Last week, the Bombay High Court upheld the Maharashtra government’s ban on slaughter of cows, but it also ruled that consuming or keeping imported beef would not be illegal in the state.
Food habit is something personal and it should be respected. This is unfortunate that the issue of cow is often judged from a religio-political angle. Its economic aspect is always ignored.
The cow is an economic asset. It does not discriminate its master on the basis of his or her religion. It has made immense economic contribution, some of that are visible in the form of brands like Amul, Mother Dairy, Danone, Sudha, Patanjali’s desi ghee etc.
Its milk is also a major source of nutrition for farmers’ families. Poor villagers depend on dung cakes for cooking food besides keeping them warm in chilling winters. Technically, there is an employer-employee relationship between the cow and its master.
Like any other public or private sector employee, the cow also retires after certain age. Shouldn’t it be entitled for decent retirement benefits? Should it be slaughtered only because it ceased to be an economic asset? We should have a rationale and humane approach towards all beings. But, all actions should be voluntary.
(Also published in Hindi — Amar Ujala, May 9, 2016 http://epaper.amarujala.com/dl/20160509/11.html?format=img)