM.
The phobia of what might happen should the saffron party come to power seems to turning into a reality, first with the Ghar Wapsi, (Home Coming), where a series of religious conversion activities organized by Indian Hindu organizations Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to convert non-Hindus to Hinduism became the subject of public discussion in 2014. It may be noted that both are strong supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) lead NDA government of Modi. Now the BJP ruled states had openly banned slaughter of animals and sale of meat thereby controlling what is on our dining tables which have sparked off further controversy.
Although Modi managed to force them into submission, but not for long as BJP ruled Maharashtra, followed by Rajasthan then banned meat during the Paryushan festival of the Jains few years back, which only confirmed the phobia of many Christian dominant states that if the saffron party is voted to power, they will first ban beef and now even mutton and all other meat.
While hearing a petition against a controversial meat ban, the Mumbai court questioned the Maharashtra government which claimed the ban was necessitated as per Ahimsa. Asked as to how come fish, sea food and eggs were not banned, the counsel representing the Maharashtra government rephrased the ban and said that it was based on ‘slaughtering of animals’.
One of the most appreciated moves was witnessed when a delegation of top Jain religious leaders met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on September 13, 2015 and drew curtains on the controversy over the meat ban in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra during the ongoing Paryushan festival. The meeting agrees that in the past, the during the Jain holy festival of abstention, meat has always been banned in the city and there were no complaints from any quarters. The question was raised as to how come this year the whole situation erupted into this controversy and who is behind it all?
Although the issue of the Jain community claiming to be the smallest religious community became such an important for the state government, the Parsi who are much smaller in numbers as compared to Jains are not taken care of during their just concluded festival.
The ban on beef is not only affecting a section of beef consuming community, it will surely affect the over Rs 15,000-crore industry that employs 25 lakh people in UP alone, this red meat is one of the largest exported variants of meat in the world and tanning is one of the expanding industries of India.
Such action of the BJP ruled states is hampering the image of the Modi government, as most BJP leaders are of the opinion that the BJP-led NDA government has come to power on the issue of good governance, especially with the assurance of Achhe din aane waale hain (Good days are coming) and that the party is now being given a fanatical hue by such controversial statements and actions.
Thackeray vowed to get to the root cause of the problem and said that he strongly believes that people of all faiths - Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jains - must observe their religion within the limits of their homes. His ideology should be emulated by all political parties and state governments, while other states are remaining silence over the ban, but vow to show BJP their power for all the upcoming election.
It is time also to demand the revocation of reservation based on the concept of religious minorities especially in India which strongly advocates secularism. If there is no more religious reservations, India will have better coordination in cross section of the society which has been now fragmented along religious lines.