India – A Hub of Cow Slaughter houses

An in-depth look at how the cow has been revered in Hindu culture for centuries

An in-depth look at how the cow has been revered in Hindu culture for centuries
An in-depth look at how the cow has been revered in Hindu culture for centuries

I really don’t know what being a Hindu is, if we cannot save our own source of life.

There are many controversial cow slaughterhouses in our country. It has become a hub now. Many may get offended but it is the need of the hour to speak out the fact, “beheron ko sunane ke liye dhamake ki zaroorat hoti hein”. We all are law abiding citizens of India. Neither we succeeded in making appropriate laws nor in implementing them. And I don’t see even if we have regards for own Constitution. We all know what Article 48 of Indian Constitution says “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”

Com smuggling is a huge racket involving the high and mighty from across caste and religious groups.

Millions of Hindus revere and worship cows. We don’t have to say it again and again that It is a religion that raises the status of the cow to the level of goddesses. It is considered sacred as it provides us with life-sustaining milk. It is a symbol of divinity bounty of the earth.  The Vedic stature of a cow was “Aghanya” i.e. it cannot be killed. Killing Cows was amounting to killing human beings. It is a blessing to Indian rural community. In India where 70% live in the villages, for them, cow is not just an “animal”. Unfortunately, the same land of cow worshippers has turned into a land of cow slaughterhouse. It is said after Brazil, India is the second highest in owning cow slaughterhouse and the world’s top beef exporter (Source: Time, March 23, 2015). According to data from the country’s Agricultural and processed food Product’s Export Development Authority,  beef has also overtaken basmati rice as India’s largest agricultural food exports in terms of value (Source: Economic Times).

Since Independence, India witnessed many massive movements for prohibiting cow slaughter like the one in 1966 led by Swami Karpatri Ji Maharaj and Acharya Vinobha Bhave

Last year a video of struggling helpless cattle, their legs tightly tied with logs, being smuggled across a river in Assam to Bangladesh went viral. In Bihar, cow smugglers chopped off the fingers of a gateman who tried to stop them. Uttar Pradesh former Director General of Police Vikram Singh said “Com smuggling is a huge racket involving the high and mighty from across caste and religious groups. The raid by police in Bareilly, Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, and Gorakhpur has fuelled the grey market”. 1.78 lakh cattle were seized near the Indo-Bangladesh border last year. (Source: Indian Express, 22 July 2017)

According to the Border Security Force (BSF) officials cow smugglers use all kinds of methods to trick the border patrols – one was to tie the cattle to banana trunk rafts, cover them with a blanket of weed and make them swim across the Brahmaputra River (Assam); the most common being to herd them across the border (Bangladesh). Dhubri in Lower Assam, which shares a border with both West Bengal and Bangladesh, figured high on the cattle smuggling, estimated to be around 20,000 cr annually at its peak, say officials. (Source: Hindustan Times, July 16, 2018)

Maulana Hasrat Mohani, a Congress leader once mentioned that to his recollection beef was never eaten in their home.

Since Independence, India witnessed many massive movements for prohibiting cow slaughter like the one in 1966 led by Swami Karpatri Ji Maharaj and Acharya Vinobha Bhave. British rule witnessed a very strong Gau-Raksha movement” in the leadership of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. And how one can forget the incident of 7th November 1966 on Gopastami, Hindu Massacre in Delhi, where innocent people were protesting against rising cow slaughter in India. While a report says 375, a participant says 5000 Hindus were brutally killed by bullets spray by Delhi Police and buried in unknown places (Source: www.hinduhumanrights.info ). Many intellectuals give this argument that this is a food of minority of our country.  It is to note that during Islamic rule slaughter of cows were prohibited with strict penal provisions. The tradition of beef eating is established in the shadow of the British Raj and acquired its momentum after the British left. Well, as far as the history concerned you will see that beef was never a staple diet in the places of origin of the Delhi Sultans and the Moghuls. They ate mutton, camel meat, chicken and others etc. It was during the British rule, that cow slaughter took place on a large scale to provide beef to the British troops and civilians.  

Dharampal a renowned scholar and historian said in his book ‘The British Origin of Cow Slaughter in India’ that

“There were a very large number of cows and their progeny were daily slaughtered by the British for their army. So, from about 1750 there was nationwide anti-cow killing movement against the British between 1880-1894. and many prominent Muslims, as well as the Parsis and Sikhs, actively participated in the movement.

“Maulana Hasrat Mohani, a Congress leader once mentioned that to his recollection beef was never eaten in their home. Consumption or mention of ‘beef’ was taboo because it might ‘hurt’ people who frequented their homes”.

There is also an argument that in North-east India beef is very popular and consumed on a large scale. And as if, all might die out of starvation if beef is not eaten there and there is no other food available here in this part. Well, let me tell you that being an agricultural based nation in most states of India, rice is the staple food. In Christian dominated states like Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland people consume it and but largely Buffaloes are consumed and used in traditional customs. Let me add that I hail from Assam, north-eastern part of India and my entire family, relatives, and cousins none have consumed beef socially or at home. Because it was never a part of the customs or traditions to eat beef. In Rangali Bihu which is a main festival of Assam celebrated for one week as a gesture to welcome Indian New Year. And on the first day, particularly dedicated for cows and farm animals (as it is a source of their livelihood). So, consuming beef and generalizing it is not justifiable. We need to understand that earlier, because of the climatic and geographical condition in north-east India food varieties were less in number, people used to have more non-vegetarian food. But, now due to globalization and advancement of technology, it is no longer a scarcity. So, eating beef is not an integral part of North-eastern people too.

From the last two years, passionate liberal intelligentsia and people with vested interest are running this campaign vehemently to create a rhetoric that our country is going into the hands of religious fundamentalist and mob rule

Every Sanatanis of India believes Cow as a sacred symbol of life because of its close association with agriculture. So, every genuine Hindu feels that it is their responsibility to protect their life till their last breath. And I don’t have to give a long explanation on the effect of Cow on the economy and agriculture. Millions of Hindus have an emotion with it. And try to protect it by taking lots of risks whom we called as ‘Gau-Rakshak’. Every living being, attacked or defence themselves when their loved ones or families life is at stake.

However, from the last two years, passionate liberal intelligentsia and people with vested interest are running this campaign vehemently to create a rhetoric that our country is going into the hands of religious fundamentalist and mob rule is taking over the government. “Cows in India are safer than Muslims” or “Hindustan is becoming Lynchistan” is the level to which this discourse has descended. Amidst all these, the Honourable Supreme Court while disposing of a bunch of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) on 17th July 2018, finally ordered the State Governments to appoint a nodal officer in each district to stop mob violence and has recommended the central government to make a specific law against it.  

According to the 19th livestock census, the number of milch animals (in milk & dry), cows and buffaloes, is 118.59 million. Mirzapur Moti Quaraishi Case, the Supreme Court in Para 139 of the judgment held, “Majority of the population is engaged in farming within which a substantial proportion belongs to small and marginal farmer’s category. Protection of cow progeny will help them in carrying out their several agriculture operations and related activities smoothly and conveniently. Organic manure would help in controlling pests and acidification of land apart from resuscitating and stimulating the environment as a whole”. For an agrarian country like India cattle are a source of livelihood.

For the animals on which atrocities are being committed illegally, the right of defence also lies with civil society members as the cattle cannot come as in its private defense. Bentham, in his principle of the Penal Code, says: “the right of defence is absolutely necessary. The vigilance of Magistrates can never make up for the vigilance of each individual on his behalf”. In this entire episode, the sickular activists have portrayed the word “vigilantism” in a bad light that it is being perceived as a crime. However, vigilant society is the need of the hour our society today needs more diligent and vigilant citizens. When innocent people resist cattle smugglers, they are threatened with the use of weapons which compels them to invoke their Right to Private Defence of a person as well as of property.

I wonder despite our ancient rich heritage, history and being the ancient civilisation in the world, we Hindus are still suffering and shrinking, Why?

The Pink revolution during the UPA regime leads to the mushrooming of a slaughterhouse, both legal and illegal, throughout the country. This promotion and support for the Pink revolution produced a new category of skilled professionals in India in the form of cattle smugglers which is adversely affected rural India. Since 2014, the price of beef has gone up in a neighboring country like Bangladesh. This promotion of and support for the Pink revolution produced a new category of skilled professionals in India in the form of cattle smugglers. And it has adversely impacted rural Indians who sleep at night thinking their cattle are secured, but the next morning they woke up to there is missing forever. This is what made them vigilant against these smugglers because when your livelihood is at risk, one cannot afford to buy the arguments which the elite liberal intelligentsia gives in our country. Sadly, in the present scenario, ‘gau-rakshaks’ are tagged as ‘murderers’ and what not. None was able to understand till now the genesis of the problem.  If we really want to unite Hindus and Muslims in this country then no need to play Cricket or send gifts to Pakistan or invite Paki celebrity to India. Just ‘Save Cows’! It will bring mutual respect between this two communities/ religions. Because both communities will work for this. (History proved it has worked). Moreover, it is the equal responsibility of other religions to respect majority people’s sentiments Or I should say to my fellow countrymen better we should stop calling Cow as a ‘Gau-mata’

I wonder despite our ancient rich heritage, history and being the ancient civilisation in the world, we Hindus are still suffering and shrinking, Why? Well, those Indians who called themselves as “Proud Hindus” or worship Lord Krishna or Lord Shiva or religious for that matter, neither able to protect Gau-Mata nor supporting those people who are fighting selflessly for Cow Protection. We have money to build exotic temples or to celebrate Janmashtami or Shivaratri in every nook corner of India but neither have we had time and devotion, determination, energy or money to spend on saving and fighting for those innocent lives. So, if anyone believes in Law of Karma must know that as we sow so shall we reap. We are just paying back for our deeds. Because in the last 71 years we failed to save our ancient roots and heritage. After 71 years of Independence, India became one of the largest beef exporters in the world, is this our achievement? Ask yourselves. I really don’t know what being a Hindu is, if we cannot save our own source of life. That’s it!

Dr Phirmi Bodo

Dr Phirmi Bodo

Assistant Professor, Sociology Dept.
MDKG College, Dibrugarh
Dr Phirmi Bodo

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Good and courageous write up by Dr. Dr Phirmi Bodo. Following are my humble comments:
    Since time immemorial; the Veda is the Cow, the true Agama its Milk.
    It’s believe that in every Gou-maata thirty-six crore Divine Gods reside hence it is known as Kamadhenu!
    More than 1200 years ago in our country nearly 600 provinces economic strength used to be estimated on “livestock wealth” and Kings/ kingdoms prosperity, people welfare and marriages used to be done on the basis of livestock wealth of that province apart from jewelry revealing ancient Indian technological skills!
    India is the only country, wherein people worship panchabhootas/animals/live stocks, trees, rivers….
    The old practice of pasting cow dung on walls, house floors and outside their house prevents various diseases / viruses as this cow dung is anti-biotic and rich in minerals.
    Hindus consider drinking cow urine to cure various illnesses. Apparently, it does balance bile, mucous and airs and a remover of heart diseases and effect of poison.
    It’s said that Milk used to flow out of Cows udder of Brindavan when Lord Krishna Played the flute (Sanika), people called it is silly belief. Now when the whites provide us the video we are amazed!

    Cow is such a nice and an emotional animal benefiting human beings in so many way, does another favor to a farmer while grazing it does not pluck or up root entire grass blades ! Cow grazes grass in a better fashion and allows it to grow again! Further, cow does not enter into another animal yards to graze due to certain divine gifted habits of its own!
    The name Gopala derived from Gou (cow) Paala (shepherd) Sri Maha Vishnu promised Goddesses Bhudevi/mother Earth that He will guard and protect her as (Gou-paala) Gopala with innumerable species of fishes/Pisces as a”jala-pushpa”) in Oceans and Seas on the globe bring beauty to living planet earth!

    Brits once said “mad cow” disease, my departed father wrote in the Indian Express that Brit scientists are mad with sixth sense not the cow having only five senses!

    Pratakshya gou danam (donating physically cow with a calf and some donate silver cow with a calf) is done after the death of elderly in the family during 10/12 days ritual process. Gou grasam (feeding cows with a grass) is also practiced.

    We need to build good “meinzers” – a kind of four feet x four feet protective shield/canals from which cow/buffalo/cattle wealth/ livestock eats grass without mixed with dung and urine in and around its little place of maneuverings.

    The word GOWTRA formed from two Sanskrit words GAU (means Cow) and TRAHI (means Shed). GOWTRA means Cowshed hence gotra is like Cowshed protecting a particular male lineage and we identify our male lineage/gotra being descendants of eight grate Rishis (Sapta rishi+ Bharadwaja rishi). All the other gotras have evolved from these only.

    I remember for all those legal and illegal pink revolution “export award” was named after late Rajiv Gandhi!! Can we say what a cowardly act by the Dynasty!

    Fighting corruption or protecting Cows single man army Dr.Subramanian Swamy has been spearheading the campaign along with few others.

    NDA government also looks the other way instead of implementing laws of the land as stipulated in the Indian Constitution. Let BJP ruled 15 states and 6 coalitions with allies of BJP do the needful on Cows on priority!

    I am of the opinion that over flowing rivers of cow blood on a landmass/province and in-spite of holding all “good growth parameter certificates” from many international “agencies”, our Economy dithers as long as Cow Slaughter, beef exports are not stopped. Performances of Economists/ lawyers/ some dubious character fellows becoming finance ministers pale into insignificance against backdrop of GDP growth @9+!

  2. I did see that Hindus have become complete escapists. Everything revered by Hindus are in a state of decay or dying, be it Ganga or Gau (Cows). Solving the issue is another matter, nobody even wants to talk about it. If things go in this sort of manner, in years to come Hinduism and Hindu civilisation will be a subject only in a museum.

  3. If only some oversized but intellectually mediocre vanguards of Hindu Nationalism/Revivalism who came to power could understand the crux of this article, the issue of cattle smuggling wouldn’t have been still lingering.

    Also, I don’t understand what these politicians from the ‘party with a difference’ mean when they illegal slaughterhouses have been closed. Do they mean they are fine with cows being slaughtered in ‘legal’ slaughterhouses ? Supreme leader ranted on the flimsy demarcation between Gauseva and Go-rakhsa completely ignoring the problem of cattle smuggling as if doesn’t happen. Wonder which type of demographic audience is he seeking to entice with such lofty sloganeering ?

  4. That the cow is sacred needs restating often to the ‘new India’. The fabric of Hindu society is also being broken by allowing international brands such as McDonalds into India. I have seen a barbeque set up in a hotel in Haridwar on Karvachauth. There were no non-Indian tourists in the hotel.
    More worringly, the cow is allowed to roam freely in cities and that also needs to be stopped. I have just been to India and am very disheartened to see cows regularily sifting through open garbage dumps by the roadside. These garbage dumps are full of plastic and household rubbish. This needs to be remedied.

  5. Great article. Thank you. I heard that the Koran also bans eating Cows!!!

    Paramahansa Yogananda a great yogi, has written that the meat of large animals like cows and pigs can harm the body beyond repair. Leading to many diseases. No wonder Cancer and IBS, Heart disease etc is so common in the west.

    People should be educated about these facts… The demand for cow meat and leather must stop. Then the supplies will stop too… Banners and advertisements on national media can do wonders. I hope the whole world turns vegetarian… It’s also the crying need of the hour.

  6. Unless CHEMICAL FARMING is stringently banned, We can not protect our DESI cows & bulls.

    Modi or Congress Governments & their State Governments lack the moral power to ban CHEMICAL FARMING

    MNC CHEMICAL MAFIA & MEAT MAFIA are hugely financing the ‘party & campaigning’ of both the corrupt BJP & Governments.

    BJP Governments use cow only as VOTE BANK but have no reverence for our HOLY & DESI cows & bulls.

    India requires HONEST & FARMER FRIENDLY leaders & Ministers like Pawan Chamling of Sikkim.

    All the others are just bunch of corrupt rascals who just do LIP SERVICE to farmers.

  7. An excellent article. Cow protection faces severe challenges from sickulars, slaughter mafia and vested interests.The Central Government should declare Cow as a ‘National Animal’ and prepare a comprehensive plan to protect, preserve and prosper of cow species.

  8. Khangress had the habit of double-tongued approach to all issues relating to Hindu faith/emotions and also for turning :blind eye to Islaimic-passions. For eg., Khilafat during Gandhi days were never taken head on; were discussed in Working Commmittee Meetings and Working Committee Meetings without any conclusion till the issue died by itself. Same was with Maallappuram issue or Partition Hindu refugee issues. Simultaneously Khangress was extra sensitive to imaginary Islam issues. (a reading of Savakar’s my Transportation of life vividly narrates multiple issues. Gau-hatya or sanskrit-hatya by khangress and bharat=varsha hatya (leading to gradual disintegration) has been the policy – unsaid) of Khangress.,

  9. Hindus,being majority themselves ,have no security in this land.All rules are framed in favour of nonhindus. When can we expect this to change?

  10. An eye opening article over “Cow” eating culture in India. I wonder how prominent media chose to ignore the facts that are listed by this author. Right wing supporting medias should have published facts about North-East practices, as explained here.

    Not sure how come PGurus did not bring out facts so long.

    Hats off to this Dr Phirmi Bodo.

  11. So who are the owners of cow slaughter house and exporters.They are from major community and government knows everything but no action taken.Poor muslims lynched in the name of cow vigilant. Before blaming minority close all slaughter house.

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