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The cow that has no name

Vikram Kilpady
Vikram KilpadyMar 19, 2015 | 11:21

The cow that has no name

Cows in Haryana didn’t have it so good. Apart from not being slaughtered (more on that later), they will be rid of names like Nandini, Basanti (okay, that’s a stretch), Dhanno, Lakshmi, et al. They will have superb 12-digit unique identification numbers, yes Unique ID numbers for cattle. They tried to get UIDs for humans but the courts will just not have them, so now it’s the cows’ turn.

Cowherds/rearers will have to get their cows' numbers learnt by heart. For instance, traffic police insists on asking motorists for the number of the vehicle they are driving. Most often, people get it right. Sometimes you just forget and grin sheepishly, the police deal with you based on the profile you exude even under stress. People rearing cows will have to remember those 12-digit numbers.

Haven’t heard much of a moo in terms of protests. But Haryana banned the sale of beef and initially had threatened to impose Indian Penal Code Section 302 (the section deals with murder) on offenders, but some sense prevailed and they were satisfied with imprisonment from three to ten years and a fine of Rs one lakh.

The cow is a holy animal in this country though historian DN Jha wrote extensively on the practice of eating beef during vedic times. But Jha’s scholarly work will not get the respect it deserves since he will be tagged a "sickular", "commie" and what-not. If people think banning cowslaughter is to hurt the minorities, maybe there is some truth in it.

Haryana put up the anti-cow slaughter bill after Maharashtra gained brownie points for getting it in first. At the India Today Conclave this year, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis was asked why he was willing to spend the grand amount of Rs 500 crore-plus to build a Shivaji statue in the Arabian Sea when farmers were continuing to commit suicide in Vidarbha. Fadnavis was outraged at the question. He said the two can’t be linked. The statue is a matter of pride, he said, and that more tourists will come to see this “iconic” statue and will spend money to see it... Suicides are fine, pride is more important.

Banning beef is not about history or mythology, it is a cunning ruse to deny the cheapest protein to the people who can afford only that. No mutton, no chicken for these folks. No egg either. They will have to get by depending more on pulse and milk, the prices of these two staples have been climbing in the BJP times as bad as fuel prices used to be in UPA years, nowadays the Saudis are keeping the crude prices down. Acche din for petrolheads!

It’s just that as the years go by, Maharashtra and Haryana will be full of geriatric cows with 12 digit UID numbers and no memory of names. Very Stephen King-esque.

Last updated: March 19, 2015 | 11:21
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