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A Message from Mahatma Gandhi to those who oppose cow-slaughter
Today the whole country is engulfed in debate and controversy over eating beef and cow slaughter, as a 55-year old man named Ikhlaq was killed in Dadri (UP) on the night of September 28 by a mob, as he was rumoured to be eating and storing beef. The poor man lost his life purely on suspicion and without a concrete proof that he had consumed beef.

But, even if had eaten beef, which is allowed in his religion, no sensible man would kill him for that. As a result the Dadri fire has now taken not only the state of UP but the entire nation in its ambit. The Dadri fire rages on, as the world looks towards our nation with disbelief, as this incident has reflected our country in poor light.

Once our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was hounded by the same question and asked about his opinion on cow-slaughter. I found out his opinion on cow slaughter from the website, which has archived works of Gandhi ji. In the book "Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi", Volume 88, page no.424, I found out what the Mahatma used to think about cow-slaughter.

Here are excerpts from that page in which Gandhi Ji writes about his thoughts on banning cow-slaughter in India :

Speech at Prayer Meeting, New Delhi, July 25, 1947

"Rajendra Babu tells me that he has received some 50,000 postcards, between 25,000 and 30,000 letters and many thousands telegrams demanding a ban on cow-slaughter. I spoke to you about this before. Why this flood of telegrams and letters? They have had no effect. I have another telegram which says that a friend has started a fast for this cause."

"In India no law can be made to ban cow-slaughter."

"I do not doubt that Hindus are forbidden the slaughter of cows."

"I have been long pledged to serve the cow but how can my religion also be the religion of the rest of the Indians? It will mean coercion against those Indians who are not Hindus."

"How can I force anyone not to slaughter cows unless he is himself so deposed? It is not if there were only Hindus in the Indian Union. There are Muslims, Parsis, Christians and other religious groups here. The assumption of the Hindus that India now has become the land of Hindus is erroneous."

"India belongs to all who live here. If we stop cow-slaughter by law here and the very reverse happens in Pakistan, what will be the result?"

"Supposing they say that Hindus would not be allowed to visit temples as it was against Shariat to worship idols? I see God in even a stone but how do I harm others by this belief? If therefore I am stopped from visiting temples I would still visit them. I shall therefore suggest that these letters and telegram should cease. It is not proper to waste money on them."

"Besides some prosperous Hindus themselves encourage cow-slaughter. True, they do not do it with their own hands. But who sends all the cows to Australia and other countries where they are slaughtered and whence shoes manufactured from cow-hide are sent back to India?"

"I know an orthodox Vaishnava Hindu. He used to feed his children on beef soup. On my asking him why he did that he said there was no sin in consuming beef as medicine."

"We really do not stop to think what true religion is and merely go about shouting that cow-slaughter should be banned by law."

"In villages Hindus make bullocks carry huge burdens which almost crush the animals. Is it not cow-slaughter, albeit slowly carried out? I shall therefore suggest that the matter should not be pressed in the Constituent Assembly."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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