Pradip Bhandari, the CEO and founder of Jan Ki Baat conducted the Beef Ban and Cow Protection debate with prominent figures like Sunny Dhiman and Neeraj Mishra from NSUI, Jahanvi and Gaurav Jha from ABVP, journalist Supriyo Mukherjee, Environmentalist Namrata Samvedna and Akriti Bhatia, the co-founder of Jan Ki Baat. Crucial historical and religious facts, environmental concerns and constitutional justification for beef ban in the form of Article 48 of the Constitution of India, which forms part of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) were raised during the debate.
Sunny Dhiman said that he is a Hindu and a beef eater. In the book Murdhaiya by Dr. Tulsi Ram, it is mentioned that when a cow dies and starts roting, a Dalit samudai flocks to consume the rotting meat. Infact, the sages in Himalayas eat human flesh. Hence, Hindus have been eating beef since a long period of time.
Jahavi from ABVP quotes that the 1960’s law of Prevention of cruelty to cattle extends to bulls, bullocks, oxes, buffalos, cows and camels. These animals are treated as objects rather than individuals. If we do not understand the rights of animals, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings.
UP is the largest producer of beef. The 1972 Prevention of Violence Act during the time of the Indira Gandhi govt extends to animals as well. Jahanvi says that she is not against the right to eat beef, but against illegal cow slaughter.
Sunny Dhiman pointed out that Congress under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1921 said that he wouldn’t allow cow slaughter in Id. Mahatma Gandhi was against cow slaughter too, but he didn’t enforce his conditions forcefully on the beef eaters.
As a viewer commented, why is there a specific law for cattle and not for all living beings?
On this the debator commented that the law is for cattle and not for poultry. The illegal smuggling is done for cattle and not poultry.
Environmentalist Namrata Samvedna said that America has recognised the medicinal value of cow’s urine. It should be ensured that only the healthy animals goes into food production. There should be a one-on-one bargain between the slaughter house and the farmers to keep tracibility.
According to the data, India exported 2.4 million tonnes of beef and veal in Financial Year 2015, compared to 2 million tonnes by Brazil and 1.5 million by Australia. These three countries account for 58.7 per cent of all the beef exports in the world. India itself accounts for 23.5 per cent of global beef exports. Beef export largely contributes to the GDP.
Debators raised that cow slaughter isn’t banned. The illegal purchase and slaughter of cows is banned. Akriti Bhatia said that when an illegal thing is banned, people find new ways of propagating other forms of illegality. The middle men have to be removed. Supriyo Mukherjee pointed out that the World exists in binaries, hence the middlemen cannot of removed from the system.
Pradip Bhandari quoted the May 23rd notification by the environment ministry, according to which- ‘The owner should state in a written declaration that the cattle brought to the animal market are not for sale for slaughter. The prime focus of the regulation is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in cattle for slaughter houses. It is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes for the benefits of the farmers. The livestock markets are intended to become hubs for trade for animal for agriculture through this process and animal for slaughter will have to be bought from the farmers at the farms. The notified rules will remove the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern.
Jahanvi suggested that people who want to buy cows can buy directly from the farmers. Veternary inspectors are now necessary. Heavily pregnant animals as well as those animals which are pregnant shall not be sold.
Akriti says that the BJP says if the BJP govt comes to Meghalaya, beef wouldn’t be banned in Meghalaya. However, the beef issue shouldn’t be politicized. Gaurav Jha adds that it isn’t right to ban beef or cow slaughter on the basis of relegion, in Meghalaya, Goa or Kerala. Slaughter isn’t banned. Illegal slaughter is banned as it can lead to serious diseases like mad cow disease.
Namrata Samvedna emphasized on the importance of the pure breed or Nandi cow.
Then ensued a full fleged debate on who is superior? Animals or Human beings? Darwinism and the Chain of Being was challenged.
The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.
The bottom line of the debate was that it is not the business of the society or any particular community to know what is served on a person’s plate. Everyone has the Right to Food and free to eat whatever he want to. Beef shouldn’t be politicized as long as the slaughter system is legal.
The exclusive #BeefBan and #CowProtection #Debate with Pradip Bhandari! Is it animal cruelty, scientific project, right to food, constitutional obligation or cultural beliefs?
Posted by Jan ki Baat on Saturday, June 3, 2017
By Pradip Bhandari.