Dibya Kamal Bordoloi
Guwahati: After much debate and sharp opposition from Congress-AIUDF, the Cattle Protection Bill 2021 passed in the Assam assembly on Friday. Replying to the debate on the bill, chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma cited writings by Mahatma Gandhi in Young India,"Protection of cows is a gift to the world from Hinduism. Hinduism will live till the Hindus will protect the cow, Hindus will be judged not by a big Tilak on his forehead, but by how he protects the cow."
Dr Srama further stated that Gandhiji said, "Cow protection is the central ideology of Hinduism. We are not appointed over her to kill and eat her flesh. We are appointed as her friend or guardian. Cow is the protector of India,as an agricultural country we are dependent on her. Mohhamedian friends will agree with this." The opposition in the Assam assembly raised 76 amendments in the bill. Muslim voter based party AIUDF termed the bill as anti-Muslim and said there are 1crore 9lakhs Cows in Assam, so what is the need to protect the animal as it is not endandered like one horn Rhino.
The CPM termed the bill devastating for Assam. CPM MLA Monuranjan Talukdar demanded to send it to an assembly select committee for approval before it passed in the house. Leader of the opposition and Congress MLA said that the bill will affect the economy and animal husbandry sector in Assam. CM Dr. Sarma said it is wrong to justify that the economy of Assam is based on only cow slaughtering. He said pioneers of the Congress in Assam like Bharat Ratna Gopinath Bordoloi introduced the cow protection act in 1951 and the new breed of Congress advocates for cow slaughtering.
Citing the reference of a statement from the constituent assembly the chief minister said, "Babar said to Humayun, refrain from cow slaughtering if you want to win the hearts of the people of Hindustan." He added if there is any distrust between Hindus and Muslims in India, that is because of the fact that we pray to the holy cow and you kill it. The Cattle Protection Bill was passed in the assembly with voice votes. Once it comes into effect, consumption of beef will be prohibited within the radius of Hindu temples, NaamGhar, Sattra. Cow slaughtering will be prohibited in Hindu areas. Cattle smuggling will be prohibited except for agricultural purposes. There will be legal provisions against all offenders.
The law will prohibit a person from slaughtering cattle unless he has obtained the necessary certificate issued by the registered veterinary officer of a particular area. The term ''cattle'' shall apply to bulls, bullocks, cows, heifer and calves. According to the bill, the veterinary officer will issue a certificate only if he is of the opinion that the animal, not being a cow, is over 14 years of age.