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Beef Politics – Cheap Protein Verses Religious Sentiments.

In the India any issue can be become hot anytime; currently beef ban is one such issue. Beef banning demand is not new, it has there for many years with some Hindu organizations demanding it.

The main reason behind such demand is, the Hindu community believes that cow is a mother goddess (Gou-mata). But if we see our history of 2500 years ago, the evidence says that Hindu people use to eat beef including cow. They did oblation “havan” of many animals including cow, goat, ox, etc.

In the current situation most of the Muslim and Christian eat beef, so does some Hindu also. The main reason behind this is, beef is much cheap as compare to other meats. If we take beef it contains many protein and minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus and “B” vitamins. Since it costs less, beef is the best source of protein to the poor.

Now the main question is why government wants to ban beef? This has something to do with the current political situation. In June 2014, general election, some BJP leaders made hidden campaign that “If BJP government come in power, they will protect the Cows (Gomata). As a result the BJP got huge success in 2014 election and it took charge of the central government.

After completing one year BJP government has started making efforts to ban cow slaughter. This is to make happy those who voted it to power are are strongly opposed to cow slaughter.

Now this issue is becoming pro Hindu and anti Muslim because many Muslims eat beef. This communal situation is grabbed by the Congress who making it a communal verses secular issue. Actually the real fight is between the BJP and the Congress party, one want to make people more religious other more secular.

India is among the first five countries in beef export. India exported 2.4 million tons of beef in FY2015. If compared, Brazil exported 2 million tons and Australia 1.5 million tons. Thus beef export plays important role in country’s economy.

Thus what should we eat or what should not is individual’s decision. If people make food as religious issue and dictate terms to others then it will destroy our social harmony. The case in point is some people attacked a Muslim person in Uttar Pradesh who died because of this issue. So the question arises; is cow more important or the human life?

The suggestion is government should adopt middle path on this issue. First allow slaughter of old cows only, second increase cow population by giving e special subsidy for cow production, fourth develop good breed of cows. If all this is done in right earnest then to some extent this problem can be mitigated.

-Shailesh Shinde