The ruling Left Front and Opposition Congress are up in arms over Modi Government’s new cattle law. SFI to host beef fest as mark of protest. It is going to be a full-fledged buffalo war in Kerala.
God’s Own Country is deeply hurt and upset over the new law of the Modi Government that imposes a ban on sale of cattle for slaughter.
SFI, the students’ wing of the CPM, will hold beef festival in 120 centres across the state as a mark of protest.
Kerala is the largest consumer of beef with cattle being imported from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and even from Andhra Pradesh.
Kerala is also a hardcore beef consuming state where, ironically, people go to temples during the day and consume beef over drinks in the night.
It would be interesting to watch the reaction of the local unit of the BJP. Recently, during a bypoll, the BJP candidate had promised `quality beef’ to the people in the constituency.
Many in Kerala see the latest ban as a series of moves to cripple the economy of the State. First came the ban on liquor sale, then on firecrackers and now cattle.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan now smells an opportunity to hit back at the growing presence of the BJP in the State. Many in the BJP are also clandestine lovers of beef.
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Pinarayi expressed `awe’ at the notification and said imposing restrictions on cattle trade was part of veiled attempt to impose RSS agenda in the state. “Pluralism is the essence of Indian democracy. Now, the Union government is taking steps to destroy that. So far, the vigilantes had targeted only those who slaughter cow. But now, restrictions have been imposed on buffalo, bull and camel. Crores of people in our country eat the meat of these animals. Narendra Modi government is interfering with the right to have food of the citizen. If it is ban on beef today , it will be ban on fish tomorrow,” he said.
For a change, the Opposition Congress is on the same page as the CPM. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said “Each citizen has the right to decide on what to eat. Ever since the beginning, Modi government has been trying to steal the fundamental rights of citizens. Restrictions on cattle slaughter is the latest example.”
KPCC president M M Hassan went a few steps further saying the opposition would never allow the implementation of the restrictions in the state. “It is anti-Constitutional to impose such restrictions in a federal structure,” he Said .
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who is known to `see the future’ said the new law had been crafted to create communal divide in the country . “It is clear that there is a conspiracy by RSS. Such a notification was issued at a time when Muslims in the country are preparing to observe Ramadan. It will lead to serious issues in country’s economy,” he said in a statement.
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Veteran CPM leader and former chief minister V S Achuthanandan said the notification is like declaring war on the people of the country . “We need to oppose attempts to surrender India’s secularism before a bunch of cow vigilantes,” he said in a statement.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) said restrictions placed on cattle trade and slaughter by the Centre are politically and practically unimplementable.
“The party will mark its dissent inside and outside the legislative and judicial institutions,“ party state general secretary KPA Majeed said.
He said “The government is trying to intervene in the religious freedom of citizens. We can’t accept it.”
The new notification will come as a body blow to cattle business in the state. Vaniamkulam panchayat in Palakkad, which hosts the cattle and poultry market two days a week, said that the new rules could make it difficult for the local farmers also.
“Cattle traders come here (Vaniamkulam) and buy cattle for slaughterhouses. The new notification could affect the business badly. Also, it says that there is a need for lot of paperwork by the farmer, including producing identity cards, proving that they are farmers and not traders,” said Vaniamkulam panchayat president Priya M. She added: “As of now, there is no count of how many people come and do trade here. We will get the clear picture of how bad the situation is when we have the `chantha’ (market) next week.”
Meanwhile, Animal Welfare Board of India honorary member M N Jayachandran said SPCA and AWBI will closely monitor the sale and abuse of cattle for meat. “It should be noted that cattle count in the state has been coming down drastically . There is absolutely no monitoring at checkposts,” he said.
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