We will not let them attack our right to food, our right to livelihood!

Today Beef, Tomorrow chicken, Day-after mutton?

The central government has decided to throw Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution into the bin and establish the rule of the laws of Manu. The latest indication of emergency-like situation that is imposed on the country is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 notified by the Central Government.

These Rules which claim to just regulate “livestock markets” have the effect of having a ban on the sale of bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. This is because animals cannot be sold at the markets and anyone wanting to purchase an animal for slaughter must go to each farmer’s doorstep! And every cattle owner must possess ID cards of the cattle to be sold, and, further every owner and purchaser must provide an undertaking that the cattle is not being sold/bought for slaughter. Also, it allows only farmers who own land to trade at animal markets since every seller has to provide property documents of their land! So poor farmers can’t even sell their old cows, bulls & buffaloes! This is the RSS strategy to push through ban on cow slaughter by any means necessary.

These Rules will destroy the economy and cause total destruction of the livelihoods of farmers and peasants and all those dependent on the beef industry and leather industry.  These rules go against the diverse cultural realities of the country and violates people’s fundamental right to food especially since beef is the cheapest available nutritious food for many. Leather is used by all people, even those who made these rules! But now they want to destroy the livelihoods of all Dalits and Muslims involved in skinning hides, tanning leather and leather industry! If farmers cannot sell cow and buffaloes for slaughter, they will not be able to maintain the old cattle! This will make agriculture even less profitable. The government wants to stop all small farmers from farming and hand over land to contract farmers and industries!

Religious interests are again used as a cover for corporate interests since these Rules are clearly meant to centralize the decentralized beef industry by in favour of giant beef export houses and mechanized slaughter firms like Al Kabeer which are connected with Sangh Parivar. Open your eyes citizens!!!! Since the Modi government came to power, India became world’s largest beef supplier in 2015 and remains so till today. These Rules are nothing but a ploy of the Hindutvavadis to further distract the masses from the plunder of natural resources by the corporates facilitated by Modi under the garb of “Make in India”  and his other pro-corporate policies which is resulting in increased poverty. Instead of focusing on shelter, agriculture, education, health and employment, the government is focusing on cultural wars!

Ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, the drama of protection of cows is being played out while protection for people has decreased. Cow vigilantes break the law regulalrly and thrash and kill people. The murder of Mohammed Akhlaq at Dadri and the violent beating of four Dalit youth in Una are testimony to this. In Karnataka too there have been more than 70 incidents of cow vigilantism over the past three years. The Supreme Court has come down harshly on the Government for now reigning in these vigilantes doing goondaism in the name of cow protection. So clearly the new are RSS’s strategy to position these goondas in official positions in the two Committees contemplated under the new Rules, one for each market and District, under the guise of being “animal welfare organisations”. Goondas will be provided official status!!!

Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis, Christians and several backward classes consume Beef. Brahmanical manuvadis who have created an illusion of the divinity of the cow and are forcing their beliefs on the majority. By this logic the Muslims can demand that pork should not be consumed and the Jains can demand all Indians to become vegetarians! This communalization of the society cannot be tolerated.

We strongly condemn this illegal enactment by the BJP government and immediately demand for its withdrawal or else there will be an unprecedented resistance from every section of the community who are economically dependent on cattle for survival.

Dalit Sangharsha Samiti (Samyojaka) , Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, CPI(ML)Liberation , Swaraj Abhiyan, Social Democratic Party of India, Anti-Imperialist Movement, Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali, Right to Food Campaign (Karnataka), New Socialist Alternative, Raitha Kooli Sangrama Samiti, Karnataka Tamil Makkal Aikyam, BBMP Guttige Powrakarmikara Sangha, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Karnataka Jana Shakti

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