Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Much ado about nothing over beef!

The last few days had witnessed a lot of protests all over the country - so, say the media. As a common man, I've begun to disbelieve a lot many news channels as there's a general tendency to distort the truth based on the channel's loyalty to a political dispensation, which is sad, but what can be done, when the owners calls the shots! - over the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, notified on 23 May.

Among the forms of protests, the all too familiar, "Beef Fest" was carried out within the the campus of the Madras IIT, a gang of Youth Congress volunteers hacked a calf at Kannur and distributed the portions to all and sundry and there were even cases when raw meat was chopped and eaten(?) by the protesters, somewhere in Tamilnadu.

On the promulgation of the government order, a news spread across the country that a ban on beef eating had been brought about, with expert(?) panels on prime time, discussing the pros and cons of the ban on all channels. Frankly, two doubts sprung to my mind on account of this story, which were:-

    (a) Why did the central government have to bring about such a dumb rule banning beef eating?
    (b) It's the right of every individual to eat what he/she wants and no government can regulate that
          except in the exceptional case of a national famine! Regulation of any nature becomes an
          infringement of an individual's Fundamental Rights. Period!!

Kerala's Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan's voice was the shrillest among the critics and I'd gone the whole hog on his announcements:-

     (a) What people should eat cannot be decided at Delhi(Meaning the Narendra Modi government)
           or at Nagpur(Meaning the RSS Headquarters).
     (b) A meeting of all the chief ministers will be called by the state government to discuss this
           grave issue.
     (c) An all party meeting will be convened to discuss the combined action to be taken.
     (d) A special session of the state Assembly will be convened to pass a resolution on the issue.

Meanwhile, a division bench led by the chief justice of the Kerala High Court, while considering a public interest litigation challenging the central government's new rule, wondered as to how the petitioner was aggrieved, saying:-

      (a)There was no ban on slaughtering of cattle in the new rules.
      (b)The rules only restricted selling cattle, for slaughter, in animal markets.
      (c)The rules do not prohibit selling cattle from home or other places.

In the absence of the cause for the petitioner to be aggrieved, there's no cause to file a petition and the petitioner's counsel sought permission for withdrawing the petition and the court dismissed the petition as withdrawn! The court's additional observations are enlightening viz.:-

      (a) A tense situation was prevailing as people have not read the new rules.
      (b) Expressed surprise at the Madras High Court's decision to stay the rules (A Madurai
            bench of the Madras High Court has stayed the implementation of the central notification
            by four weeks).

The hoodwinking of the nation by a few political parties and the section of the media, that supports them was complete and had almost acquired its sinister design but for the timely observations of the Kerala High Court!

My take.

1. There are many within the country who cater to their narrow political gains. National pride be damned, according to them.
2. Imagine the plight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who's on a foreign tour encompassing Germany, Spain, Russia and France making major gains on the diplomatic level. It seems clear that his political opponents were out to embarrass him in front of his hosts by whipping up chaos in the country!
3. An advice to our chief minister. Do not chip away your credibility by resorting to falsehoods, innuendos and speculations. Incidentally, everyone is watching the harassment being meted out to TP Senkumar, the DGP, by your department. Does he have to be fingered just because he'd won his case against you in the court?


The monsoon seems to have set in, finally. Phew!

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