Planning Commission’s fetish for beef beef
The Working Group on Animal Husbandry of the Planning Commission had recommended lifting the ban on beef export. In the face of protests and severe criticism of the recommendation, the group issued a press note terming it as a clerical mistake, giving out the message that expert body’s recommendations are drafted by clerks.
People were stunned and pained to read the recommendations of the Working Group on Animal Husbandry of the Planning Commission asking for lifting the existing ban on beef exports by revising the export and import policy. The suggestion was for the 12th Five Year Plan. The report led to a spate of protests by several institutions including political parties. Several prominent bodies wrote to the Prime Minister, who is the Chairman of the Planning Commission, to reject the recommendations. MPs of various political parties, put daunting questions to the Prime Minister reminding him that even the most cruel kings of the Mughal Empire including Babar being an orthodox Muslim, had banned cow slaughter. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, who ruled the Mysore State in the present Karnataka and made cow slaughter a punishable offence. Anyone who ate beef was punished by chopping off his hands. This was obviously done because even the cruel Mughal rulers did not want to hurt the emotional feelings of Hindus and several other communities who worshipped cow as their mother. They knew that cow slaughter can lead to an open revolt by Hindus.
Do clerks run the Planning Commission?
The Working Group has now clarified that the mention of lifting the ban on beef export was not the policy of the government but a ‘clerical’ mistake. This is mind-boggling. Should we now believe that the policies of the Planning Commission are decided by clerks and not by experts? The Working Group on Animal Husbandry of the Planning Commission is expected to be an expert body on the subject and its chairman Dr VK Taneja, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, is expected to carefully draft every word of its report in consultation with other members who are also supposed to be experts, and not leave it to clerks to do this job. It is as if the generals of our armed forces in the event of a war with an enemy country leave the conduct of operations with clerks. That is what Dr Taneja and his team have done. Planning Commission is no less an important body than the armed forces.
The Working Group of the Planning Commission should have been aware that desi cow’s population in India has already reached a very low level of around ten crore from 117 crore in 1947 while the human population has shot up to 121 crore from a mere 30 crore in 1947. Lifting of the ban on beef export would have resulted in complete annihilation of desi cows within month. Already, there have been innumerable instances of the so-called ‘milk’ being manufactured with urea and detergent. Consumption of the synthetic ‘milk’ is leading to people suffering from incurable diseases and dying. Export of beef would have completely finished the cow population and denied our children desi cow’s milk which has all the properties of mothers’ milk.
Planning Commission should think positive
It should be far more constructive if the Planning Commission sets apart a substantial amount of money to carry forward research into extremely positive uses of desi cow’s panchgavya (composed of milk, curd, ghee, gaumutra and gobar) whose combination with certain Ayurvedic medicines is curing diseases which were hitherto considered to be incurable. A full-fledged 80-bed hospital in Valsad (Gujarat), with gaushala attached to it, is successfully curing patients of deadly disease like cancer. Multinational drug manufacturers have an eye on this hospital and they may have already stolen the formulation of the medicine to patent it and make trillion of dollars in the world market. A number of Vaids are successfully treating patients with panchgavya-based medicines of diseases like leucoderma, eczema, renal failures, psoriasis, arthritis, hypertension, leprosy and several other deadly diseases.
Finally, this writer submits to the Planning Commission that because of senseless slaughtering of cows, number of breeds has also fallen from 77 to a mere 33 and many of the existing breeds are also on the verge of extinction. What is their solution to this problem? Planning Commission can support an organisation, government or even private, to secure, nurse and develop whatever breeds are left with us.
Indira Gandhi wanted cow slaughter ban to be followed
I also submit to this expert body, the Planning Commission, the contents of the letter the former Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi, wrote to all the Chief Ministers on February 24, 1982. She said that cow slaughter arouses emotional feeling of large sections of Indians and she had received complaints that despite the ban on cow slaughter and their progenies in most of the Sates, healthy bullocks were being slaughtered on one pretext or the other, and even calves were maimed so that they may be declared useless and fit ultimately for slaughter. She wanted the Chief Ministers that having banned cow slaughter, it should be enforced in letter and spirit and is not allowed to be circumvented by devices.
This letter to Chief Ministers by former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi is in sharp contrast to what her father Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to Mohd Ali Jinnah in an apologetic language. Nehru, as though appeasing Jinnah, said some elements are propagating baseless and wrong allegations that Congress (Party) will ban cow slaughter which is ‘basic right of Muslims’. Nehru was obviously not aware of the historical reality that all Muslim kings in India had banned cow slaughter. No Muslim has ever demanded his right to kill mother cow and hurt the feelings of Hindus. This may be true of Jinnah also. Then where was the need for Nehru to invent ‘basic rights of Muslims’ to slaughter cows?
Finally, in case Dr Taneja and his team want to atone their sins for giving such a nasty report to the Planning Commission, the least they may do is to do some gauseva by keeping a desi cow or two at their outhouses and themselves do a part of service to the cow(s).
(The writer can be contacted at [email protected])