NEW DELHI: The Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, stood firmly in support of the ban on cow slaughter in India, saying those who wish to eat beef should go to Pakistan.
“It is not about loss or profit … it is an issue of faith and belief. It is a sensitive issue for the Hindus,” Naqvi said at “Manthan” conclave organised by TV channel Aaj Tak. “Those who are dying without eating beef, can go to Pakistan or Arab countries or any other part of world where it is available,” he said.
An Indian woman and her cow. PHOTO: AFP
“Even Muslims are against it…” he contended. Naqvi was countered by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi who asked whether the central government would impose blanket ban on beef across India, especially in states like Goa, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala where a large number of people eat it.
Battling a beef ban that has threatened their livelihoods, Muslim traders in India are seeking permission to slaughter foreign-origin Jersey cows they think will not be as sacred to the country’s majority Hindus as locally bred cattle.
Several states controlled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have either brought new laws banning beef or tightened curbs on killing cattle.
India is the world’s largest beef exporter and fifth biggest consumer, with the trade dominated by the minority Muslim community who have protested against the latest restrictions with little success.
The All India Milli Council, a platform for Muslims in the country, now says it supports the beef ban but would like the government to find them alternatives. They hope Jerseys, a dairy cow originally bred in the Channel Island of Jersey, could be an option.Workers walk through a shed past empty meat hooks during a strike against a ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks at an abattoir in Mumbai March 23, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS
“We demand the government to allow us kill Jersey cows, which are of foreign origin and religious sentiments are not attached to them,” said M.A. Khalid, general secretary of the council’s unit in Maharashtra.
The article originally appeared on The Economic Times