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Punjab minister asks Centre to clarify definition of ‘ho

July 18, 2019 07:02 AM


Punjab minister asks Centre to clarify definition of ‘holy cow’


Punjab animal husbandry and panchayats minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa wants the central government as well as various Hindu organisations to clarify the exact definition of ‘holy cow’. “It needs to be clarified by various Hindu organisations like the Hindu Mahasabha and the Shiv Sena besides the central government what do we mean by cow. Which cow needs to be protected?” says Bajwa who adds that this is necessary as religious sentiments are attached to the cow.

Reason: Besides increase in fatalities on roads in the last few years, the stray cattle have become a burden for the state government as a total of 21 government cattle pounds and 418 private cow shelters are accommodating over 1.82 lakh stray cattle. However, an unaccounted number of stray cattle are still roaming on the roads.

‘400 died due to stray cattle accidents in 4 yrs’

The animal husbandry minister plans to take up the issue with the chief minister, Amarinder Singh for clarity in the larger public interest. “Otherwise, under the garb of religious sentiments without the backing of any logic, we are creating nuisance and over-exploiting resources,” he added.

“There is a difference between cows — the one which Lord Krishna talked about, the cow with a hump, and another which is imported from Israel or other countries. The imported cows are just milking machines.”

Over 400 people died in road accidents due to stray cattle roaming on roads in Punjab between 2014 and 2018 and the state government is forced to spend money on cow pounds and shelters. Also, farmers’ crops are being destroyed by stray cattle. Everything is attached to economics and a farmer would feed a cow till it is economical, says Bajwa. “Traditionally, when a farmer used to dispose of the uneconomical cattle, he used to earn something from it by selling it for skin or meat. But now because of the fear of lynching and attacks, farmers cannot even sell the buffalo,” says the minister. Therefore, now farmers open their cattle shed in the night to set the uneconomical cattle free.

In March 2016, then SADBJP government had taken a decision to extend free electricity to all 472 gaushalas (cowsheds), including government and private, in Punjab. The Punjab local government department has collected Rs 9.30 crore cow cess between 2015 and 2018. The nine-member Punjab Gau Sewa Commission, established in 2015, has become defunct as the term of its last member — vice-chairman Dargesh Kumar Sharma came to an end earlier this month.

Bajwa added there must be over 10 crore cows and other cattle roaming on streets across the country. “People are ready to worship cows, but do not keep them at their homes once the animal turns uneconomical,” says Bajwa, adding cows are even dying on roads by consuming plastic. The minister said that the state governments are collecting cow cess from public to run cow shelters but human beings are dying of hunger

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