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Gau raksha and PM's belated concern - 'Ranjish hi sahi, Dil hi dukhaane ke liye aa'
Truth calls no proof. Isn't an open secret that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar forces have directly and indirectly unleashed an interminable campaign in the name of gau rakhsa and are targeting the minorities and the Dalits?

However, their learned economic advisors are caught in slumber about the economic impact due to undeclared ban of meat export, impact on GDP and the farmers' concerns of cattle wealth. Time is NOT far when the country would realise that the ban on cow slaughter is merely not an issue of religious sentiment or communal division but a major agrarian issue, which has serious implications on the economy of the peasantry and employment situation.

Can we ignore the reality that animal husbandry accounts for 7.35 per cent of the country's GDP and 26 per cent of the agrarian GDP? It is also reported that around 30 per cent of the peasant household income comes from the cattle and cattle products. The Sangh Parivar forces have no answer for the question of what to do with the unproductive cattle?

The country and the world know that the BJP government has been silently supporting the communal forces that are injecting frenzy and killings across the country being orchestrated in the name of gau raksha. The farmers are afraid to move with their cattle from one place to other. They are unable to sell their unproductive animals. The gau rakshaks are attacking the poor peasants when they move with their cattle.

And now, with the Opposition preparing to take on the government in Parliament over the recent spate of lynchings by cow vigilantes, and the alleged targeting of its leaders by central agencies, the Pradhan Mantri aka Pradhan Sevak has come with his ritual statement addressing an all-party meeting this Sunday.

"Gau raksha ko kuchch asaamajik tatvon ne arajakata failane ka madhyam bana liya hai. Desh ke chhavi par bhi iska asar ho raha hai. Hum sabhi rajnitik dalon ko gau raksha ke naam par ho rahi is gundagardi ki kadi bhartsana karni chaahiye." (Some anti-social elements have made cow protection an excuse to spread anarchy. This is also affecting the nation's image. All political parties should strongly condemn this hooliganism in the name of cow protection.)

He said that state governments should take the strongest action against the anti-social elements carrying out violence in the name of cow protection because law and order is the prime responsibility of state governments. He later reiterated these remarks in a series of tweets on his official handle. 

"Rajya sarkaron ko yeh bhi dekhna chahiye ki kahin kuchh log gau raksha ke naam par apni vyaktigat dushmani ka badla toh nahin le rahe hain." (The state governments should also see that nobody is using cow-protection to settle personal scores.)

That reminds me of the statement made during his first visit to the riot-torn state of Gujarat by the ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He had assured the riot victims that they will be taken care of by the government and that refugee camps will go on as long as needed. He had said he was "ashamed" at what had happened in Gujarat and the fact that many people "had become refugees" in their own country. 

He had said, "I don't know what face I will take to some of the Muslim countries I have to visit.  You are not alone at this time of crisis, we all are with you. The entire country is with you."

But why no such assurance or feelings from the highest power post for the poor victims of today?

Will someone tell the BJP bosses that ignorance can be bliss, but not always! Can't they recall the Haryana Chief Minister's open threats to the Muslim community under the guise of protection of the cow? 

He had said, "Muslim rahein, magar is desh mein beef khaana chhodna hi hoga unko. Yahan ki manyata hai gau." (Muslims can continue to live in this country but they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here.)

A Muslim will still remain a Muslim even after he/she stops eating beef. Nowhere is it written that Muslims have to eat beef  and neither is it mentioned anywhere that a Christian must eat beef. Such statements by leaders have a direct impact on the actions of their supporters. The hate campaign in the name of prevention of cow slaughter has been taking its toll relentlessly, brutally and without remorse.

In response to a question after the lynching in Dadri, the Prime Minister had once replied, "What has the Central government to do with it? It is for the state government to respond."

The Prime Minister is well aware as he should be that Cabinet Ministers or Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling party have been making non-stop inflammatory statements which have direct consequences in inciting violence against the Muslim community.

Even a green horn would point that the Centre has everything to do with it. Can't he remove and divest them of their portfolios and cushy sinecures?

Well understood, if not told bluntly that this couldn't be the preferred path of these powerful leaders because of the larger more fundamental agenda of the Hindutva forces of polarising India on religious lines is what brings votes for BJP.

India is a strange country where instead of implementing the laws enacted by the legislature, the judiciary – one of the most important pillars of democracy asks the Central government to "consider to enact the law prohibiting slaughtering of cow/calf, import or export of cow/calf, selling of beef or beef products, in its own wisdom at the national level, within a period of three months"...It also gave a directive to the Central Government "to provide funds for the upkeep of stray cattle." Reference Himachal Pradesh CJ.

We know that most states in India, with the exception of the Northeastern states already have laws prohibiting the slaughter of cows and their progeny. However, most of these states allow the slaughter of draught animals including bulls and bullocks if the cattle are found to be "unfit for work or for breeding" and certified to be fit for slaughter.

According to the website of the Animal Husbandry Department of the Government of India, such states which permit slaughter of "useless cattle" include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. The procedures and standards for slaughter may differ - such as the age of the animal which can vary from 10 years in Kerala to 15 years in Madhya Pradesh. In some states such as Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, dry cows can also be slaughtered.

This is quite in tune with Article 48 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution, which gave special protection to the cow not for religious reasons but on grounds of "scientific agriculture" and for "taking steps for preserving and improving the breed and for prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle."

It is obvious that that brouhaha of GAU RAKSHA is less for the protection of the cow than for targeting the Muslim community. This agenda also requires the rewriting of history and the creation of a narrative that cow slaughter was introduced by Muslims.

Can't these lovers of cow and rakshaks see the plight of such stray cattle, including dry cows, slowly starving to death or dying because of ingestion of toxic wastes including plastic? It does not move the Hindutva forces. In states, where they are in power such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, the numbers of such stray cattle are large.

And let me wind up this article with a pithy couplet of Akhtar Abid Noganwai:

'Phoonk kar Aashiyan ko bade Shouque se,

Sahan-e-Gulshan men bus Roshini ke liyey.

Barq khud bhi Tarapti rahee Raat bhar,

Aag Seeney men apne Lapatey hue."

(After setting the tavern with great excitement, just to illuminate the run of the orchard, the 'lightening' danced through the night with the fire and thunder in its heart.)

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 merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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