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New government in Karnataka is undoing previous government's work
New lords, new laws - indeed that age-old saying is as applicable to Karnataka as it was to Italy when their governments changed almost every week. To make his presence felt, Shri Siddhramaiyya, the Chief Minister, has rescinded the Cow Slaughter Prevention Act that the previous BJP government had promulgated.

The new Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Sidhramaiah, has not covered himself with glory by announcing that the govt would lift the ban on slaughter of cows and its progeny. The slaughter was banned by the BJP govt in 2008 by a legislation duly approved by all concerned. It had brought happiness to all residents of Karnataka except those who were involved in trading of beef, transportation of cattle and leather industry. In other words, there was and continues to be a clear divide between the Hindus and the Muslims of Karnataka. The present Chief Minister is an agnostic, his belief is bordering atheism. He has been campaigning for lifting the ban on slaughter of cows and its progeny on the floor of the Karnataka Assembly as well as outside.

There are two angles to the problem. It is well known that devout Hindus address the cow as GAU MATA and it is sickening for them to think of killing their own mother and that too for food. Some devout Hindus do not wear leather shoes since they are not sure which milch animal was killed to retrieve hyde for shoes and later on chemically treated and coloured to give a different look. Nevertheless, killing of an animal considered sacred from the dawn of the Vedic culture for using the carcass in different forms  ,including use of hyde for shoes was obnoxious from the very beginning.

On the contrary the people employed in trade connected with the slaughter of cows and its progeny promote slaughter of animals irrespective of age. It is a fact that men employed in the trade are mostly Muslims and they have no qualms in killing cows. Indeed this factor too caused the Hindu-Muslim divide to be wider and deeper.

Since the Indian National Congress treats the Muslim community as their vote bank, they go out of their way to assuage their ruffled feelings. So the  present Chief Minister, Shri Siddhramaiyah overturned what the BJP had done when they were in power. To start with, the axe fell on the Cow Slaughter(prevention of) Act and the political party in power was determined to kill many birds with one stone. The success has not eluded him. The aim plus, that is consolidation of the Muslim votes for the Congress Party has also been achieved.

Looking at the problem of cow slaughter from a wider angle, we find that there is a lot of discontentment among the Hindus that an animal sacred to their religious thought is being summarily dismissed as a non-entity and then led to the slaughter house to be done to death. At times the act of slaughter is done right on the road in full view of the passers b y without using even a gunny bag as a makeshift curtain.

A large number of states of the Union of India do not let cows and their progenies being slaughtered   and the Cow Protection Act is in force. However, the Central government is of the view that since the issue falls under one of the subjects listed in the jurisdiction of the states, so that they make laws and promulgate. In my view since the subject can be brought in the Concurrent List of subjects, the central legislation is possible provided the central government makes up its mind to go ahead.

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