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Dedicated to “Bharat” and “Dharma”

On Cow Slaughter etc..

This post has been some time in coming – and I am penning my thoughts on something controversial after a long time. It was prompted by the recent decision of government of MP to increase the punishment for cow slaughter. As many of you would know, the issue of cow-slaughter is not a new one.  In fact, the demand for a ban on slaughter of cows is more than a century old – and was first raised in modern times by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and the Arya Samaj. It has been suggested that the British inadvertently strengthened the “Cow Protection Movement” by decreeing that the cow is not a sacred animal and can be slaughtered. I have my doubts about this “theory” but here is the reference:

In 1888, a high court in Allahabad ruled that cows are not “sacred” animals as defined in section 295 of the Indian Penal Code and Muslims could not be held accountable for slaughtering them. (1).

There are accounts from colonial times of Muslims slaughtering cows during Bakr-Id festival although there is no religious decree to support cow slaughter (In fact, the Supreme Court in Mohammad Hanif Qureshi Vs. State of Bihar in 1958 had held that the Muslims had no religious right to kill cows on Bakr-Id).  Although some argue that the cow was merely used as a symbol for mobilizing Hindu opinion by Arya Samaj and other leaders of the movement, the fact that it spread rapidly over large parts of India in a day and age where communication and travel was very difficult is indicative of the underlying strength of emotions towards this animal.

In the 1870s, cow protection movements spread rapidly in the Punjab, the North-West provinces, Awadh and Rohilkhand. Arya Samaj had a tremendous role in skillfully converting this sentiment into a national movement. The first Gaurakshini sabha (cow protection society) was established in the Punjab in 1882.(2) The movement spread rapidly all over North India and to Bengal,Bombay, Madras and other central provinces.

It has been mentioned that

Signatures, up to 350,000 in some places, were collected to demand a ban on cow sacrifice.(3)

The strong sentiment around cow-slaughter – and Mahatma Gandhi’s strong views on the matter – led to its inclusion in Constitution under Article 48 (Part IV; Directive Principles of State Policy) which states that: (the) State shall preserve and improve the breeds and prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other cows and drought cattle.

It has also been mentioned that when this issue was being debated in Parliament, many wanted a total ban on cow slaughter but this was opposed by Nehru and thus a compromise was reached by including it in terms of Directive Principles. I do not have sufficient references (also see #164) to back this up but hope to find links to debate/discussion in Constituent Assembly on this matter. However, it appears that during the debate in the Constituent Assembly at least some Muslim Members (Mr. Z.H. Lari and Syed Mohammad Saidulla?) were willing for cow slaughter prohibition to be kept as a Fundamental Right.  Regardless of the deliberations in Constituent Assembly – and since then – the cow continues to be an object of great reverence and is widely considered sacred – cutting across castes and regions in India.  Laws banning slaughter of cow and its progeny have been promulgated in almost all states in India except Paschim Banga, Kerala, Nagaland and Meghalaya (the latter two have a predominant Christian population). The ban on cow slaughter was in news last year too when the government of Karnataka passed a law that prohibiting the slaughter of buffaloes along with cow and its progeny (a law protecting the cow was already in force in Karnataka since earlier).  And as noted above, this has been in news once again prompted by a move by the government in MP to seek punishment of up to 7 years for slaughter of cow (note the punishment is not for consumption of beef but for slaughter of cow).

The  cow and bullock have a venerated place in the ancient traditions of Bharat. The cow  is referred to by various names in the Vedas including Aditi, KamaDhenu and Aghnya (that which cannot be killed). Other than its milk and by-products, a cow has numerous “economic” uses. Cow dung is known to act as an anti-septic and reportedly acts as an air purifier when burnt. It also acts as a coolant when mixed with mud and applied to walls of dwellings. There is also some evidence to suggest that the chemical composition of cow-urine may have medicinal properties (and may play a part in cancer therapy).

One of the many names of Bhagwaan ShriKrishna’s is “Gopal” (Protector of Cows).  Muhammad Ghori was apparently pardoned by Prithviraj Chauhan when he asked to be treated like a “cow” (unfortunately I don’t have full & reliable references). There are records to suggest that Akbar issued firmans prohibiting cow-slaughter to respect the sentiments of the large Hindu population during his reign. This “ban” continued during the reign Jehangir and ShahJahan. The cow may also have been one of the triggers for the uprising against the British in 1857.

Before we proceed any further, it would be instructive to read the judgement of the Supreme Court in the landmark case on this matter, Mohd. Hanif Quareshi & Others vs The State Of Bihar(& Others), April, 1958 (emphasis added):

So approaching and analysing the problem, we have reached the conclusion (i) that a total ban on the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves of cows and calves of she-buffaloes, male and female, is quite reasonable and valid and is in consonance with the directive principles laid down in Art. 48, (ii) that a total ban on the slaughter of she-buffaloes or breeding bulls or working bullocks (cattle as well as buffaloes) as long as they are as milch or draught cattle is also reasonable and valid and (iii) that a total ban on the slaughter of she- buffaloes, bulls and bullocks (cattle or buffalo) after they cease to be capable of yielding milk or of breeding or working as draught animals cannot be supported as reasonable in the interest of the general public.

Note that while the Directive Principles are unenforceable by themselves but constitutionality of laws is usually examined in the light of directive principles.  Even stronger than the 1958 ruling, is this conclusion from a (relatively) recent judgement by the Supreme Court (from 2005) in the case of State Of Gujarat vs Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab (emphasis added):

In the case before us, we have material in abundance justifying the need to alter the flow of judicial opinion.…Independent India, having got rid of the shackles of foreign rule, was not even 11 years old then. Since then, the Indian economy has made much headway and gained a foothold internationally. Constitutional jurisprudence has indeed changed from what it was in 1958, as pointed out earlier. Our socio-economic scenario has progressed from being gloomy to a shining one, full of hopes and expectations and determinations for present and future. Our economy is steadily moving towards prosperity in a planned way through five year plans, nine of which have been accomplished and tenth is under way. We deal with the findings in Quareshi-I seriatim.

Finding 1 :…So far as the State of Gujarat is concerned, we have already noticed, while dealing with the documentary evidence available on record, that fodder shortage is not a problem so far as this state is concerned and cow progeny, the slaughtering whereof has already shown a downward trend during the recent years, can very well be fed and maintained without causing any wasteful drain on the feed requisite for active milch, breeding and draught cattle.…the documentary evidence available on record shows that beef contributes only 1.3% of the total meat consumption pattern of the Indian society. Butchers are not prohibited from slaughtering animals other than the cattle belonging to cow progeny. Consequently, only a part of their activity has been prohibited. They can continue with their activity of slaughtering other animals. Even if it results in slight inconvenience, it is liable to be ignored if the prohibition is found to be in the interest of economy and social needs of the country

Finding 3 : 47 years since, it is futile to think that meat originating from cow progeny can be the only staple food or protein diet for the poor population of the country. ‘…The real problem, facing India, is not the availability of food, staple food and protein rich diet; the real problem is its unequal distribution. The real challenge comes from the slow growth of purchasing power of the people and lack of adequate employment opportunities. ….It will, therefore, not be correct to say that poor will suffer in availing staple food and nutritional diet only because slaughter of cow progeny was prohibited.

Finding 4 :…For multiple reasons which we have stated in very many details while dealing with Question-6 in Part II of the judgment, we have found that bulls and bullocks do not become useless merely by crossing a particular age. The Statement of Objects and Reasons, apart from other evidence available, clearly conveys that cow and her progeny constitute the backbone of Indian agriculture and economy. …This Statement of Objects and Reasons tilts the balance in favour of the constitutional validity of the impugned enactment. …

In the light of the material available in abundance before us, there is no escape from the conclusion that the protection conferred by impugned enactment on cow progeny is needed in the interest of Nation’s economy. Merely because it may cause ‘inconvenience’ or some ‘dislocation’ to the butchers, restriction imposed by the impugned enactment does not cease to be in the interest of the general public.

The former must yield to the latter.…The Bombay Animal Preservation (Gujarat Amendment) Act, 1994 (Gujarat Act No. 4 of 1994) is held to be intra vires the Constitution.

Let us now look at the “rational” or “liberal” argument against a ban on cow slaughter:

1] That Hindus ate beef in the past – as mentioned in the Vedas. The first point against this argument is the fact that there are contradictory statements within the Vedas regarding “beef eating”. Very likely, these are the result of incorrect and improper translation (e.g. see this post on Agniveer.com) and therefore cannot be relied on as being authoritative. But even if one was to assume so – for the sake of argument – this is a bad argument because not all past practices are carried over to current times (neither should they be; e.g. past practice of not dining or marrying outside the “jati”). The second (important) point to note (and ask) re. the Vedic references is: are these references really laudatory – and praiseworthy – or are “beef-eaters” looked down upon? Furthermore, most (all?) references are to the meat of the bull – not cow; and even of there were references to cow, they refer to a sterile cow; also see part II of the post on Agniveer)

2] The second “liberal” argument against a ban on cow slaughter is that the state shall not dictate what I can and cannot eat; that the only reason the state can impose its views on such matters is if you harm others in this process, or if doing so will harm the environment. A good illustration of this argument is in this post by Sanjeev Sabhlok (also FTI colleague):

If eating beef is not lethal and it doesn’t kill others, then there is no cause to interfere in the freedoms of others to eat beef.

Now substitute “eating beef” with “taking drugs” or “having multiple wives” – and you will begin to see why this argument looks somewhat shaky. Freedom cannot be absolute – and is usually circumscribed by prevailing social norms and expectations. If such expectations overwhelmingly treat the cow as an object of reverence – or if there is general social revulsion towards slaughter of a particular animal – perhaps there is case to be made for a law banning slaughter of cows?

It is obvious that cow-slaughter arouses strong emotions in people. Bear in mind that people elect a government (in a democracy) to make/propose laws and take decisions that represent the collective will of the society (in addition to maintaining their safety and security). In a democracy, laws will usually be a manifestation of how the society wishes to govern itself (including in the form of a Constitution) – and are usually based on traditions and norms. If the society and the community wishes that the slaughter of cow ought to be prohibited in a land where it has been worshiped and held sacred for millennia, is that not a good reason for having such a law? Unless public opinion change to such a degree where such a ban becomes irrelevant?

I am tempted to point out that another argument (which is sometimes) used in this discussion – along the lines of “let society decide on its own to not eat beef, if it so wishes, but governments should have no role to play in this” – would mean government should have no role in banning untouchability or demands for dowry, right?

Please note that a nuanced argument can be made supporting a ban on cow-slaughter while maintaining neutrality with regards beef consumption (this would mean – for instance – that restaurants are free to import beef and serve it to their customers).  Anyway, enough food for thoughts for now, I guess. I will stop at this point – with the caveat that my thoughts on this matter are still evolving. Therefore, happy to be challenged, contradicted and of course supported!  Comments and thoughts, welcome as always

P.S. While I am broadly supportive of the government’s bill in MP, I worry seriously about the apparent “presumption” of guilt and putting the onus on the accused to prove his or her innocence (these are also the reasons – among others – on why I worry about the Communal Violence Bill and an all-powerful “Jan Lokpal”).

References/ Supporting Documents (the three below, courtesy Wikipedia; have not been independently verified):

  1. “Religious Nationalism, Hindus and Muslims in India”, Peter van der Veer, pp. 83 and 86, 91 and 92 ISBN 0520082567
  2. “The Making of an Indian Metropolis, Colonial governance and public culture in Bombay”, 1890/1920, Prashant Kidambi, p. 176, ISBN 9780754656128
  3. “Vishnu’s crowded temple, India since the great rebellion”, pp. 67-69, Maria Misra, 2008, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300137217

Here is a richly linked and referenced web-page on the history and background to this question and the matter of cow slaughter

Here is an unusual case for eating beef – from a Hindu perspective and a case for cow slaughter – from an economic perspective (this also has an excerpt that suggests Swami Vivekananda reportedly favoured beef-consumption).

Surprising Find of the Day: the following quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (December 1927):

As for me, not even to win Swaraj, will I renounce my principle of cow protection.

Related Posts: If Muslims revered cattle – excerpt and  Of “Sacred Bulls”, Divinity & Development

Also see: This is funny.. and the Deoband fatwa on “beef-eating

P.P.S. I was not aware that certain types of meat consumption is banned in Australia (so I guess Hindus are the not the only ones who are irrational!):

RSPCA Australia believes the consumption of cat and dog meat should be expressly prohibited in statute. Cats and dogs hold a specific place in Australian society as companion animals. Eating cats and dogs is therefore offensive to mainstream Australian cultural values. RSPCA Australia believes that state governments should follow the lead of South Australia and create specific offences for eating cats and dogs...

Additional (suggested) Readings: Eating less meat may help save the planet and Eating red meat may be really bad for you..

February 8th, 2012 Posted by | Debates & Discussions, Distortions, Misrepresentation about Hinduism, Hindu Dharma, Human Rights and Legal Issues, Politics and Governance in India | 58 comments


  1. Excellent blog..painstakingly done with irrevocable facts and decisions. first and foremost i am completely against beef and whole heartedly support the ban on beef.

    having said so, allow me to share my humble views :

    yes certain historians of eminence have said that in vedic age Hindus used to eat beef. In fact if i recollect, Dr R S Sharma (an eminent historian & expert on vedic age)have also written that In early Vedic age, Hindus used to eat Beef. My question is – So what? can’t a religion incorporate change in its thought. Has any Hindu eaten beef post early-vedic age? No because there was religious reason adn it is indisputable.

    and if it is so that since beef used to be eaten in vedia age, so it should be eaten now then by that logic, we should continue the caste system. didn’t it prevail in that age, so let it prevail now. i know it might be an off track logic but because caste system, at least on paper, got abolished because it is wrong, so why not apply the same principle on this much debated beef ban.

    Now what are the reasons to support beef ban –
    1)Politico-Religious – If the country is really secular, then the onus to prove it remains very much on other religion also as much as it is on the Hindus. the latter can not be expected to prove its secular credentials. so the government can ban the sale of beef and all religion should support it. Why not ‘respect the sentiments” (oft heard statement) of the majority, ‘for a change’. and here i must mention that i know Muslims who DON’T eat beef as a mark of respect to hindus. i wish this could percolate to the entire community.
    2)Economic – yes beef ban perhaps make some people go out of job but then i am sure they can move to other meat selling. as far as the consumers are concerned, yes beef is much cheaper than mutton or chicken but then they too have to change their eating habit. Besides, the government can regulate the price of mutton/chicken/other meat. But more importantly, acc to me, India is one of the largest milk producing nation. Cows are the source of income to different industry. sooner or later, if the number of cows recede, many industry can suffer.
    Health – India is a warm country and the basic weather pattern is not suitable for eating beef as it leads to many skin and other diseases. in fact, Sir Gangaram hospital gets maximum skin patients from old delhi and one of the most contributing reason is the consumption of beef.

    this is time for introspection by every one. it is time for a social initiative, rather a social gesture. a gesture aimed at creating harmony amongst people. the cost of doing so is not very high but the results will be far reaching in further strengthening the integrity of the nation. this gesture, this time, has to come from Muslims/other religions who eat beef.

    Once again i would like to thank and congratulate you for this fact based blog.

    Comment by Jaideep Bhattacharjee | February 8, 2012

  2. Beautiful post. Any kind of animal chopping was full fledge market of Mogul invaders as they were not cultivators of food in ancient Bharata. Today also it is is a big business and money. And also it was cheap at that time to kill animals without any efforts to produce them, available in abundant without any cost. There are no literature of animal farming in our books only agriculture is the word.

    Comment by Indian | February 8, 2012

  3. Excellent post w/ loads of research & preparation. Kudos!

    While legal & economical aspects are all valid, the emotional aspect cannot be simply overlooked. Human beings are the only animal that drinks milk in adulthood & that too of another animal. Cows are indeed like mothers in that sense. Even old cows, give more back in energy from dung than they take from us. Cows are indeed worth more alive than dead at any stage in their life. None of us even dare imagine killing our old age parents for food after their “economic value” has diminished. Cows, as mothers, cannot be treated any differently. De-emotionalizing the issue can only work for those who can do the same in other aspects of life – looking at daughter, sister & mother simply as a “female”, looking at every stone or book merely as physical object to spit on, whether it is sacred or not etc. That life is not worth living as a human being.

    Comment by Dhananjay | February 8, 2012

  4. Nicely written as always. I read Sanjeev’s blog just a few days ago where he was justifying beef consumption (not sure if he had any opinion on cow slaughter though). And now you come up with this piece. So my conclusion up to this point is that cow slaughter should be banned but beef consumption should be fine.

    Comment by Vishnu | February 8, 2012

  5. Good thought process. I support your view and would wait to see the kind of rebuttals this post gets.

    Comment by sagarone | February 8, 2012

  6. “Now substitute “eating beef” with “taking drugs” or “having multiple wives” – and you will begin to see why this argument looks somewhat shaky.”

    Why even replace it with “taking drugs” or “having multiple wives” when replacing it with “eating dog meat” would be more than sufficient? You covered it, but let’s see how enthusiastic Sanjeev Sabhlok would be to publicly advocate for eating dog and cat meat in his country of residence. If he is indeed consistent in his world-view, then he should have no problem with doing just that, instead of respecting and agreeing with the “irrational” social norms of where he lives. Think of the huge dietary sacrifice (South) Koreans have to make and the oppression they face while living in western societies!! 😉

    And this applies to all other Indians/Hindus who are quick to oppose a ban on cow slaughter in a knee-jerk fashion.

    Comment by Kaffir | February 8, 2012

  7. Dear Shantanu

    I beg to disagree entirely with this. Directive principles are not an argument – being a violation of the principle that policy should not form part of a constitution.

    All other arguments offered are not relevant either (although the harm argument is very strong, but not the way it has been presented). This is NOT about accountability (although you attempted to show that this violates accountability – it does not. What you eat is entirely your business, so long as you don’t harm others in doing so).

    My point can be best summarised in this way: We must either ban ALL meats or none.

    I can’t see ANY sensible coherent and all-inclusive (i.e. general) argument in favour of a particular meat. ALL government rules must be general, not discriminatory. The principle must be universal. Else a government has failed its basic responsibility.

    If we can ask a government to discriminate on the basis of ANY religious principle, then ALL principles are fair game for discrimination. Caste reservation is valid; muslim reservation is valid, and so on and on.

    And if you ban beef on the ground that one religious group PARTLY wants it (I know a number of Hindus who eat beef – of course outside India), then all religious assertions must be convertible into law. You MUST ban pork, you must ban non-halal goat meat, and so on.

    Pick ONE principle that applies uniformly. Don’t pick A PARTICULAR religion (conveniently your own) to form laws that apply to everyone.

    If India has to be ONE nation, not a divided house, it can’t have discriminatory laws.


    Comment by Sanjeev Sabhlok | February 8, 2012

  8. Jaideep, Indian, Dhananjay, Vishnu, Sagarone, Kaffir: Thanks for the kind words and encouragement…

    Dear Sanjeev: I will try and address your points one-by-one.

    “..being a violation of the principle that policy should not form part of a constitution”
    Well Sanjeev, there is an ideal world and there is the real world. In the real world, policy is very much part of the Constitution of India. As for instance in the matter of banning untouchability, in the matter of providing reservations, in the matter of “minority” rights, in the inclusion of the word “socialism” and so on..

    This post is not, strictly speaking, about beef-eating either.
    It is about a ban on cow slaughter.

    Why is this different and important? and why is eating beef not the same as eating pork or chicken etc?
    Because the cow has a distinct place in the national ethos and consciousness of India. You and I may not understand it – having been sufficiently “coloured” by “modern education” but ask most people and they will, at a gut level, argue against cow slaughter and eating beef.
    In a related context, my wife once reminded me that while the Hindu tradition does not call for a purely vegetarian diet, the only “living creatures” which one can consume are beings that can be held in the palm of a hand (thus seafood and fish may be alright; as would be eggs)/ But lets leave that aside and come back to your arguments.

    The case for a ban on cow slaughter rests on strong & widespread emotions and social support and not a religious principle (or religion). The reverence towards cow is part of the essential character of India. No other “animal” is revered as a “mother”. And this has nothing to do with the fact whether one is Muslim or Hindu or Christian.

    By the way, which religion advocates its slaughter? There is nothing in either the Bible or Quran to suggest that cow slaughter is a desirable thing and/or eating beef is a religious necessity.

    Also the comparison between beef and pork is a red-herring. Muslims do not eat pork because the pig is considered to be a dirty animal – quite a contrast with the cow which is revered.

    Finally, India will be divided only if there are people who deny that their roots lie in this culture and this “bhumi”. This has already happened once more than 60 years ago. I hope it is never repeated.
    Reverence to the Cow is part of the socio-cultural fabric of India. It is part of this land’s “way of life”, its traditions and its culture. How can a law protecting “Gau-mata” be discriminatory?

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 8, 2012

  9. Shantanu
    We need to follow the policy of Live and Let Live. All animals need to have a right to live as much as humans do. Slaughtering of any animal or protecting another using any religious pretence should be avoided. Lets promote the virtues of being a vegetarian.

    Comment by chandra | February 9, 2012

  10. @ 7. Sanjeev – I am posting my same response as I did on his blog:

    Life and liberty are indeed fundamental, no denying that. But my point is that I am not obliged to have respect for either. The fact that I do is because its my natural tendency (i.e. to have a value system) to do so.
    Now, speaking of liberty and freedom as fundamental values you cherish in the sense that you are responsible for choosing, could you be in favor of doing away with imprisonment in general? I guess not, because even though you are taking away a person’s freedom, say a murderer, you need to make that choice for your own and others’ safety. Self preservation (and as extended to others) is the need by which you justify your action.
    If self preservation is an instinct you possess and also cherish freedom in a fundamental way, then instead of imprisoning the murderer, you should be prepared to defend yourself in an encounter with him/her. You don’t have the right to take away another person’s freedom. But you do take it away and justify it. In the civilized world we live in, imprisonment is accepted and in that sense its a social norm. The need for justifying imprisonment is so fundamental to us that we have even legalized it.
    The point I am trying to make is that even though life, freedom, liberty, etc., are fundamental values, we, through our actions and justifications (however basic and meaningful), cannot always live up to them with 100% conformity. We prioritize what values we want to conform to and to what extent based on what is important to us.
    Cows are sacred to the Hindus at large and the need to justify a ban on cow slaughter has religious and historical roots. This need may not be as imminent as a life threatening situation, but very important to the Hindus, nevertheless. By banning cow slaughter, liberty wouldn’t vanish in its entirety. I am not stating that this is enough to justify the ban, but surely its not a fuzzy thing to be dismissed without a proper debate.

    Comment by Nachiketas | February 9, 2012

  11. @Shantanu

    Apart from Agniveer, swami ramswarup ji of vedamandir.com has also written a book refuting the claims of DN jha likes. Please also read that.


    Since Agniveer has provided ample evidences of jha’s misinterpretations of hindu scriptures. Would you like to reconsider your thoughts on beef consumption in ancient india?

    Comment by Ashish | February 9, 2012

  12. Shantanu

    I am may be Ignorant here , but I am making some controversial statement and may be some will tag me as a Hindu Fanatic

    But my Question is Why we need to adjust with Migrants ( Muslim , Christian and others ) This is Our Land and we have a First right on this land here We have rights ( Natural) to follow or not to follow something .. being a Migrant sufficient section of people must adjust with us , If they cant they are allowed to leave … Why we need to change and adjust for others .


    Comment by Pankaj | February 9, 2012

  13. @Ashish:- You’re effort’s will be in vain to discuss anything with Mr. Sanjeev.
    I asked same question from Mr. Sanjeev who claim himself vocal supporter of speech that how any one will consider the validity of Mr. Jha claims or Mr. Max Muller claims. If you search in existing literature than out of 100 interpretation of Holy Vedas only Mr. Jha has written like that or Mr. Muller both of whom don’t have that much authority to speak on Vedas.But since Mr. Sanjeev always find 1 argument out 100 researched argument and stick to it to prove his point.It’s mindset which Mr. Sanjeev created against Hinduism and other social claims of our day to day life.
    Dear you said it right we have ample amount of research which show miss interpretation of Vedas.
    But if you talk with this argument than probably Mr. Sanjeev will say that you’re un-Educated fools.
    Now i don’t understand what it means by educated, to forget beliefs that we got from our motherland or accept some other academia.

    Comment by Hitesh Kumar | February 9, 2012

  14. मुस्लिम राष्ट्रीय मंच के मुस्लिम भाइयों ने अमन प्रेम का सन्देश देते हुए एक ऐसे उदहारण को प्रस्तुत किया जो कभी देखा या सुना नहीं गया। इस समाचार को मेन स्ट्रीम मीडिया ने ब्रेकिंग न्यूज़ बना कर इसलिए नहीं दिखाया क्यूंकि इस समाचार से अमन और शान्ति का सन्देश मिलता है।

    मुस्लिम राष्ट्रीय मंच विगत ३ माह से “हम हिन्दुस्तानी, कश्मीर हिंदुस्तान का”, नाम से एक सशक्त अभियान चलाये हुए था। इस अभियान के अंतर्गत राष्ट्रवादी मुस्लिमों से मस्जिदों में प्रार्थनाएं की, व्याख्यान आयोजित किए एवं देश भर में सभाएं की।


    Comment by Hitesh Kumar | February 9, 2012

  15. @Shanthanu

    Excellent article.Appreciate your uncomplicated writing looks like your thoughts are free flowing without any confusion


    Truth is Indian laws are discriminatory case in point is Article 370 and the law allowing muslim men to marry more than once without divorcing.hence your argument does not hold good

    Comment by Sunandchand | February 9, 2012

  16. @chandra, Re “Lets promote the virtues of being a vegetarian.”, pl have a look at the 2 links at the end of the post (Additional Readings) – they support your case.

    @Nachiketas: Thanks for sharing yr comment. Interesting point: By banning cow slaughter, liberty wouldn’t vanish in its entirety.

    @Ashish: Thanks. I will. If you have any ready links, please share them here.

    @Pankaj: Don;t worry abt labels..but this does not need any “adjustment”. As I have noted above, cow slaughter (or beef) is not mandated in any religious text. More importantly though, almost all the Muslims in India share Hindu roots and common ancestry. The “Migrants” label is therefore not accurate.

    @Hitesh: Thanks for the comment/link (but link does not appear to be related to cow slaughter. Did I miss something?)

    @Sunandchand: Thanks for the kind words

    All: Pl read this somewhat related excerpt from a article by Pratap Bhanu Mehta (emphasis added):
    There is a tendency in courts — across different domains — to suspect the exercise of judgment. And therefore, their solutions are often to propose rules, so that there is no discretion left in the conventional sense of the term. We inherently suspect the exercise of judgment, and overcompensate for it by peddling the illusion that rules are the only effective check on arbitrariness. Between the binary of arbitrary discretion or rigid rules, lies the space for public reason. And few are willing to occupy it.

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 9, 2012

  17. @Hitesh Kumar
    Well in that case he is the loser.

    I have searched a lot but couldn’t find the soft copy. :-(

    Here’s the link for hard copy. Its cost just RS 40.


    Protect The Holy Cow, Say Vedas
    This book is written in response to a book written by D. N. Jha against cow. It brings out the Vedic philosophy on cow and how we should protect it as per Vedas.

    Comment by Ashish | February 9, 2012

  18. Dharampal is one of the most authentic Gandhian historians of India. His works spooked the Jhoollwala National University (JNU) into a state of shock.

    He has written a book about British Origin of cow slaughter with Mukundan . It is a masterpiece



    Dharampals bks available above.

    As a good digression here is his web site . Please go thru it. His Beautiful Tree is a fantastic piece of work. It is there as pdf in multiversity web site. Just download and read. Authentic!!!

    Comment by Suhas | February 9, 2012

  19. Sorry Here is Dharampaljis web site.

    The Cow slaughter book is not available for download. It may be available in Canadian archives site. Many bks banned in India is available in this site.

    Comment by Suhas | February 9, 2012

  20. may i know the name of buffalo meat.is it called by a different name than beef
    i have been part of gorkha celebrations where they cut a buffalo in duessehra and if it gets cut in a single shot the person who cuts is hailed and rewarded.its taken as a good omen.
    it was ahindu country till recent past and its kings where beleived to be avatars of lord vishnu.the last avatar king gyanendra gave two buffaloes for sacrifice to kamakhya temple on assuming the crown.


    why this hatred against buffalo while worshipping cow.is cow a brahmin and buffalo a dalit.classical example of hinduism is the love for cow and sacrifice of buffalo.its practised downsouth too at salem where buffaloes are sacrificed in thousands during the temple festival.
    the article has clearly ignored the objections by the tribal member and exhockey capatin munda on how they form a part of their diet. the brutally upper caste dominated constituent assembly laughed off the valid concerns of the honourable member belonging to the tribal community.
    the nagas have represented to the british for independence quoting how the cow loving congress and pork hating muslim league has no place for them as they enjoy both.are they all migrants to be ignored off.

    Comment by ganapathy | February 9, 2012

  21. How to ban cow slaughter? Simple, let all hindus and people who revere cow as a sacred aniaml should start taking cow milk and all related products. In this country, you will not get a government/political party to bring forward a law banning something which could harm their vote bank. So it is better to use cow related products and once there is increase in demand , supply will increase and in effect cow slaughter will decrease and there will be no need of any law banning cow slaughter. It’s better to find a solution which is within our reach rather than asking government to bring forward such a law.

    Regarding cow being eaten in past: If you read ramayana,mahabharatha or any of the 18 puranas it is always mentioned that cow has been sacred and was treated as an avatar of the divine. It was eaten by people who were called ‘Mlecha’,those residing out of this sub continent. You can find this point in the conversation between Karna and Shalya in mahabharatha.
    Yes, cow was given as a sacrifice in a yajna/yagam which was supposed to bring common good on a vast scale ie. to a country. And only little quantity was given as prasad. And before killing the cow, the killer chants the manthra which nearly means ‘I will be killed by this animal in my next life as reciprocation of this killing by me’.
    So it is false statement that cow used to be eaten in the past.

    Funnily some one in the commnets section wrote that ‘is cow a brahmin and buffalo a dalit’? How idiotic people can get?

    Comment by Ramamurthy | February 9, 2012

  22. Perhaps a more relevant point than cows being sacred to Hindus and therefore being spared slaughter, is the question of whether animals have the right to live their natural lives without harm. The fundamental question is whether animals are unique, sentient species which have a right to their own lives or whether they are merely products to be consumed by us?

    Those who are interested in animal rights can read up on the philosophical and ethical dimension of the argument, very cogently presented by Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton.

    Comment by K.Harapriya | February 9, 2012

  23. Being a liberal I have to say let the people decide what to do and not let the government interfere.

    If the people according to their social norms elect people who make a law to ban cow slaughter then so be it. Thats the essence of a liberal democratic environment.

    Government is a tool to make laws on the behalf of people.

    And hence cow slaughter law is not against liberal policies

    Comment by sachin kundu | February 9, 2012

  24. Here you go. Peter Singer for all.


    Moral Progress and Animal Welfare
    Peter Singer

    “PRINCETON – Mahatma Gandhi acutely observed that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” To seek to reduce the suffering of those who are completely under one’s domination, and unable to fight back, is truly a mark of a civilized society”

    Start of the article.

    Comment by Suhas | February 10, 2012

  25. Cow Slaughter must be banned Why ??
    1) Religiously:- Coz the (85 % Population Of Bharat the majority community & The 3rd largest religion in the world) Hindus consider her as mother ,Vedas mentioned Holy Cow as mother.

    2) Scientifically Proven :-Only cow milk is next to mothers milk for a baby Or new born.

    3)Economically:- Now a days milk & its products cost r high coz cows r reducing, Farmers r forced to purchase bulls in very high cost coz they r not easily available coz of slaughter houses, farmers r forced to purchase harmful & high cost chemical fertilizers coz they r not getting Gober fertilizer ,

    4) Health issues:-,In absence of cow, milk is unpure ,farmers r not getting gober fertilizer so no purity in vegatables & Crops,by using chemical fertilizers it leads to unhealthy foods leading harmfull effects to humans.

    5)A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime ,So nearly One cow in her life can feed Lakhs of people once a day while its meat is sufficent only for 80 people,fertilizer is extra .

    6) Saving cow means reducing Food crises in the world.

    7)Cow takes same time perioud as humans (9 months) to give birth, & scientifically proven cow milk is closest to human mother’s milk, so she desreved to be called MOTHER & deserved to be worshiped, all her life she sacrifice like our own mother & take care & feed us.

    Not only Ban cow slaughter But cow must be declared as National pride of Bharat ,Its only Bhartiya Breed of cow whose milk is so pure & Healthy .

    Comment by Truthseeker | February 11, 2012

  26. A few points:

    Please read up on/about the so-called “War on Drugs” in America, and how that has eroded personal liberty and freedom, how it has militarised and brutalised local police forces and how many billions of dollars have been spent on a futile agenda.

    So, pretty poor analogy, used in the context of personal freedom.

    Next, untouchability – again, very poor analogy – there is real harm that is caused to individuals due to this practice, not some wishy-washy “harm to my sentiment and emotions” that we are talking about in the case of cow slaughter.

    Finally, since we do not farm or breed cows for the slaughter house, where do these cows that are slaughtered come from? Are they all stolen animals or are they deserted animals or were they actually sold by the farmer who owned the animals?



    Comment by Patriot | February 16, 2012

  27. *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Honestly , this issue of Cow Slaughter is a bone of contention only in North and West India where Hindu-Moslem Divide and Religious Sentiments run so high,

    In Kerala fro instance Brahmins regularly eat Beef – Hindus kill COWS in KERALA ; and I guess they dont really care .

    Same goes in tamil nadu.

    If you think your COW is sacred then dont kill it.

    TOday Cow is Sacred. Tomorrow its gonna be Ban on Dog Slaughter by the PETA.

    For the info of general public, in North East States Dog is considered a delicacy.

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    Mathew: Pl read comments policy here: http://satyameva-jayate.org/legal-disclaimer/

    Comment by Mathew | February 22, 2012

  28. Hi
    Great post brother, but I would like to raise these few points in challenge. First, I am a brahmin and dont eat meat and cannot stand to see an animal killed to satisfy human taste buds.
    But, my value for freedom is higher. In a free society, Govt. cannot dictate what a person can/cannot eat based on emotional sentiments of the majority. Now untouchability is a completely different issue, as human lives are put in jeopardy. So Govt. has a role to support its citizens. Cow slaughter does not harm a person, and you cannot equate cows and humans in the same way. So Govt. has no legal rights to step in and ban it. Of course, the way the cows are bred and slaughtered is of paramount importance, but a cows life cannot be equated to a human life. It is a slippery slope. Tomorrow, folks might come up and say that snakes are sacred to them and should not be killed etc.

    Comment by Nikhilesh | February 24, 2012

  29. Shantanuji,

    Though I appreciate all the research that you have done for this article but going by your PS, this article is to defend the BJP government of MP that brings a bill that meets out harsher punishment for cow slaughter.

    In what is being discussed here I would say we have got our priorities really messed up. May I humbly remind that MP registers in worst performing states in child malnutrition. Only last month MMS said that its a national shame. And we are discussing cow slaughter? I would rather have these malnourished children fed milk and beef.

    Let personal choices of what one eats and doesn’t be kept out of governments purview. Else, as someone said earlier, it will lead to a slippery slope.

    Jai Hind.

    Comment by Anil | February 26, 2012

  30. Dear All: Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments..I have been somewhat snowed under work but hope to respond soon..

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 26, 2012

  31. Some quick points before I log off…

    To everyone who has responded with the liberal argument that the government cannot enact laws on X, Y or Z, are we not being extraordinary condescending – telling the unwashed millions what “laws” and “freedoms” are good for them – regardless of their emotions, beliefs and feelings?

    And whether a government cannot dictate X or Y should be decided by popular will, isn’t it? Will everyone who opposes legislators arguing for such laws – and legislative assemblies passing such laws also please comment/share their view on developments in Egypt? and their stance on Hamas coming to power?

    @Anil: Very hurried response. No one (incl me) is suggesting spending time and money on protecting cows over feeding children…
    Secondly, cow slaughter has been put in a separate category from killing of other animals for meat..no such prohibition on other meat is mentioned in Directive Principles. Ask yourself why?

    Comment by B Shantanu | February 26, 2012

  32. Let us keep the sentiments aside for the time being.

    The real reason was scientific. There is a scientific evidence, during Vedic period, that consuming Cows meat (Himwatkhand Cow) reduces the immunity and prone to diseases like leprosy and other diseases.

    There are other benefits to farmers. Its dung and urine was used as fertilizer to improve the potency of the soil. It kills the germs and the crops were immune to crop diseases. Also, by using its dung mixed with its urine as fuel and plastering the walls killed the germs and increase the life expectancy of the inhabitants.

    Rest we are all aware (from Ayurvedic journals) of the benefits of its milk (antibacterial characteristics), its decomposition of skin and tissues, bones etc.

    ।। नमो भारतम् , नमो संस्कृतम् ।।

    Comment by AAryan | February 27, 2012

  33. From ‘Cow killing is not sanctioned’ by Dr Hafeez Pasha:
    …Islam clearly sets out what is permitted and what is prohibited. All permitted things may be used and the prohibited avoided. The cow is among the permitted animals but there is no compulsion to eat it. Just as divorce is permitted but that does not mean that a man can divorce his wife without appropriate reason. Although horse is halal, eating it is not permitted because these animals are useful to mankind and consuming them will render them extinct. Same goes with the cow. Though cow is a permitted animal, it is not compulsory to eat its meat but, more important, to drink the milk it provides and consume ghee made from it.

    Iranian scholar Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111 AD), one of the most brilliant philosophers of Islam, stated that besides bread, whatever we eat is simply to satisfy our urge. At 28, he headed the Institute of Islam at Baghdad. In his book, Ihya Ulum ul-Din – The Revival of Religious Sciences (part 2, page 23, lines 17-19), he describes the detrimental effects of beef and the virtues of ghee and milk from the cow, thus: “The meat of cow is marz (disease), it’s milk is safa (health) and it’s ghee is dava (medicine).”

    It has been proven scientifically that regular drinking of cow milk is beneficial to the development of fine brain tissues. It helps sharpen memory, favouring remembrance of Allah. Therefore, the cow and its milk are important to development of human society. Those eager to eat meat may consume lesser animals such as sheep and goat.

    Purification reference
    There is only one story in the Holy Quran which describes the sacrifice of a cow: “When Moses said to his people: ‘Allah commands you that you sacrifice a cow.’ They said: ‘Are you making game of us?’
    …Thus Moses announced the sacrifice to the Israelites, and they treated it as jest.
    …Thus, by reading the Holy Quran, we can conclude that cow killing is not sanctioned and the only cow sacrifice which has been described was not meant for meat eating but for purification from sins.

    (The writer is a scholar from the Centre of Persian and Central Asian studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.)

    Comment by B Shantanu | March 23, 2012

  34. A gut wrenching, deeply disturbing 12-min clip from 2001 on the Indian Leather Industry. I am not sure to what extent such practices still prevail.
    Can anyone with contacts in the leather industry pl find out for me? Thanks. Please note that this clip is *not* suitable for children

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 7, 2012

  35. Thanks to Kanchan Gupta for alerting me to horse-meat ban in the US. Here is some more information on it..From Horse Meat Inspection Ban Lifted In The U.S., dt 11/30/11: …Although there are reports of Americans dining on horse meat a recently as the 1940s, the practice is virtually non-existent in this country, where the animals are treated as beloved pets and iconic symbols of the West.
    Lawmakers in California and Illinois have banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and more than a dozen states tightly regulate the sale of horse meat.
    Animal rights groups..argue that slaughtering is a messy, cruel process, and some say it would be kinder for owners to have their horses put to sleep by a veterinarian.
    …But U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., is lobbying colleagues to permanently ban horse slaughter because he believes the process is inhumane.

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 16, 2012

  36. By the way, Darul Uloom in Deoband clarified via a fatwa in Apr ’08 that ‘Eating beef is un-Islamic if there is ban’ (Manjari Mishra & Sameer Arshad, TNN Apr 27, 2008):
    LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: “Muslims must refrain from cow slaughter, beef eating or trading in cow hide,” Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom, Deoband, issued an edict on Friday.
    “Meat eaters can opt for buffaloes, goats, chicken and fish. Shariat doesn’t allow beef-eating if it’s prohibited under law,” Deoband’s fatwa department head Mufti Habibur Rehman said.
    …The fatwa is expected to have wide repercussions as it comes from Saharanpur, the town where the Darul-Uloom is situated. The area has maximum number of Muslim-owned slaughter houses and tanneries.
    The Centre banned cow slaughter in 1955. UP issued an ordinance in December 2001 declaring cow slaughter illegal. This was followed by Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act 2002, making the offence punishable by imprisonment from seven to 10 years or a fine upto Rs 10,000.
    The community leaders have welcomed the fatwa calling it an important development for the Hindu-Muslim amity. Noted activist Javed Anand said: “Muslims should respect Hindu sentiments and avoid cow slaughter. Influential seminary’s fatwa would go a long way in ensuring this.”

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 16, 2012

  37. Regarding reference of Beef eating in Veda. These are bunkum. Missionaries such as Max Muller tried to translate Veda. He had a motive behind it. It was to create confusion & reduce faith of Hindus on Veda.

    All incorrect, lies, half baked info was put as part of translation.

    All arguments which refers to Veda are directly-indirectly refer to same bunch-of-lies sold as a translation of Veda.

    How Max Muller learnt Sanskrit and understood Veda and translated it into English? Refer, Book by Rajeev Malhotra, breadking India.

    To understand Veda, need to talk to traditional Guru ( very less in number now days).
    Vedas are encrypted. Encryption not as in present days computer science. There are two meaning meanings of the same mantra. One will be literal translation other will be the true meaning.

    In Veda, there is a term called Mantra-Drasta. The one who understands the true meaning of mantra. Only the right person get that much power to un-lock and understand the true meaning. Others will simply see the literal translation.

    How do you think, the knowledge preserved in Veda was revealed to a foreigner or a common man, when our Rishi were able to understand after years of Tapasya?

    Please do not fall into trap of “discussion on beef eating” or references from Veda.
    These discussions are not new. They’re very old and used to confuse, engage and put Hindus in corner by questioning Hindu revered Veda.

    Why we start talking about Veda. Read and try questioning Quran. Try to engage them in points written in Quran. And then see the reaction of Left Liberals and Seculars?


    Comment by kaushal | April 16, 2012

  38. @kaushal :-

    Great buddy at least we know work of Rajiv Malhotra and infinity foundation and Great people like Anurag Sahangi and people like Parage Tope. But i afraid few people needs proof like how many paper Rajiv Malhitra published etc etc. Rajive Malhotra done a great job by exposing European and western system.
    We will not allow to sacrifice Our beliefs,tradition in name of Liberty.
    We need modernization without westernization.


    Comment by Hitesh Kumar | April 16, 2012

  39. From an email by Sh J Bhattacharjee..
    “Disinformation being propagated by a Retired Babu”
    This refers to G. Parthasarathy’s little post (below).
    The man must be hallucinating when he says that ” beef is regulalrly (sic) and quite normally taken (sic) in West Bengal..”
    I wonder what would happen if people take things “abnormally”.
    However, I will come to the main issue.
    I am restricting myself to G Parthasarathy’s observations on Bengal.
    …It is absolute garbage to say that beef is “regularly” consumed in West Bengal. Among some Muslims in West Bengal’s crescent enclaves (created by years of Congress, CPM and now Trinamul machinations) this may be the case, but here too it is not widespread (see below).
    Among Bengali Hindus, consumption of beef is taboo, even among the upper middle-class, Westernised Bongos. I come from a Brahmo family that has seen the most elegant fusion of Indian and Western cultures since the 1880s. Never, ever, has beef been allowed in our family and our extended family. My father spent 11 years in France and may or may not have consumed beef during his stay there. However, in India, beef has never crossed the threshold of our house. And this is the same with thousands of family, friends and associates that I know.
    Among Bengali Muslims till the 1980s, consuming beef was not encouraged. We had Bengali Muslims who have worked in our households or provided services (driver, tailor, carpenter, household goods supplier etc.), and they always said they did not eat beef. There was absolutely no reason to disbelieve them.
    A caveat – my observations would not probably apply to the upcountry Muslims who stay in our part of Bengal. In percentage terms, this segment would be a small minority.
    G Parthasarathy needs to cross-check his facts before he puts finger to keyboard.
    I am sending him a copy, just to make sure he receives his reality check.


    This is the comment from Sh Parthasarathy referred to above:
    Obsession with banning cow slaughter is a northern Indian phenomenon. Beef is regulalrly and quite normally taken in West Bengal and the Southern States.


    Comment by B Shantanu | April 30, 2012

  40. @Shantanu

    —-@Ashish: Thanks. I will. If you have any ready links, please share them here.—-

    Please find the link below for online read of Swami Ramswarup’s book called Protect The Holy Cow says Vedas.


    Comment by Ashish | June 5, 2012

  41. Placing this here for the record Where’s the beef? by Sh Krishen Kak.
    Hope to read and share a summary later

    Comment by B Shantanu | June 29, 2012

  42. Courtesy Radha-ji:
    This unpublished paper by Dr. Dharampal traces the history of cow slaughter. Dr. Dharampal makes an unapologetic observation that there must be total ban on catle slaughter and meat production for export because this is our ‘parampara’ as he puts it. This may be accessed on Vigilonline under Cow,Beef and Buffalo under ‘Documents’


    Comment by B Shantanu | July 11, 2012

  43. its a shame that these people are so worried about cow slaughter when they themselves promote killing of other animals in the name of religion like in the kaamakhya temple ………………..such a shame to be discriminating amongst animals too.

    Comment by kunal | September 30, 2012

  44. *** COMMENT EDITED ***

    Let me remind you all about basics of our constitution, I am surprised how the government, courts indulged in every issue which is not for them. Ban on any thing should be done after taking into account it’s affect on others, whether it complies with the validity of reasoning and in totality, and if there is same kind of concern for others sects also.

    Except Brahmins almost all other hindus in Kerala eat beef, even in tamilnadu and karnataka.

    many castes in hindus like the so called schedule castes, schedule tribes and backward caste people in all over India eat not only beef but also cats (pardis) dogs and snakes mainly in northeast. so what is vedic and for whom it is?

    Jains do not eat any living thing even onion and giger.( so ban slaughter of every animal as well as cultivation of these crops)

    Muslims do not eat pork. (and many other animal. (so ban that)

    The courts and Legislative bodies must be unbiased before giving any verdict and passing a law.

    Comment by Ather | October 20, 2012

  45. There is no mention of Cow slaughter in vedas.Vedas strictly prohibit animal sacrifice.Aswamedha Yajna doesn’t mean sacrifice of a horse.Naramedha Yajna doesn’t mean sacrifice of a human.Watch the video in the following link:

    Comment by Madhu | October 25, 2012

  46. Excerpts from Is India Really Afford To Kill Cattle Anymore? by Maneka Gandhi:
    . When people try and justify animal slaughter and meat export on the basis of earning money, it would be wise to look at the actual economic contribution of these so-called useless animals that you kill. A study by the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering put out the following figures five years ago.

    Our 73 million (this number is of 1990) draught animals work equivalent to 27 million megawatts of energy which means not only savings in terms of coal and other raw materials but also in terms of land for power projects and in pollution from noxious gases, effluents and flyash.

    They provide approx 100 million tonnes of dry dung a year costing Rs 5000 crores which saves 50 million tonnes of firewood which again means that many trees saved and more environmental damage prevented. It is calculated that if these 73 million animals were to be replaced, we would need 7.3 million tractors at the cost of 2.5 lac each which would amount to an investment of 180,000 crores. In addition 2 crore, 37 lakh and 50 thousand tonnes of diesel which would mean another 57,000 crore rupees. This is how much we owe these animals, and this is what we stand to lose by killing them.

    Loss of cattle deprives us of dung for fuel and fertiliser which means loss of biogas and trees cut for firewood. In 1994, India for the first time had to import cow dung from Holland while chemical fertiliser import has gone up from about 1 crore in 1960 to about Rs 450 crores in 1990 to triple that in 2005.

    Look at our other imports of animal products: Import of milk and milk powder has risen from 6 tonnes in 1950 to 65 tonnes in 1990 while butter oil has gone from half a tonne to 16 and a half tonnes. Again triple that for 2006.

    16 lakh litres of water are needed daily to keep ONE moderate sized slaughterhouse clean. That is drinking water for 30 lakh people

    Can a water and energy starved country like India really afford to kill cattle anymore?

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 25, 2012

  47. Here is a 30-min video on cattle trafficking through AP and TN by the Temple Worshippers Society in association with Blue Cross..(not suitable for children and may not be suitable for work):

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 25, 2012

  48. The vast generation of Indians born in or after the 60s are probably unaware of these facts and the history around Cow Slaughter legislation which I discovered today.
    In 1947, Sardar Datar Singh (grandfather of Maneka Gandhi) Expert Committee set up to examine the issue of ban on Cow Slaughter suggested a total ban on cattle slaughter after a 2 year grace period during which useless and non-productive cattle may be slaughtered.
    In 1948, the state government of UP supports the GOI Expert Committee recommendations and recommends a total ban on slaughter in the state.
    In 1950, Nehru writes to all state governments opposing ban on the slaughter
    In 1954, he threatens to resign when a non-official bill supporting a total ban on slaughter of cow and its progeny draws to a close after almost 2 years of deliberation. The house seems to be in general agreement favouring the bill. Replying to the debate on the Bill, Nehru threatens to resign if the Bill is passed
    In the same year, the Ministry of Animal Husbandry that a total ban is not feasible – because there is no enough fodder for all the cattle in the country!
    In 1955, UP State govt goes ahead and enacts a Cow Slaughter (Prevention) Act
    The Act allows sale of beef but only in closed containers at airports and railway stations.
    In Nov 7, 1966, thousands of Sadhus and Sanyasis march to Delhi demanding immediate and total ban on cow slaughter. The protestors are fired at; Several Sadhus are killed.
    Indira Gandhi constitutes another high-profile committee to look into the matter. It is headed by Justice Sarkar – ex CJI. The committee includes the Shankaracharya of Puri, Guru Golwalkar, Charan Singh, DP Mishra + other ministers.
    Nothing came out of it.

    In 1976, National Commission on Agriculture recommends raising buffaloes not just for milk but also for meat – including meat for export.

    In 2002, AB Vajpayee constitutes the National Commission for Cattle, chaired by Dharmpal. There appears to be no “Action Taken” report filed by Govt – or at least none that is traceable.
    Source: Video by Temple Worshippers Society, “Their Last Journey” http://youtu.be/o8-Hi2N8FcE

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 26, 2012

  49. *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***
    Comments have been combined in a single comment. Pl keep your comments concise and to the point. If your comment is very long, consider postting it on your own website/blog and place a link here.


    ..From the direct inspiration of Acharya Vinoba Bhave (Bhoodaan Movement), a non-violent satyagrah is going on before Deonar Slaughter House, Mumbai, Asia’s largest slaughter house, for the past 30 years. A major achievement of the satyagrah is that it has managed to make this sensitive issue non-religious, non-communal and non-political, basing its stand on ethical, ecological and economical considerations alone. Elders from villages in Chhattisgrah, Haryana, Bihar and other states leave their farming commitments, and come for this satyagrah, considering a dear and important cause, ill-defended by the newer generation. They have been giving all-day vigils and voluntary arrests, stopping the incoming bullock-stuffed trucks at the gates of the slaughter-house, for 30 years now. It has been hailed as a “solitary light-house in troubled waters”.

    It feels alarming that none among us, in the present young generation, have had the sensibility to look at the issue, evading the obvious, much-misinterpreted and much-misused communal associations. If there is a truly national and pan-cultural problem in India, this is one.

    I invite all of you to consider assembling even once, for a non-violent satyagrah protest, at the gates of Deonar Slaughter House. It could be a warm way to assure our seniors from the villages, that, “We are aware and we care.” It would boost the morale of their lonely 30 year long non-violent struggle in the face of excessive consumerism, communal rhetoric and depletion of fundamental ethical values.
    Experience the brutalities of slaughter industry, experience the fear you feel of being hounded by illegal slaughter-house mafias, most importantly, feel what a village family feels for the cattle, which it is forced to sell! Act, experience, judge, learn, revise, agree, Act!

    • What are the present day challenges in putting an end to cattle slaughter?

    1. Perception of the farmers that bull is not viable economically, more so, if it is old. The bull has to remain unemployed for a significant portion in the year, but still must consume fodder, of which the scarcity is acute. Moreover, bull requires human overseeing and there is an acute labour shortage in villages. A tractor, in contrast, can till land of even neighbouring farms, in very less time and effort, and moreover, does not require resources when it is idle. It is all right to slaughter an old, worthless cattle.

    2. Bullock aided agriculture, is primitive, labour-intensive and inefficient. Mechanisation is essential to cater to the massive and still increasing population.

    3. The significant demand for meat in India and abroad. Popular but misguided perception and non-vegetarian food is essential for good health. Beef is considered as a cheap source of protein.

    4. Cattle protection is seen as having religious overtones and considered to be a misfit with the notion of a secular India.

    5. India is no more an agriculture-dependent nation, much less, dependent on a cattle-based agriculture. Agriculture’s contribution to GDP is steadily declining and presently contributes only 15 % to it. Even in rural India, it only provides employment to no more than 50 % of the population.

    6. Average milk yield per year of an Indian cow is one of the lowest (1154 kg), compared to China (2,282 kg), U.S.(9954 kg), Israel (12546 kg). It is uneconomical to rear indigeneous breeds for milk. All present planning of the dairy industry keeps buffalo and the hybrid cattle as the central concerns.

    7. How can one arrange alternative employment for slaughter-house workers?

    8. Fertilizers are preferred to manure. Not every house can afford biogas plants and vermicompost pits. It is difficult to extract cow urine, in the absence of technology and know-how for small farming families. The modern day usages of cow urine, while present, are not very well researched, and

    • Even from a utilitarian point of view, why is it still important to stop cattle slaughter?

    1. The fertilisers are reducing the fertility of land. Present agriculture is not sustainable. Organic farming, with cattle and the Panchagavya, at the centre, comes to be a very futuristic, scientific, eco-friendly, sustainable practice.
    Satyameva Jayate! Jai Hind!

    Comment by Kumar Arunachal | April 2, 2013

  50. The re are two types of milk A1 and A2 according to scientists and pioneer work done in NewZealand and they findings suggest that A1type milk contains protein responsible for atherosclerosis leading to heart and vascular diseases. Most of the cows produce A1 type milk in the west, AMERICAS and all over but most of the Indian cows produce type A2 milk which is better for health and has protein good for human health.
    Indiian indigenous cows milk is considered best for health.
    New Zealand scientists are trying to convert the future cows to produce A2 type milk and they are successful in their work.

    Comment by DR.S.H.Sharma | April 15, 2013

  51. Somewhat related..From Could I bring myself to eat a guinea pig? By Paula Dear:

    …When British TV presenter Philip Schofield tweeted about eating a guinea pig in Peru last year, he was criticised online and in newspapers, including a Daily Mail story with the headline: “TV presenter blasted for boasting about scoffing ‘pet’.” It quoted Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler as saying: “This callous provocation is despicable.”

    Indeed, some argue animals like this could be the future. Guinea pigs reproduce fast, taking up very little space and efficiently processing their simple diet of grass and vegetable scraps.

    Raising cattle is a drain on resources, they point out. By comparison, guinea pig, squirrel, and other rodents are “low-impact protein sources”.

    Matt Miller, a science writer for the US-based Nature Conservancy, is writing a book about the benefits of eating “unconventional” meats.

    “Many animals that some consider ‘bizarre’ or ‘unconventional’ make a lot more sense – ecologically, economically, personally – to eat than modern, industrial meat,” he says.

    Miller focuses on a number of rodents that are “abundant and can be sustainably harvested”, like squirrels, capybaras – the world’s largest rodent, also eaten in Venezuela – and guinea pigs.

    Comment by B Shantanu | June 11, 2013

  52. Dear Shantanu,

    The Indian (read Hindu) society has had a very long tradition of questioning man’s relation with nature. Another tradition has been of conveying multi-layered messages through the use of symbols & stories.

    I would like to point your attention to one such story – one of Rajah Prithu in the Brahma Purana. It is on Prithu’s name we call this globe as Prithvi. In the story the earth takes the form of a cow while escaping Prithu’s exploitation. One get’s very curious as to why is the earth takes the form of a cow !? addressed as Gaurupa. The riddle is solved further in the story, when the earth allows different people to milch her and thus satisfy their hunger, gain nutrition in exchange of a guarantee of protection and care.

    There are other such examples. Thus the Cow has also symbolized nature – and this particular story conveys the message of sustainability, amongst other things.

    Now, the symbolic value is not tangible – like the scientific value of cow dung, or urine. In a utilitarian world, everyone would look at the tangible. But, in the process the symbolic value is lost.

    Cow slaughter – thus for me is destroying an age old message of sustainability – ironically while at the same time we are importing western concepts on sustainability. It is nonsensical, even criminal !

    Hemant Rajan Naidu

    Comment by Hemant Rajan Naidu | May 20, 2014

  53. Its shame on us that India stand strong in the export of beefs its shocking news. now its high time we all need to strong and demand govt like this come on we could have attack on Man Mohan Singh sonia gandhi govt beef have become large exporter in India how can it happen in the presence of govt. let us all stand hard against those who harm Cow now its religious issue. mind you dear friends sonia gandhi is very selfish lady she never cares about us.UP is the relevant place for exporting cow beefs what the hell akhilesh yadav were doing? so let us ask Modi BJP govt to stop such activities as we give great respect to COWS If anyone found with such barbaric act punishment should be Death.w e can tolerate anything but cutting Cows, Buffaloes, Goat definitely we can’t. Modi come on we can expect you to stop this acts in India. attack Man Mohan, sonia and get the justice done. we want justice its bloody shame.
    Modi ji you are the only hope we have got. The very first thing I need from your end is to stop killing of Cows, Buffaloes as we can use them for other purposes such as Gobar gas.Pls pls pls BJP we need justice. We do respect Cows Indeed.
    pass this messsage dear Friend

    Comment by CHURCHILL KUMAR SHAH | June 8, 2014

  54. I am totally against the killings of the Govansh. All citizens of India should stand for this noble cause. This is my appeal to everyone apart from his religion and caste should participate in the movement for preventing GOHATTYA or COW SLAUGHTERING. This is very serious issue.If we loose cows,bullocks and calves by slaughtering them we will also loose our farming and chemical pesticides will destroy our whole agriculture land. For saving the agricultural land we need GOVANSH. The dung and urine (GOBAR AUR GOMOOTRA0) of cow will protect our agricultural land. The food from the pesticide use is also harmful to our human body and results into cancer and other many diseases. So we should be careful about our next generation. For protecting our next generation we have to protect govansh. The gomata nourished our many last generations by giving milk,dung,and gomootra also giving bullocks for our farming. The financial and economical-commercial view, the religious view, the political and historical, emotional view behind cow protection should also be cinsidered.

    Comment by Milind Kulkarni | June 20, 2014

  55. Somewhat tangentially related…
    Shuddh desi gau: Govt allots Rs 500 cr to protect indigenous cattle breeds By Firstbiz Staff,
    Amid concerns over extinction of of indigenous cattle breeds, the government yesterday launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to be implemented in the ongoing 12th Five Year Plan for protection, preservation and conservation of the breeds.

    Under the mission, funds will be allocated for setting up of integrated indigenous cattle centres i.e ‘Gokul Grams’, establishing breeder’s societies called ‘Gopalan Sangh’, strengthening of bull mother farmers to conserve high genetic merit indigenous breeds and assisting institutes which are repositories of best germplasm among other activities.

    Out of 37 recognised indigenous cattle breeds, breeds such as ‘Krishna Valley” breed in Karnataka, ‘Nimari’ in Madhya Pradesh, ‘Vechur’ in Kerala, ‘Punganur’ in Andhra Pradesh and ‘Pulikulam’ in Tamil Nadu are rapidly declining in the country warranting immediate attention.

    At present Indian farmers rely on several foreign cow breeds – like the Jersey-Holstein cross-breeds, black-and-white Holsteins from the Netherlands and the British Brown Jersey cow — for a variety of needs like breeding and better quality milk, according to The Hindustan Times.

    India is the largest milk producer in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, with a 16 percent share of global production.

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 29, 2014

  56. Posting a couple of links here for the record:

    Everyone has a ‘sacred cow’: Horse slaughter banned in US IANS, New York, Oct 10, 2015, from which: Horse slaughter is effective banned in the US through a convoluted budget tactic while two bills are pending before the US Congress to make it permanent.

    While the bill for an outright ban works its way through Congress, the present backdoor horse slaughter ban works like this: The budget that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama last year prohibited the agriculture department from spending money on inspecting horse slaughter houses. Without inspections, the slaughter houses cannot operate legally and that effectively banned horse slaughter.

    Why Indian Muslims must end cow slaughter and start respecting Hindu sentiments
    by Uday Mahurkar, 13/10/15, from which: The debate over cow slaughter has more of a religious context than an economic one. Slaughtering cows at temples before demolishing them and then converting them into mosques was common during the Sultanate period and till the advent of Akbar. The only two rulers besides Akbar who tried to prevent cow slaughter in deference to the Hindu religious sentiment were Zainul Abidin of Kashmir (1420-1470) and Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur (1580-1627), better known as one of the greatest patrons of Indian classical music and worshipper of goddess Saraswati.

    Otherwise history, particularly before Akbar, is replete with episodes which show that slaughtering the cow was the chief weapon of Muslim rulers to spread radical Islam by insulting Hindu religious sentiments. However, after Akbar, Aurangzeb revived the evil practice. When he came to Ahmedabad as governor in 1645, the first thing he did was to break the Chitamani Jain Temple and slaughter a cow there, before converting it into a mosque. The temple was later restored by his tolerant brother Dara Shikoh. So, it is no wonder that many Muslims, especially Wahabi Muslims (who dislike Akbar for his liberal views), slaughter cows also from a religious angle.

    Importantly, the works of eminent historians like Dr RC Mazumdar, Jadunath Sarkar, Ishwari Prasad and VD Mahajan – who were by no means of the Hindutva persuasion, but nationalist intellectuals respecting religious sentiments – confirm how slaughtering cows was part of the strategy of radical Muslim rulers to put down the Hindus. And that is the reason why Mahadji Shinde (Scindia), the great Maratha general and Wakil-e-Mutaliq (protector) of emperor Shah Alam-II, got the emperor to issue a sanad reviving the ban on cow slaughter in 1792 AD as a present to himself for the services he had rendered against the Rohilla menace.

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 18, 2015

  57. Worth a read: Why I believe my driver’s version about Dadri October 12, 2015, by Vandana Vasudevan from which:
    I chatted with Dharampal about the recent disturbance in Dadri and he had a different version about the events than what we hear in mainstream media.
    He said that on that fateful day, a cow that had strayed from the herd had been caught and killed for its meat. Four men had seen the its hide being buried in the field and had therefore gotten incensed. Now, cattle cost a fair amount of money. Each calf I am told is about a lakh of rupees and the price for a full grown cow could go up to a couple of lakhs more. Every cow, even a straying one, belongs to someone, so killing another person’s animal (forget cow, it could be goat, pig, hen or whatever) amounts to thievery and damage of personal property. If this version is correct, it’s a question of money and property, rather than religion, apart from the fact that in UP cow slaughter is illegal.

    But this is not about the killing, which any right minded person of course condemns. This is about the trigger and the events leading upto it. There are many versions of that going around and you are free to choose yours depending on your affiliations. This, however, is a version of the regular people who live there. I know it is just a few people and they are not investigative journalists. But I am inclined to believe them because they have no agenda, nothing to gain or lose by cooking up any story, no votes to target, no one to appease. The word on the street is often the most credible word.

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 18, 2015

  58. Link to “Review of Beef in Ancient India” (pdf; ~20MB)

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 18, 2015

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