The bill placed on the floor of the House of the Karnataka Legislature bans sale & possession of “beef”within the state of Karnataka. The ostensible reason is giving effect to Article 48 of the Constitution of India, which falls within the head of Directive Principles of State Policy.
Article 48. Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry.—The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
Now this is the provision of the Constitution of India. Note the wordings “……..prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.” To the best of my understanding of this provision, slaughtering of COWS, CALVES and DRAUGHT CATTLE are to be prohibited as the Cows give milk which instead of nourishing its calf is appropriated by man, the calf is too young and the draught cattle have spent the best years in serving man in physical labour, this being the case of the cows, calves and draught cattle, it would be inhuman to further extract their meat for food. The reasoning seems humane and logical. However the state of Karnataka has chosen to BAN SLAUGHTER of all beef yielding animals, including buffalo (may be the Karnataka Legislature is colour neutral!)
What beats me is that in the neighbouring state of Kerala (Proposed KERALAM), beef is one of the staple food of the non-vegetarians from Central Kerala upwards, where there is a higher percentage of Christians and Muslims. As per the Wikipedia’s demographics of Karnataka, 83% of the population are Hindu, 11% are Muslim, 4% are Christian, 0.78% are Jains, 0.73% are Buddhist, and with the remainder belonging to other religions. Which means 15% of the population , by their religious belief need not subscribe to the prohibition of eating BEEF. Yet ignoring the LIBERTIES of the minorities, the Karnataka legislature seems to have passed the bill.
Further, this bill is being presented as an agenda of the strident Hindu organizations, ignoring the fact that the rural poor in the non-coastal areas have no better form of protein in their food except through beef.
Firstly, a reference made in the Non Justiciable Directive Principles of State Policy is mis-applied to the whole genus of cattle instead of confining the prohibition to milch cattle, draught cattle and the young ones.
Secondly, the Karnataka Legislature is trying to be more loyal than the states which have fewer Muslim and Christian population like Madhya Pradesh, Chatisgarh and Rajasthan, and thereby subscribing to the ostensible prejudices of the bigoted religious persons, who are keen on enforcing their beliefs on others.
Thirdly, the minority opinion has been ignored and the bill has been bulldozed giving the go by to democratic modesty!
Hope some one takes up the issue with the High Court/ Supreme court and gets the ACT reviewed, in case the Governor gives his assent, which i think is very unlikely!