Kerala RSS defends stand on beef ban, releases handbook to 'educate' people on the ills of cow meat

"Slaughtering cows is banned in Cuba and those who violate the rule will be jailed for seven years. Cadres of Democratic Youth Federation of India (youth wing of Communist Party of India-Marxist) should realise this.

"Iran also has banned cow slaughter. And in Myanmar, those who slaughter cows will be deported.

 Kerala RSS defends stand on beef ban, releases handbook to educate people on the ills of cow meat

Cow slaughter has become a huge debate. AFP

"The habit of beef consumption was inculcated by the British. It was in 1760, the then East India Company Bengal Governor Robert Clive who had set up the first abattoir in Calcutta with a capacity of slaughtering 30,000 cows per day.

"Before 1760, there was not even one slaughterhouse in the country and cow slaughter, prostitution and drinking were deemed as major sins.

"The British East India Company, through an education system moulded by them, taught us that Aryans ate beef."

These are a few excerpts from a handbook titled ‘Madangam Gramathilekk, Gowilekku, Krishiyilekku, Prakrithiyilekku’ (Let’s return to the village, the cow, farming and nature) brought out by the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) Kerala’s ‘GoSeva Vibhagam’ for sensitising people on the need of protecting cows.

The book, which cautions against the colonial overhang in food habits, mainly beef consumption, stresses the need for a constitutional amendment to ban cow slaughter. Interestingly, the book also says that beef eating makes people fall sick.

The book claims that it is the drug manufacturing companies that benefit from beef festivals conducted in the country. "In 1948, the turnover of the drug manufacturing companies in the country Rs 12 crore. It rose to Rs 300 crore in 1971 and in 1990-91 the price of drugs sold across the country was to the tune of Rs 4,300 crore," the book says.

The book also claims that consumption of beef and red meat increases chances of developing prostate cancer by 9.5 percent for men and breast cancer for women. “Kerala, which is the land of people who eat beef the most in Bharatham, has now become patients’ own land. Hospitals have flourished like mushrooms and are still houseful,” it says.

The book says that using cows for farming gives better yield than using tractors and other machines.

“When a tractor weighing 2,700 kg runs on a land, it will harm to living organs in the earth. It will harden the soil. Eventually, it will turn soil good for nothing,” the book adds.

The book even states cultural reasons to stop eating beef. “As per the report of the National Commission appointed by the Union government in 2002, beef is not the cultural food of Islam considering the fact that beef is not available in plenty in Saudi Arabia. There is legislation in England against selecting butcher as people’s representatives,” the book says.

MS Giri, Thiruvananthapuram district prachar pramukh (publicity head) of the RSS, told Firstpost that the book aims to educate people who are participating in debates on cow slaughter ban. "When they present RSS stand on cow slaughter, they should be well aware of the issue. If they are clear, we would be able to convey a clear message to people and garner momentum for our ideology," Giri said. "Cow slaughter is not permissible in Indian culture. We are taught to worship the cow. There are umpteen number of reasons to do so," he said.

Last May, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests imposed a ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets across India, under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Statutes.

The decision was challenged by several groups at different high courts and even in the Supreme Court stating that the Centre is dictating eating habits and is an encroachment on state powers.

Subash Chandran, a Supreme Court lawyer who sought a stay on the government order which bans cow slaughter, told Firstpost that the parent Act, which government refers itself says that cattle can be slaughtered for food and religious purposes.

“Currently, the stay is in place. However, a right wing organisation has filed an objection seeking a modification. So, the next hearing is on 4 August. We are confident that Supreme Court will stick to the facts, rules and laws and continue the stay," the advocate said.

Currently, 24 out of 29 states in India have various regulations prohibiting either the slaughter or sale of cows. And Kerala, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim are the states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter.

Even though many see the cow slaughter ban as beef consumption ban, the Central government justifies it as only regulation of cattle trade in the country to ensure 'unfit and infected cattle' are not sold.

Many believe that the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is imposing Brahmanical food practices among Indians. When the Central government issued the cattle slaughter ban in May, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the restrictions on cattle trade by the centre be repealed.

As a symbolic defiance, Congress and Communist activists in Kerala conducted 'beef fests' across the state, cooking and eating beef in public places in symbolic defiance.

In his letter, Pinarayi cautioned Modi about the serious impact the decision would have on the livelihoods of millions of Indians and how it violated fundamental principles of our Constitution. “May I remind you that meat is the primary source of protein for millions of poor and ordinary people in this country, particularly Dalits,” he said. Beef is also the preferred meat in northeastern states like Nagaland and Meghalaya.

Meanwhile, reports claim that violence centred on bovine issues is on the rise in India. According to a survey, in the first six months of 2017, 20 cow-terror attacks were reported which is more than 75 percent of the 2016 figure, which was the worst year for such violence since 2010. The attacks include mob lynching, attacks by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape.

In two attacks, the victims/survivors were chained, stripped and beaten, while in two others, the victims were hanged. These attacks — sometimes collectively referred to as gautankwad, a portmanteau of the Hindi words for cow and terrorism, on social media — were reported from 19 of 29 Indian states.

Updated Date: Jul 27, 2017 19:58:11 IST

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