New Congress regime in Karnataka for softer cow slaughter
The very beginning of the newly elected Karnataka Government is controversial. Majority people are calling it sheer Muslim appeasement, while some see it as an attempt on the part of the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as a way to look secular. The way Chief Minister reverted the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation (Amendment) Bill 2012 passed by the previous BJP government, proves it. After taking oath as Chief Minister, the Chief Minister said his government would revert to the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Prevention Act, 1964, and withdraw the amended Bill.
The Congress, which was in Opposition when the Bill was introduced, had objected to the legislation and had even urged the Governor not to give his assent to the Bill moved by the saffron government. The latter, by amending the 1964 Act, had enlarged the definition of the cattle, made punishment harsher and also increased the age of animals to be slaughtered. Congress had then opposed the Bill and even petitioned the Governor against giving the ascent.
The Congress has been very much worried over the deprivation of jobs of those involved in the cow slaughter work but it never thought of the harm it has been causing to the nation. That is why as the then Opposition leader Siddaramaiah had said it would adversely affect the diet of people who depend on beef and also those involved in jobs related to transportation of cattle, leather and meat-packaging industry. According to the Act, which is yet to get the Presidential assent, slaughter of cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo (male or female) and calf of she buffalo is not allowed. It also said that only cattle aged 15 years or above can be slaughtered and that too after receiving permission from the concerned authority.
The scope of the 1964 Act was confined to the slaughter of cows, calves or she-buffaloes but allowed that of the bulls, bullocks and buffaloes over 12 years of age for they are no longer fit for breeding or giving milk. Former state Law Minister S Suresh Kumar said the 1964 Act was amended because it was weak. He said the previous government wanted to put an end to slaughtering and transportation of cows. He said the matter could be debated once the government raises the issue in the Assembly.
Responding to the Chief Minister announcement, former Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar said the BJP would stage statewide protest if the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Prevention Act is reversed. Soon after taking oath as Chief Minister on May 13, Siddaramaiah had said his government would go back to 1964 Act and withdraw the bill amended last year.
In the year 2007, seers of various mutts had urged the state government to enforce the law banning cow-slaughter. Swami Dayanand, president of Praani Daya Sangha of Bangalore said Hindu organisations would form cow protection brigades and prevent cow slaughter. He said the Karnataka government had banned the cow-slaughter by legislation and urged the law enforcing agencies to “just enforce” the law.