NEW DELHI: A contentious Bill to ban cow slaughter in the country and provide for capital punishment for the slaughtering of cows saw heated exchanges among Rajya Sabha members on Friday.
The Cow Protection Bill, 2017, introduced by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, called for creating an authority to ensure stabilisation of the population of cows. The Bill was later withdrawn by Swamy after an assurance from the government that measures were in place to protect cows.
Initiating discussion on the private member’s Bill, Swamy said that consumption of cow’s meat was not prevalent during the Mughal period and Mughal emperors Babur and Bahadur Shah had called for banning cow slaughter.
“It is the British who made this cow cutting a part of our regular, fashionable cuisine, and that is how it became prevalent in India. Now, therefore, I would say why I am particularly keen is not the religious angle alone — that is part of it — but the fact is now modern science has shown that the cow has multiple uses,” Swamy said.
The two-hour-long discussion saw heated exchanges after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Opposition was making fun of an important issue. His remark came after Samajwadi Party leader Javed Ali Khan said that the cow should be immediately declared the national animal and provisions should be made so that the government is held responsible for the rearing of cows.
Provisions of the Bill:
Banning of cow slaughter across India
Death penalty for cow slaughter
Authority to ensure stabilisation of the population of cows in the country
Setting up of gaushala and their operations to be scientifically conducted
Voluntary cess for upkeep of cows after they cease to give milk