Home Latest News Indian Court Suspends Controversial Cow Slaughter Ban

Indian Court Suspends Controversial Cow Slaughter Ban

by AFP

Indranil Mukherjee—AFP

Tamil Nadu court rules order to be held in abeyance for four weeks after petitioners say it infringes on right to eat what they choose

An Indian court on Tuesday temporarily suspended a ban imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on the sale of cattle for slaughter, dealing the first legal blow to the controversial measure.

The government last week prohibited the sale and purchase of cows—an animal considered sacred for Hindus—for slaughter across India.

The sudden ruling sparked protests against what many saw as an overreach by the Hindu-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Some states where cow slaughter is legal vowed to fight the decree. The Madras High Court in the southern state of Tamil Nadu stayed the federal ban on Tuesday, becoming the first jurisdiction to mount a successful challenge.

“The court ruled that the order be put in abeyance for four weeks and asked the central and state governments to reply to the petition filed by my client,” Ajmal Khan, a lawyer for the petitioners, told AFP. The petitioners from Tamil Nadu objected to the ban, saying it infringed on their right to eat what they choose.

Beef and buffalo meat is a common delicacy in some south and northeastern Indian states but taboo in most of India. Some states organized “beef fests” to protest the ban. Organizers in Kerala state killed a calf, triggering outrage and counter rallies by BJP supporters where cows were adorned with flowers.

The slaughter of cows, as well as the possession or consumption of beef, is banned in most but not all Indian states. Some impose up to life imprisonment for infringements.

The new federal ban affected not just the trade in cows but bulls, bullocks, buffaloes, calves and camels.

Kerala, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Puducherry—four jurisdictions that allowed cow slaughter—have said they will resist the ban.

Modi’s ascent to power in 2014 has spurred demands for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter by radical Hindu groups, who often resort to violence over the sacred animal. At least a dozen people, mostly Muslims, have been killed by Hindu mobs over rumors that they were eating beef, slaughtering cows or smuggling them.

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1 comment

Venkatesh June 1, 2017 - 3:08 pm

Theoretically I am against meat eating for reasons. Reasons like meat wasn’t a natural food for the early woman and man. Except for some insects and molluscs that could be eaten without cooking and animal secretions like milk and possibly blood and honey and other deposits including excreta meat per se was inedible until humans learned food processing.
That said, I must admit that I am a hypocrite of the highest order because I do eat meat maybe once in a month. I can not take it well if someone came in the way of my carnivorous indulgence even when I fully well know the truth of my hypocrisy.
Now, it isn’t difficult for me to imagine how hard it would be for someone always used to eating meat either out of necessity or habit or as a choice for mere indulgence.
What meat it is that you or anyone else eats, as long as it is not human meat or as long as it is not against the law of the land, like pork in many Islamic countries, no one should have an issue with that. Food and anything else you do with your body and mind in private spaces is an intimate act which no one else should control; not even a government.
If for cultural reasons or for public safety reasons some consumptions by citizens have to be controlled- like pork and alcohol in an Islamic society or tobacco in a Sikh society or for that matter beef in a Hindu society, the effort to bring about such norms must follow a natural curve.
A prohibition abruptly imposed would rather create a lot more social stress and unintended negative consequences like black market and emotional responses from the affected populace which might far outweigh the benefits of such a prohibition or abrupt change to the law, even when such a change is legitimate in terms of popular mandate or social necessity.
An inclusive society like India a maturing democracy like India and the eternal experiment of the good and bad of all human endeavour that is my country India can do better than that by not imposing directly or by other means what my Muslim brothers and Christian brothers and hypocrites brothers eat or not.
Maybe it is also time for my Muslim sisters and brothers to re-evaluate their perception of the sentiments everyday Hindu or an atheist around her and see if she could go about living her life as she wants without making too much of political noise but putting her foot down when Hindu phantom starts becoming real.
Maybe we should all learn a lesson or two from the Hindu community in Pakistan.



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