The Union Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, at a speech to Jain saints in Indore on Sunday said that he supported a national ban on cow slaughter, and would try for a consensus on the issue.
Whoever else in India may be part of this consensus, this humble self will certainly not be one, as I am totally against such a ban, for the following reasons :
1. I see nothing wrong in eating beef. Most of the world eats beef. Are they all wicked people ?
2. Beef is a source of cheap protein, and many people in India e.g. in the North Eastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura,etc and in some other states like Kerala, eat beef where its sale is not banned.
3. I have myself sometimes eaten beef. I normally do not eat it out of respect for my wife and other relatives, as they are conservative Hindus. But if the occasion arises I will again eat it. I am not forcing others to eat beef, but why should others prevent me ? There should be freedom to eat what one wants in a free democratic country
4. Such bans make us a laughing stock before the whole world by displaying our backward feudal mindset
5. Those who raise a hue and cry against cow slaughter are not at all bothered by the suffering of tens of thousands of cows which are not properly fed. When cows grow old or for some other reason can no longer give milk they are often driven out and left to fend for themselves. I have seen cows eating filth and garbage by the side of roads. I have seen cows so thin that their ribs are protruding out of their flesh. If cows are made to starve is that also not cow slaughter ? But nobody is bothered about that.
I regret to say that such bans are nowadays more for political considerations than anything else. For instance, in Maharahshtra there was already the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976 which prohibited slaughter of a cow ( which was defined to include a male or female calf ) but permitted slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes on obtaining a 'fit for slaughter' certificate. But now by a new law effective from 2.3.2015 sale and export of beef has been totally prohibited, causing loss of many jobs.
There are some who say that killing a cow is like homicide. I find this a silly argument. How can one equate an animal with a human being ?
I am afraid that reactionary right wing elements are behind such bans, which are not in the interest of the nation