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An estimated 4-minute read

The Beef Politics

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In the recent incident where a Muslim man was beaten up by a mob in Dadri, as there was a communal pot boiling due to the upcoming elections, merely on the suspicion that he was consuming beef, this incident forces me to think, is this the harsh reality of a diverse and secular nation. As soon as the police got to know about the incident it investigated what sort of meat it was rather than looking into the murder. Lets bring in light the constitutional validity of laws, which are enforced in accordance of the beef ban. Article 48, 48A and 51A of the constitution put down certain principles regarding such a ban. 

In Hinduism cows are treated as a sacred animal, which is worshiped as well, therefore such restrictions are imposed on 24 states but there are states such as west Bengal, Orissa etc. where no such ban exists. But it raises the question that what about the remaining sections of our society such as the tribal, Muslims and Christians? And in the present scenario there are instances where Hindus also consume beef and it completely depends upon their personal choices. Why is rest of the population forced to follow certain food culture, only because of someone else’s religious believes. This ban clearly is imposing brahmincal culture on the whole nation even if people are not interested in following it. This shows the political perception of the state; if this sort of prohibition for social interest is justified in eyes of law and the state starts functioning according to religious believes then almost everything would be banned.

If we see such a ban is infringing the article 14,15 and 21 of the constitution.

As per article 14 there shall be equal treatment for all and talking about the main elements of this article intangible differentia and reasonable nexus this ban does not fulfill both the requirements, we can clearly see that there is an element of unfavorable bias and Even if the question arises about religious sensibility then pork shall be banned during the month of ramzan, but its not. The government is favoring one religion and completely neglecting the other. Everyone one shall have equal rights.

According to article 15 the state shall not discriminate only on the bases of religion caste, class or gender but the beef ban is clearly favoring one religion and ignoring the rest, agreed India has 80% of Hindus but then what about the rest 20%? The government is imposing certain kind of food culture on people, is it becoming a theocratic government? The state is discriminating on the basis of religion and social biases. Also such blatant act could result in religious divide. Its sort of a prejudice and shall be completely struck off.

A person deprived of life or personal liberty would be against the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution, because of the ban an individual is deprived of its personal choice of food he/her wants to have. Specially the right of beefeaters. In this case faith comes into conflict with individual liberty. An individual has the right to eat meat of one's choice. As seen in the Dadri incident consuming beef is equivalent to murder. This would result in communal disharmony. If people consider cow to be scared in a certain religion then they shall not consume it but shall at least let rest of the nation consume it. What’s the need of a law to be enforced?

The political parties have a major role in such bans. Which has resulted in politics of polarization and hatred. This restriction is not in favor of general public, as it does not have any reasonable and valid standing. There are a few judgments passed against the ban such as in Mohd. Hanif Quareshi v. State of Bihar, 1959 it was held that the ban is unreasonable restriction. Hashmattullah v. State of M.P., (1996) 4 SCC 391the state government passed an order on total ban on slaughter of bullocks, which was later held as ultra vires of the constitution.

There are severe issues in our country that need to be taken care of rather then focusing so much on what sort of food choices shall be imposed on the citizens. People are dying out of hunger and our government is busy on imposing religion based bans. If people are not allowed to have the food of their choice then our nation is becoming a banana republic. Which could also lead to communal ramification. As per the statistics India is the second largest beef exporter, which means India is fine with external consumption but no internal, that’s the hypocrisy. Anyways consuming beef is not harming anyone then why to stop people from having it? As a matter of fact there are Hindus who sacrifice cows on the name of religion and the so-called high class Hindus own the majority of slaughterhouses. Is the government trying to establish Hindutava nationalism? The choices of the minority shall also be respected. The laws should be made in accordance to the whole nation in spite of focusing on a particular religion because of religious sentiments and sensitivity.

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