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Beef ban: Reality & Rhetoric!
7/16/2018 10:46:21 PM
Kr Swarn Kishore Singh

One day while watch
ing a news channel, which I rarely do, as they are more of advertisement channels than news channels; I came across a news showing a bald and blunt guy holding a beef party in a government building i.e. MLA hostel of Srinagar. And when I enquired; I got to know that the guy is popularly known as Engineer Rashid. He is the same guy, who during the tenure of last government continuously criticised Congress and its leaders for hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru, but when Rajya Sabha elections of GNA (Ghulam Nabi Azad was nicknamed as GNA in Nira Radia tapes) were held, he alleged sold his vote. Although GNA is a great conniver in politics but getting a vote from Engineer Rashid is something I personally thought to be very cumbersome thing to do. Then it is well said that money makes the mare go, this chap who considers himself the only guy who represents the conscience of Kashmir sold his vote. He was allegedly brought back from his house in Jammu to venue of polling to vote for GNA but only after a senior Congress leader and former cabinet minister reached his house with a big suit case. This is how Kashmiriyat is put on sale; this is how guys like Rashid perpetually en-cash the sentiments Kashmiri people attach with their leaders. In a blunt manner I will tally this act of Rashid with a prostitute offering her person to the lewdness of the person who bids the highest. Just ranting in assembly, moving resolution against hanging of terrorists and holding beef parties won't help Kashmir. This rhetoric is going to appease only few of the fanatic and distracted youth in the valley.
First things first, let us first understand what beef is. Beef is not always cow meat; actually beef is an exhaustive term which accounts for every flesh which is used as food and which comes out of bovine animals, such as cow, buffalo, ox, bullock etc. So on some occasions beef may not be cow meat. And as per Hindu mythology, cow is considered as sacred animal. So cow should not be slaughtered to respect the sentiments of the biggest chunk of population of the country. Mind you, this is not only a theological issue but an economic one as well. The conservation of cow is necessary not only for sake of the aesthetics attached to the animal but also because of economic reasons. A cow is such an efficient and brilliant production unit whose every product is valuable with usage of minimum raw materials.
Is it wise to demolish an industrial production unit just to vacate the land for playing cricket or to build a park? Obviously not! A cow if kept alive and reared well will provide proteins to lot more number of people when compared with the protein extracted by consuming her meat just once. Moreover, when I went into some Islamic literature, I was unable to find even a single place where it has been vehemently said that every Mohammedan has to compulsorily consume cow meat to reach janna (heaven). This issue is not just well defined and therefore prone to misinterpretation. Hence such things can be easily exploited for some vested interests by some people to keep their politics going.
Unfortunately there are a lot of media houses which are confusing the issue by continuously reporting that India is biggest exporter of beef. Yes, India is biggest exporter of beef but not of cow meat. The NDA government has banned export of cow and calves meat. And this is has been officially averred by the then MOS Commerce & Industries, Nirmala Sitharaman. Also, this isn't something the NDA government has done to propagate the so-called Hindutva agenda but to honour the directive of constitution of India given under Article 48 which says ''the state shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle" (sic). Moreover the central government cannot directly pass a legislation to prohibit slaughter of cows because this issue is covered under state list. The issue of preservation and protection of animals comes under item 15 of state list (seventh schedule of constitution of India). So we should leave this issue to the state legislatures to decide. And the legislations passed by respective states will reflect the will of their people and that should be respected by one and all. But one thing which should be kept untouched in that exercise is the basic structure of constitution of India.
The order of Hon'ble High Court of J&K which is popularly named as beef ban order was actually a piece of direction to law enforcing agencies of the state to make sure that a particular provision of an existing legislation is enforced strictly. Neither the court banned beef de-novo nor the there was any fresh delegated order from the government, so there was nothing new in the ban and hence nothing controversial in it. But with the boom in manufacturing sector in India, a high in manufacturing of controversies is also experienced and strangely both these things have happened after April 2014. This provision is a part of 150 years old legislation which calls for penalising of anyone slaughtering a cow with an imprisonment of ten years and for possession of flesh of the slaughtered animal, an imprisonment of one year (section 298A & 298B respectively). So the Hon'ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir did nothing revolutionary, the court had just directed the law enforcing agencies for stricter enforcement. And the Hon'ble Supreme Court also did not allow the sale of beef; the court had only kept the order of strict implementation in abeyance that to for a period of two months, so that in the meantime this issue will be dealt with by the court with a broader perspective. Infact even the Hon'ble Supreme Court or any High Court hasn't got the jurisdiction and power to repeal this provision unless it is brought before the court for infringing basic structure of the constitution (Keshavanda Bharti case), which seems to be an uphill task and pragmatically impossible.
Earlier, in a tragic manner the government of Jammu & Kashmir in-spite of standing by the law of the land and the exalting the law officers for obtaining the orders from the court which conform the existing law; sacked them. It is like a batsman getting dropped from the team for scoring a double century on his debut. And if these political parties are manufacturing these controversies themselves and trying to create some sort of camouflage by orchestrating the drama in assembly, then I must say this is just a betrayal of the mandate of people of Jammu & Kashmir and the result of your actions and drama will for sure reflect in your tally of next elections. Also the incident of lynching of a person in Dadri is highly condemnable, such incident are saddening as the people are supposed to have faith in law enforcing agencies and do not start acting like those bodies themselves, there is a mechanism for penalising of the one who is guilty. For example if I saw X killing Y, I am supposed to report the incident to nearest police station and not to use my force to kill the killer. Similarly, wherever cow slaughter is an offence, if anyone notices a cow being slaughtered, call the cops and try not to be heroes themselves. The incidents of lynching bring very bad name to our society and country as well. There is no need to take law in our hands and lynch someone, there is a specific mechanism for that. Lynching gives me an impression similar to the practice of stoning in some radical Islamic countries and when we condemn stoning, how come we can approve lynching? Just think! We are a country wherein even Ajmal Kasab & Afzal Guru were hanged only after giving them a fair trial, so guyz we should better have trust on our judicial system. Also people all over the country should understand this thing that for sake of co-existence we all need to start respecting the sentiments of each other's community and to evade any sort of conflict and aggression of anyone from any community should not be acceptable.
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