Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Christians, Congress Oppose New Law Protecting Cows In Karnataka State

The Indian state of Karnataka (with a population of 53M) has recently adopted a new law banning the killing of cows (inclusive of all "cattle", including draught animals).

The Karnataka State Assembly is controlled by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), which had made legislation against "cow slaughter" (as the issue is referred to in India) a campaign promise.

Other states in India with similar bans on cow-slaughter include Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. As far back as 1982, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had urged (in writing) all state governments in India to impose a total ban on the slaughter of cattle.

Over 45 years ago, Karnataka state had already adopted The Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act of 1964. The new measure, which was approved on March 19th of this year, was enacted in order to update the older legislation, including increasing the penalties "to ensure an effective enforcement," according to Karnataka State Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Strangely, Christians and Muslims (who together make up approximately 15% of the state's population) in Karnataka are claiming that the ban on slaughtering innocent animals is a violation of their religious freedom.

The Congress Party in Karnataka also strongly opposed the new law, despite the fact that even before Independence, the Congress Party had campaigned against cow-slaughter. At least 18 states under Congress rule have banned cow-slaughter, according to Congress leader Digvijay Singh of Madhya Pradesh (a state which banned cow-slaughter in 1959), in an interview published in OutlookIndia in 2003. In the same interview, Singh pointed out that his party had criticized the BJP when they were the ruling party in India for not doing enough to prevent cow-slaughter on a national scale!


Mary said...

Not exactly on topic, and a good read . . .
WP - Proselytizing as cultural imperialism ...

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Thanks, Mary. That's a very nice essay!