Recently, the state of Gujarat initated a bill to make cow slaughter punishable by life imprisonment, the same punishment given for murder. Chhattisgarh CM announced that people who kill cows will be hanged. BJP’s enthusiasm to save cows is not new but lately it seems to have reached new limits. However, banning a certain product because it offend a particular group of people completely goes against India’s secular constitution.
If BJP was so concerned in protecting religious sentiments, they should have also banned pork which is offensive to Muslims. Their insistence on banning beef only exposes their communal politics and goes against the culture of India which says all religions should be treated equally. Contrary to what BJP would have us believe, cow slaughter has been prevalent in India even before the Mughals came here. Cows were slaughtered for sacrifice and food in the Vedic period. Many Hindus living in states like Kerala consume beef. Also Hinduism is a religion that is composed of thousands of other faiths and no such statement can be made for an entire religion.
The beef industry is a $200 million industry and provides employment to hundreds if not thousands. A knowledge of basic economics shows that the move is going destroy the livelihood many people and harm our economy. The ban is often used as an excuse by upper castes to mistreat and discriminate against Dalits.
I maintain my belief that a legislation which goes against our constitution, hurts minorities and harms our economy should not be tolerated by the people of India.