BJP’s politics of polarisation paves manner for Uttar Pradesh’s stray cattle menace, economically cripples an enormous inhabitants


The menace of stray cattle which has compelled Uttar Pradesh’s offended farmers to lock them up in public premises like colleges is the consequence of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Occasion’s (BJP) politics of hatred and intolerance which is predicated on an ideology that’s in battle with individuals’s lives.

The buffalo and the cattle meat (in states like Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal the place it’s permitted) business is an adjunct of the nation’s milk economic system. Dairying can’t be a worthwhile vocation if unproductive cows, bulls and buffaloes should not culled. Left to die a pure loss of life, they are going to make calls for on feed and fodder on the expense of milk-giving animals and the well-being of farmers.

The issue in disposing of cattle (cows and bulls) for spiritual causes has resulted of their inhabitants steadily lowering. From 204.5 million in 1992, their quantity throughout India fell seven % to 190.9 million in 2012. In distinction, the inhabitants of buffaloes elevated by 29 % from 84.2 million to 108.7 million throughout the identical interval.

Representational picture. Reuters

In Uttar Pradesh, the buffalo inhabitants rose from 18.99 million in 1997 to 30.62 million in 2012 ─ a bounce of 61 %. Its cattle (cows, bulls and bullocks) inhabitants declined from 20 million in 1997 to 18.88 million in 2007 earlier than inching as much as 19.55 million in 2012. Of this, the share of feminine cattle was 75 %.

Not solely is there no restriction on the slaughter of buffaloes, their milk has extra fats, which determines the value that farmers get. The farmers’ observe of selective culling of male cattle is evidenced by the rise in share of females in complete cattle inhabitants from 50.three % in 1993 to 64.Four % in 2012.

The skew is acute within the case of buffaloes. The share of females amongst them has risen from 79.Four % to 85.2 % throughout the identical interval. With out human intervention, the proportion of men and women would have been equal.

The Hindu and Muslim communities are entwined within the milk and meat economic system. Muslim merchants and butchers make unproductive cattle and buffaloes financial property, valued for meat and leather-based. By disposing of outdated, infirm and undesirable animals for a worth, dairy farmers can renew their inventory. The ruling social gathering’s promotion of cow vigilantism has disrupted this cycle.

Throughout the 2014 Lok Sabha election marketing campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made references to the “pink revolution” and the position of the Congress-led Central authorities in selling it (suggesting that it was one other type of minority appeasement). Buffalo meat exports have risen from 4.9 lakh tonnes value $1.16 billion in 2009-10 to 1.35 million tonnes valued at $4.03 billion in 2017-18. The primary export locations are Vietnam (for re-export to China), Malaysia, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Because the slaughter of cattle isn’t allowed in Uttar Pradesh, its abattoirs solely course of buffaloes. Cattle are aggregated and primarily smuggled to Bangladesh. However that avenue has nearly been closed.

In December 2014, Union Dwelling Minister Rajnath Singh requested the Border Safety Pressure (BSF) personnel to cease the smuggling of cows to Bangladesh. In April 2015, addressing BSF jawans on the border, Singh relished the rise in worth of beef by “30 %” in Bangladesh, owing to the choke on cattle smuggling. He urged the jawans to additional constrict provides in order that the value rose by “70-80 %” and Bangladeshis gave up consuming beef.

On account of the demand for cattle, BSP posts had been stated to be profitable. Fauzan Alavi, a director of Allansons, India’s largest buffalo-meat exporter, believes that is not the case. Cattle smuggling to Bangladesh had just about stopped, he says, due to the BJP authorities’s zeal in monitoring it. That is the explanation, in response to him, for the rise within the inhabitants of stray cattle in Uttar Pradesh.

The buffalo meat business in Uttar Pradesh was additionally disrupted briefly after Yogi Adityanath took over as chief minister. Inside days of assuming workplace, he ordered the closure of slaughterhouses that didn’t adjust to legal guidelines pertaining to sanitation and animal welfare.

Every of Uttar Pradesh’s 75 districts has a slaughterhouse and they’re all established by the federal government. So, the chief minister was punishing the meat-eating and buying and selling section for an act of the earlier authorities. The abattoirs exporting buffalo meat meet sanitation and security requirements. They’re monitored by the importers. However even these models had been focused and the provision of buffaloes to them was affected by the high-handedness of Hindutva vigilantes.

Uttar Pradesh’s municipal slaughterhouses are closed, however unlawful slaughter of buffaloes has returned, sources say.

One other blow to the cattle and buffalo commerce was delivered by the principles for buying and selling in animal markets that had been notified in Could 2017. The brand new norms expanded the definition of cattle to incorporate buffaloes, and couldn’t be slaughtered if traded within the animal markets. In depth documentation was imposed to make sure this.

An individual promoting cattle was required to furnish the title, deal with and photograph ID of the proprietor, and particulars of the animals to an official committee. The vendor had to supply proof of id and the income doc proving he was an agriculturist. Each purchaser and vendor needed to undertake that the animals weren’t for slaughter. 5 copies of the proof of sale must be furnished to varied authorities. They and the vendor needed to preserve the paperwork for six months.

Following opposition from Kerala, Karnataka and states within the North East, the notification was withdrawn. However cow vigilantes had been emboldened. In connivance with the police, they harassed cattle and buffalo merchants. This has disrupted the cattle commerce and boosted the stray animal inhabitants.

Farmers, who’re reeling beneath low costs for his or her produce, have needed to fence their fields at appreciable expense. They’ve to take care of vigil at night time to guard crops from stray cattle.

“It’s a very critical problem,” says Surendra Bahadur Singh, who oversees milk procurement in Kanpur for Banas Dairy. The Gujarat-based dairy buys about 4.5 litres of milk every day from about 1,75,000 farmers in 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Stray cattle are a critical menace in Bundelkhand districts like Jhansi, he says, maybe due to the failure of monsoon final yr and the lack of farmers to feed the cattle.

Uttar Pradesh’s economic system depends on animals. In response to a research by Smriti Verma, Ashok Gulati and Siraj Hussain of ICRIER, a analysis organisation, milk manufacturing contributed essentially the most (28.9 %) to the state’s financial progress in 2013-14 adopted by meat (5.6 %).

The BJP’s politics of polarising communities and economically crippling these engaged within the meat commerce may have economy-wide ripples. Earlier, the state’s Hindi chauvinism had disadvantaged its youth of the advantages of the IT revolution. Uttar Pradesh doesn’t appear to know what’s good for it.

(The creator is senior marketing consultant to ICRIER and blogs on He tweets @smartindianagri)



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