Mujahid Ul Islam
What more is pitiable in the 21st century, when a State decides what an individual should eat, what religion should one profess and to whom should one marry? Love Jihad, Ghar Wapasi and propagating anti-conversion laws in this age is indeed an insult to the sacred institution of democracy.
Belief system, marriage issues and food habits in any civilized and democratic society are to be decided by individual alone according to his thinking, ideological compatibilities and tastes.
It is indeed disgraceful and outrageous when the state decides it for an individual. It is rather a violation of the basic individual rights, a must in any civilized society. It is certainly the murder of democracy.
Implementation of Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act 1995 and banning beef however is not only an encroachment into the belief system of minorities and violation of Individual rights but also an economically unwise step.
We ought to know that despite India’s large and varied population of livestock, it lacks in productivity and output due to poor quality of livestock. Indian animals lack in stamina for both, draught and milk yield.
The production of meat is also least satisfactory. It is also pertinent to mention that India has the largest numbers of cattle in the world. Though, the income generated from meat export in 2003-04 was only 1,171.4 crores.
Yet cattle and buffalo constitute around 30% of the total meat production of the country every year. Nevertheless meat industry generates employment and revenue for millions of people across the country thereby adding to the State Domestic Product and Gross Domestic Product.
Banning beef in Maharashtra henceforth would curtail the development of meat industry to a great extent leaving thousands jobless and redundant.
Moreover the absence of red meat, often called the poor man’s meat, would eventually lead to hike in the prizes of mutton, chicken etc, pressurizing the non-vegetarian chunk of population to rely on much costlier meat.
We also ought to know that milch animals and draught animals are never brought to the slaughter houses. Only unhealthy, infirm and weak animals are slaughtered for meat.
In a state where there is already a shortage of fodder on a large scale, these unhealthy, infirm and weak animals will have to feed on the fodder which is meant for healthy animals. This is again an attack on the fodder of healthy, milch and draught animals.
Another problem associated with it, which is obvious to arise, is that who will look after these animals?
Will the state do that?
(Mujahid Ul Islam is a Ph.D Scholar from Department of Geography, Aligarh Muslim University)