The new rule notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960 banning cattle trade across India is clear encroachment of states’ rights. It will end federalism and will be a death knell for farmers. It is a virtual beef ban across India and also will destroy the livelihood of millions of farmers.
The states have to come up with new strategies to protect their rights enshrined by the constitution. It is time for state Chief Ministers affected by the rule to come together and protect their rights. The best man to take the lead in this matter is Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan who has been very vocal and critical of the central government’s new rules. He has written to all Chief Ministers asking them to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the new rule. Just shooting off letters to a dictatorial Prime Minister won’t be enough. It’ not the time for prayers but for asserting the rights of the states.
In 1996 Jyoti Basu had a ‘golden opportunity’ to become the Prime Minister of India. His own party’s politburo vetoed it. Jyoti Basu had to rue later in life it as a ‘historical blunder’. Now another golden opportunity present itself to Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala to take the leadership in building a coalition in protecting federalism against the incursion and intrusion of the central government into the food plates and livelihoods of majority of India’s citizens.
He must urgently call:
- A meeting of Chief Ministers of South Indian states to ensure the smooth transfer of cattle, meat, and meat products across these states, It is a life or death matter for millions of farmers meat and meat traders of these states.
A meeting of all Chief Ministers of India who oppose the intrusion of Central Government into the authority of the state listed under the constitution.
This is a historical juncture in the history of India. It’s time India must ask itself if it must continue to exist as a federal state or ‘cow down’ to the designs and manoeuvrings of the fascist Sangh Parivar. It is time some one must stand up right now and ask the right questions. Pinarayi Vijayan is the right candidate to do it. If he misses this ‘Golden Opportunity’, he’ll have to rue later in life like Jyoti Basu. Morever, he’ll have to regret that he let down India in this historical juncture.
India stands at a crossroads. It’s time to choose the path. One way leads to a fascist ‘Cowistan’, the other way leads to a federalist state which the builders of modern India envisioned. It’s time to choose.
Binu Mathew is the editor of www.countercurrents.org. He can be reached at email@example.com