India is a country where beef controversies are very normal. Every second day
we get news about cow slaughter and riots related to it. Mainly it is a matter
of fight between two religions, Hindus and Muslims. This is not a new thing
since the 3rd century it is a matter of debate. In Islam, cow slaughter is
allowed whereas in Hindus cow is consider sacred. Hindus consider the slaughter
of cows as disrespect of their religion. Once cow slaughter was banned by the
BJP government but Supreme Court changed it.
There are many states in India where cow slaughter is a crime, for example,
Maharashtra, the second most populated state of India constrained of meat dishes
and if anyone finds slaughtering cow they may be jailed for five years or fine
up to RS 10000. Haryana is also one of them.
There are only seven states and UTs at present that do not have enacted
concerning the butchers of bovine. Article 48 of our constitution also prohibits
cow slaughter. India is the third most consumer of beef and producer of 25% of
meat in the world. There are many constitutional provisions about the ban on cow
slaughter. Since the beginning this matter is debatable. Politics has been
played on the name of the cow. It becomes a vote bank for the politicians. Even
when Britishers came to India they also tried to take advantage of this thing.
Every time when incidents related to cows happen in our country, there are lots
of people who started blaming Muslims without knowing fully about the incident.
This causes riots most of the time. Hindu / Muslim riots are very common in
India. We can say that it is the misfortune of cows that people are fighting in
the name of cow, even though she is not safe.
What is the beef?
As per the definition given in the Oxford English dictionary, the flesh of
cow/bull or ox which is eatable is called beef. Beef is the culinary name of
meat. It is an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates. Its taste is also
better than other meats.
Relevance of cow in two major religions i.e. Hinduism and Islam
In Hinduism cow is consider holy because she has a connection with Lord Krishna.
She is considering a mother. She is worshipped by the Hindu people. Hinduism
included Jain/ Buddhism/ Zoroastrianism etc. In Islam, cow slaughtering is
considered a religious practice generally done on auspicious occasions like
festivals. Hindus in ancient India continued eating beef. During the period of
Rig-Veda, the oldest Hindu holy literature beef was eaten by many people but
when guests arrived female of species was eaten.
As for Hindus cow is a sacred animal similarly Muslims consider pig or pork as
sacred and it is not allowed to eat pig or pork in Muslims. Pieces of literature
such as dharma/ Brahmana stated that a cow or bull should be put to death so as
to eat it when a guest arrives. As per this literature cow and bull are
considered sustenance. In Islam also cow was sacrificed and eaten. Shatapatha
Brahmana and Yajnavalya are two Hindu kinds of literature that are contradictory
with each other.
One is allowed to eat beef and the other is against eating beef. There was no
contradiction about beef-eating or not eating in Islam religion they are pretty
clear about that. Vegetarianism comes in Hinduism after the 4th century. Muslims
are not the believer of vegetarianism. Mahabharata an epic Sanskrit literature
had disallowed killing and eating of beef. It said that cow produced food
without killing therefore she should be preserved and domesticated and used for
In Islam cow was allowed to sacrifice on certain auspicious occasions.
Sanskritization is also one factor that shifts Hinduism to vegetarianism. Since
the beginning non-vegetarianism was followed.
If you see the history you came to know that there were many Mughal emperors who
banned beef in India during their resign. A few examples of such leaders are
Babar, Jahangir, Hyder Ali of Mysore, etc. It is said that Jahangir banned beef
due to the very famous festival of Jains that is Paryushan.
Though 400 years ago India was ruled by orthodox Mughal rulers there was an
understanding of such things. But there are also some Mughal rulers who removed
this ban, Aurangzeb was one of them. But after the mutiny of 1857 again it was
banned by some Mughal rulers but at that time they did not have such powers. If
you see the history you came to know about one more important fact that cow was
never the concern of the people.
It was just the politics of votes. Actually, we can also say that the cow
protection movement of the 19th century was to tyrannize the Muslims. As we know
that Muslims are minorities in India therefore many times such things happen in
history. Gandhi endeavor on vegetarianism and due to this Muslims were against
Gandhi. But Gandhi was never in support of the beef ban as our country is a
If you see the history of Marathas you come to know that Chhatrapati Shivaji had
banned cow slaughter and made it a punishable offense. Britisher's perspective
regarding cattle- Britisher's had totally different way of seeing all this. If
you read about the western culture you came to know about that they have a
tradition of eating beef with whiskey. Robert clive the two-time
governor-general of Bengal came to India and found Indian culture and
Then a question came into his mind, why it is so? He found cow is one of the
reasons behind it. He discovered that there were no. of cattle in India who were
used for agriculture and cow was also one of them. Therefore to attack the
Indian prosperous agriculture he targeted cows. In 1760 he opened the first cow
slaughterhouse in India. Now as a result of all these chemical fertilizers had
been used in the agriculture fields. Before this cow dung was used as fertilizer
in agricultural fields.
In 1852 first Gaurakshini Sabha was establish by Dayanand Saraswati who was the
founder of Arya Samaj in Punjab. Revolt of 1857 took place in the central and
northern parts of India. The main cause of that revolt was that the new Enfield
rifle had a greased paper that had to be bitten before loading the cartages in
rifles. These greased papers were made up of beef and pork which made both
Hindus and Muslims angry because the cow was holy in the Hindu religion and pork
was holy in the Muslim religion.
This made them think about the revolution that took place in 1857. Now both
Hindus and Muslims are together because that greased paper hurts their religious
sentiments. Both Hindus and Muslims thought that Britishers were trying to hurt
their religion as a result 1857 revolt was took place. Legislature for a beef
ban in India- As our country is a secular nation this thing related to cows is
very difficult to handle. When it comes to lawmaking, again it becomes difficult
to make any strict law because it hurt the feeling of other religion. That cow
thing is always between Hindu and Muslims.
Even after all this, our country has certain prohibitions related to this
which are given below:
- Every state has power to make laws related to the beef ban in India. It
is because in our country situation of every state is different. Some states
have Hindu majority and some has Muslim majority. If it comes under the
central government, maybe it becomes chaotic.
- Beef ban comes under state list it was clear by the above explanation.
- In article-48 of the Indian constitution, it was written that the
state shall Endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern
and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and
improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and
other milch and draught cattle. All the above prohibitions are there to
protect the cow in India.
There were many constitutional debates regarding this particular beef ban in
constitutional assembly. Its not easy for the framers of the constitution to
make such prohibitions. There was a huge debate between the members of the
constitutional assembly regarding the cattle beef ban. Seth Govind das
requested in the constituent assembly to ban cow slaughter in India.
There were many leaders like Shibban Lal Saksena, Thakur Das Bhargare,
Ramnarayan Singh, Ram Sahai, Raghel Vira, R.V. Dhulekar, Chaudari Ranbir,
etc . all these people are from the same community that is Hindu. When we
see the B.N. draft we come to know that there was no cow safety thing in
that draft. It was also supported by many people by giving argument of
Disadvantages and Advantages of cow slaughter are given below:Disadvantages:
- India is one of the biggest beef suppliers if it gets ban economically
it's not good for our country.
- It divides the society in parts on the name of religion.
- Create unnecessary chaos in the society.
- May spread communal riots in the society.
- India is one of the biggest beef supplier therefore economically it
uplift our country.
- Balance the food chain.
- Helps many industries to earn profit such as leather industries.
We are living in a secular country and such laws like ban on cow slaughter are
very difficult to implement in such countries. If such laws will be entertain
then, it will be a great danger to the communal harmony of the society.
unnecessary disturbances will be created such as riots, protests, etc.
Minorities can feel bias because their personal laws allowed cow slaughter. As
per my research Hinduism is the only religion which does not allow cow
slaughtering and consider cow as holy.
They consider cow sacred because of lord Krishna and stories related to him and
cow. Lord Krishna shares a special bonding with cow as per Hindu's spiritual
books. But now days cow has become matter of debate which is very unfortunate
for our country. It become a Hindu/Muslim thing now. Politicians are just
playing politics on the name of cow.
They do not have any care for the Hindu , Muslim or other religion. They just
care about their votes which they got on the name of the cow. Some give
reasoning that this law if implemented will violate the freedom of religion. But
nothing is like that because this freedom can be restricted on the certain