Last week, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has issued an anti-constitutional gazette notification– Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 –banning cattle slaughter and introduced severe restrictions on the sale of cattle to prevent their killing. The order applicable to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir, says that no one can bring cattle to an animal market unless he or she has furnished a written declaration that the cattle will not be sold for the purpose of slaughter. It defined cattle as all bovine animals including bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers and also camels. It also mandates that after sale, the animal market committee will take an “undertaking” that the animals are for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter. Effectively, it makes it impossible for the farmers to sell off their unproductive cattle and for the beef eaters to get their favourite meat.
It is intriguing that the Ministry that made a mockery of its core job by issuing environmental clearances to all kinds of projects favouring capitalists and directly jeopardizing the lives of millions of poor and marginalized people has taken upon itself the role of Go Rakshak, being performed by the street goons under the protection of its government.
Apart from being a calamitous move to the economics of already distressed farmers, this fascist order will deprive millions of Beef eating Indians, who are predominantly Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities of their popular meat in violation of their Right to Life among many others enshrined in the Constitution.
It is heartening in this depressing situation in the country; students have come forward to protest against this ban by observing Beef Fests in their campuses. On 27 may the students belonging to Students Federation of India (SFI) staged such fests in many campuses in Kerala. On Sunday (28 may), the students of prestigious IIT Madras had one such Beef Fest by eating bread and beef curry in protest against this order. More than 80 students supported the cause by participating in this fest. Many more campuses will follow suit. We commend these students and stand in solidarity with them in stressing their civil rights and Constitutional values.
Today, in Madras IIT, the right-wing students have brutally thrashed one Ph D scholar in the Department of Aerospace, R Sooraj, associated with the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, for participating in the Beef fest. As seen from his photograph, his eye is severely bruised and he is taken to Sankara Nethralaya, Nungambakkam. We condemn this ghastly attack and wish Sooraj fast recovery.
The protesting students have filed a complaint to the Dean as well to the police.
- Police should immediately arrest of the ABVP students for murderous attack
IIT administration should take severe action against them according to their rules
IIT should provide all medical assistance to R Sooraj
The Government should withdraw the order forthwith
The Government should institute a independent commission of experts to examine its controversial policy of Beef Ban
Dr Anand Teltumbde
General Secretary, CPDR, Maharashtra
30 May 2017