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Ban On Cow Slaughter In India

India is a country where beef controversies are very normal. Every second day we get news about cow slaughter and riots related to it. Mainly it is a matter of fight between two religions, Hindus and Muslims. This is not a new thing since the 3rd century it is a matter of debate. In Islam, cow slaughter is allowed whereas in Hindus cow is consider sacred. Hindus consider the slaughter of cows as disrespect of their religion. Once cow slaughter was banned by the BJP government but Supreme Court changed it.

There are many states in India where cow slaughter is a crime, for example, Maharashtra, the second most populated state of India constrained of meat dishes and if anyone finds slaughtering cow they may be jailed for five years or fine up to RS 10000. Haryana is also one of them.

There are only seven states and UTs at present that do not have enacted concerning the butchers of bovine. Article 48 of our constitution also prohibits cow slaughter. India is the third most consumer of beef and producer of 25% of meat in the world. There are many constitutional provisions about the ban on cow slaughter. Since the beginning this matter is debatable. Politics has been played on the name of the cow. It becomes a vote bank for the politicians. Even when Britishers came to India they also tried to take advantage of this thing.

Every time when incidents related to cows happen in our country, there are lots of people who started blaming Muslims without knowing fully about the incident. This causes riots most of the time. Hindu / Muslim riots are very common in India. We can say that it is the misfortune of cows that people are fighting in the name of cow, even though she is not safe.

What is the beef?

As per the definition given in the Oxford English dictionary, the flesh of cow/bull or ox which is eatable is called beef. Beef is the culinary name of meat. It is an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates. Its taste is also better than other meats.

Relevance of cow in two major religions i.e. Hinduism and Islam

In Hinduism cow is consider holy because she has a connection with Lord Krishna. She is considering a mother. She is worshipped by the Hindu people. Hinduism included Jain/ Buddhism/ Zoroastrianism etc. In Islam, cow slaughtering is considered a religious practice generally done on auspicious occasions like festivals. Hindus in ancient India continued eating beef. During the period of Rig-Veda, the oldest Hindu holy literature beef was eaten by many people but when guests arrived female of species was eaten.

As for Hindus cow is a sacred animal similarly Muslims consider pig or pork as sacred and it is not allowed to eat pig or pork in Muslims. Pieces of literature such as dharma/ Brahmana stated that a cow or bull should be put to death so as to eat it when a guest arrives. As per this literature cow and bull are considered sustenance. In Islam also cow was sacrificed and eaten. Shatapatha Brahmana and Yajnavalya are two Hindu kinds of literature that are contradictory with each other.

One is allowed to eat beef and the other is against eating beef. There was no contradiction about beef-eating or not eating in Islam religion they are pretty clear about that. Vegetarianism comes in Hinduism after the 4th century. Muslims are not the believer of vegetarianism. Mahabharata an epic Sanskrit literature had disallowed killing and eating of beef. It said that cow produced food without killing therefore she should be preserved and domesticated and used for agricultural use.

In Islam cow was allowed to sacrifice on certain auspicious occasions. Sanskritization is also one factor that shifts Hinduism to vegetarianism. Since the beginning non-vegetarianism was followed.

If you see the history you came to know that there were many Mughal emperors who banned beef in India during their resign. A few examples of such leaders are Babar, Jahangir, Hyder Ali of Mysore, etc. It is said that Jahangir banned beef due to the very famous festival of Jains that is Paryushan.

Though 400 years ago India was ruled by orthodox Mughal rulers there was an understanding of such things. But there are also some Mughal rulers who removed this ban, Aurangzeb was one of them. But after the mutiny of 1857 again it was banned by some Mughal rulers but at that time they did not have such powers. If you see the history you came to know about one more important fact that cow was never the concern of the people.

It was just the politics of votes. Actually, we can also say that the cow protection movement of the 19th century was to tyrannize the Muslims. As we know that Muslims are minorities in India therefore many times such things happen in history. Gandhi endeavor on vegetarianism and due to this Muslims were against Gandhi. But Gandhi was never in support of the beef ban as our country is a secular nation.

If you see the history of Marathas you come to know that Chhatrapati Shivaji had banned cow slaughter and made it a punishable offense. Britisher's perspective regarding cattle- Britisher's had totally different way of seeing all this. If you read about the western culture you came to know about that they have a tradition of eating beef with whiskey. Robert clive the two-time governor-general of Bengal came to India and found Indian culture and agriculture prosperous.

Then a question came into his mind, why it is so? He found cow is one of the reasons behind it. He discovered that there were no. of cattle in India who were used for agriculture and cow was also one of them. Therefore to attack the Indian prosperous agriculture he targeted cows. In 1760 he opened the first cow slaughterhouse in India. Now as a result of all these chemical fertilizers had been used in the agriculture fields. Before this cow dung was used as fertilizer in agricultural fields.

In 1852 first Gaurakshini Sabha was establish by Dayanand Saraswati who was the founder of Arya Samaj in Punjab. Revolt of 1857 took place in the central and northern parts of India. The main cause of that revolt was that the new Enfield rifle had a greased paper that had to be bitten before loading the cartages in rifles. These greased papers were made up of beef and pork which made both Hindus and Muslims angry because the cow was holy in the Hindu religion and pork was holy in the Muslim religion.

This made them think about the revolution that took place in 1857. Now both Hindus and Muslims are together because that greased paper hurts their religious sentiments. Both Hindus and Muslims thought that Britishers were trying to hurt their religion as a result 1857 revolt was took place. Legislature for a beef ban in India- As our country is a secular nation this thing related to cows is very difficult to handle. When it comes to lawmaking, again it becomes difficult to make any strict law because it hurt the feeling of other religion. That cow thing is always between Hindu and Muslims.

Even after all this, our country has certain prohibitions related to this which are given below:
  1. Every state has power to make laws related to the beef ban in India. It is because in our country situation of every state is different. Some states have Hindu majority and some has Muslim majority. If it comes under the central government, maybe it becomes chaotic.

  2. Beef ban comes under state list it was clear by the above explanation.

  3. In article-48 of the Indian constitution, it was written that the state shall Endeavour to organize 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. All the above prohibitions are there to protect the cow in India.

    There were many constitutional debates regarding this particular beef ban in constitutional assembly. Its not easy for the framers of the constitution to make such prohibitions. There was a huge debate between the members of the constitutional assembly regarding the cattle beef ban. Seth Govind das requested in the constituent assembly to ban cow slaughter in India.

    There were many leaders like Shibban Lal Saksena, Thakur Das Bhargare, Ramnarayan Singh, Ram Sahai, Raghel Vira, R.V. Dhulekar, Chaudari Ranbir, etc . all these people are from the same community that is Hindu. When we see the B.N. draft we come to know that there was no cow safety thing in that draft. It was also supported by many people by giving argument of economic benefit.

Disadvantages and Advantages of cow slaughter are given below:

  1. India is one of the biggest beef suppliers if it gets ban economically it's not good for our country.
  2. It divides the society in parts on the name of religion.
  3. Create unnecessary chaos in the society.
  4. May spread communal riots in the society.

  1. India is one of the biggest beef supplier therefore economically it uplift our country.
  2. Balance the food chain.
  3. Helps many industries to earn profit such as leather industries.

We are living in a secular country and such laws like ban on cow slaughter are very difficult to implement in such countries. If such laws will be entertain then, it will be a great danger to the communal harmony of the society. unnecessary disturbances will be created such as riots, protests, etc. Minorities can feel bias because their personal laws allowed cow slaughter. As per my research Hinduism is the only religion which does not allow cow slaughtering and consider cow as holy.

They consider cow sacred because of lord Krishna and stories related to him and cow. Lord Krishna shares a special bonding with cow as per Hindu's spiritual books. But now days cow has become matter of debate which is very unfortunate for our country. It become a Hindu/Muslim thing now. Politicians are just playing politics on the name of cow.

They do not have any care for the Hindu , Muslim or other religion. They just care about their votes which they got on the name of the cow. Some give reasoning that this law if implemented will violate the freedom of religion. But nothing is like that because this freedom can be restricted on the certain ground.

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