There is politics in the air and the BJP made a hugh and cry by 'banning' the slaughter of cows and buffaloes for meat. The ban was enforced in Maharashtra and Haryana and in Haryana a prison term of 10 years was specified for selling beef.

I have been wonder struck at these pronouncements and do not know what to believe. I often go to the supermarkets in the UAE and at all places there are placards prominently displayed " Indian Beef". There is also Pakistan Beef and Australian beef, but on inquiry I was told that Indian beef is the most popular.

I do not know why we have to have double standards everywhere. Why can't we  be just honest about beef? I have now come to know that India has earned $ 38 million from beef exports last year and the state that exports the maximum beef is Utter Pradesh, which incidentally is the bastion of Hindutva. UP has 317 registered slaughter houses and in addition there are 24 export oriented units for exporting beef. Incidentally after UP the other 2 states that are at the top of beef exports are Punjab and Maharashtra. Is this not hypocrisy and fooling the masses?

Earning money from exports of beef is a good thing. One reason is that India has the largest cattle population in the world and its a good idea to earn some hard foreign exchange by exporting meat of surplus and uneconomical cattle. But why can we not accept it and why we have to talk of ban on cow slaughter? In case beef is really banned in India then how come India is the now the largest exporter of beef having displaced Brazil recently?

Exporting beef is nothing new and commenced in 1969. Over these 4 decades Indian beef has built up a reputation of supplying hygienic and healthy beef. China was not importing Indian beef, but last year a MOU is signed and very soon Indian beef will be exported to China.

When India is the largest beef exporter in the world why are we so touchy on the subject?  Beef is after all meat and once one eats it, does it matter whether he eats goat meat or beef? I have eaten beef and there is no taboo on it. Its just another food and should be treated as such.

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