TODAY -

The myths and facts about beef ban

Hanjabam Rajanikanta Sharma *

Beef feast greets Rajnath at Aizawl on  June 12 20179
Beef feast greets Rajnath at Aizawl on June 12 2017 :: Pix - TSE/Newmai News Network



Ever since the BJP has come to power at the Centre, there exist a hoopla about “Beef Ban” created by the politician and some sections of the media. This time also, a fallacy has been created regarding the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017.

The Government (Read BJP) has been criticised on two main grounds, first these rules comes from a Government with divisive agenda and that it is trying to impose the beliefs and creed of the majority community to other communities.

Second, the provisions of “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA)”, have been used to fasten this belief. So, let us dissect these two points to get a clear picture about these Charges and see who the Devil is? What are the facts and Myths?

Let us see how these Rules came about :

In the Gauri Maulekhi vs Union of India and others case i.e. W.P. (Civil) No. 881 of 2014 before the Supreme Court of India, the Apex Court on 12th of July 2015 passed an order to frame Guidelines to prevent animals from being smuggled out of India to other places like Nepal where there is large scale animal sacrifices during festival such as Gadhimal.

Here the allegation was that buffaloes (Buffaloes, I repeat, not Cows) were purchased in markets, kept in Unhygienic conditions and were transported in appallingly obnoxious conditions to Nepal. It is then slaughter in large numbers.

The Supreme Court granted a stay of such transportation to Nepal and also constituted a committee to suggest solutions to stop these cruelties to animals. The Court then directed the suggestions of the committee to be taken into account and that rules with regard to livestock markets and connected issues be also notified.

The Supreme Court in its final order on July 12, 2016 directed the Union Government to frame rules under section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 (PCA).

A draft rules incorporating all the suggestions made by Supreme Court in the above mention case has been prepared by the Animal Welfare Board of India. Thereafter, the draft rule was notified on January 16, 2017 inviting objections and suggestion within 30 days. Thirteen representations were received regarding the rules, after duly examined and incorporated wherever found suitable. The Rules were finally notified on 23rd of May 2017.

The purpose of this bill was to merely comply with the Directive of the Supreme Court in Letter and Spirit, so the first allegation that this rules was a BJP Government plot to push its communal majoritarian agenda becomes a myth. These rules have been enacted under the power to make rules under PCA.

Second, they do not ban slaughter of cow and cattle’s and these rules do no prevent anyone from eating beef. They seek, inter alia, to regulate the sale and slaughter of cattle and certain animals. As a matter of fact, cruel practices like hot branding, shearing, ear cutting of buffaloes etc are found to be practice in market.

Under rule 14(h), putting ornaments or decorative materials on animals will be prohibited. Here also, many Hindu festivals where animals are brightly decorated will be ban, so the arguments of majoritarian agenda and communal biased became deflated.

The harmony of our polity is very fragile and we should remember that. Never ever in the history of human race, have people with such a large diversity in culture, creed, language, customs and caste come together and belief in one faith i.e. our Constitution. If there is an attempt to disturb this harmony, we should fight together.

However, branding every act of the government with communal tone just to suit ones agenda and political points, will surely bring out who the real devil is. The doomsayer will surely become the boy who cried the wolf one day. *Rumours and myths do not make a right thing wrong.

When the truth finally comes out it is the hate and rumour mongers whose credibility is in question. They might win a battle but they will lose the war. It is for us, we the people to decide who the Devil is.

(Excerpt from N.L. Rajah’s article on The Hindu)


* Hanjabam Rajanikanta Sharma wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be contacted at rajsharmahanja23(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on July 05, 2017.


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