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Muslims, farmers worst impacted by ban on animal trade


Modi government has completed three years in office and this is usually the time when governments take stock of their success and failures as the ruling authority of the country. But Modi government has taken another stance and instead of looking at itself, has shifted the attention of national debate to something entirely different.

Modi announced a fifteen day celebration of the completion of three years of governance. His announcement attracted criticism and some painfully pointed questions were expected. Despite the immense support of media, the inability of the government to solve the exacerbating problem of unemployment in the country has caused disquiet and dismay throughout the nation. BJP President Amit Shah has confessed to this failure, saying, “It is not possible to promise employment to all in a population of 125 crore.”

And just like that, the dream of smart cities is also lost in oblivion. The same way went the cleaning project of Ganga, the “acche din” and many such promises.

After having broken the dreams of solving the massive employment of youths, Modi government tried a good trick to veer off the debate off this topic. It put a ban on animal slaughter and selling and the country got busy concentrating on this issue instead. Now the government is busy in either celebrating their three years in power, making big promises and making appearances on TV or the topic of debate in the entire country is the BJP ban on selling of animals.

In the last few days NDTV’s ace anchor Nidhi Razdan brought out the biased outlook of news channels. After throwing out BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra out of her show on live TV, she tagged the rest of the channels as the “glorified version of Doordarshan”. The rest of the channels are joining this issue with cow slaughter and not only turning it into an emotional issue but also hinting that only Muslims will be affected by this and the parties that are against this issue are just creating a facade.

In this situation, Muslims need to decide on how effective their government is in practical matters. It is true that very big problems have arisen after the ban on selling animals in the market. Because the first rung of employees in the business of meat and animal skin are mainly Muslims, so economically the most adversely affected party in this are the Muslims. But farmers are also affected badly.

Since the last few years monsoon and farmers are not getting along well, so the latter are already waging a losing battle economically. They had been relying on animals instead of farming for their income. This ban by BJP is like taking off the last straw of economic support from them.

This truth was laid bare by Richard Mahapatra in his article in The Wire recently. He explained how Modi is killing India’s livestock economy and how bad the farmers are affected who mostly rely on livestock economy instead of income from crops. He laid it out bare and stated that the livestock economy has already grown to more than 3 lakh crore and if Modi is messing with it with the ban on livestock selling then the national GDP will be hard hit.

He points out that in the last several years livestock economy has grown manifold. And if farmers do not sell and buy their animals in the various bazaars that are established around the villages then the poor farmers, who are already economically half broken due to poor crops in the last few years, will have no succor.

It is only a matter of time when the farmers would stand up against the government. Already we are seeing reports of farmers sitting in protest in the national capital against the government policies that are affecting their livelihood. They are resorting to eating rats as part of protest.

Another thing is that the points that are mentioned in the notification issued by the government, and about which Ravish Kumar talked in his show, keeping animals after following those pointers that are stated under “cruelty on animals” is impossible. For example, according to the pointers, farmers cannot administer medicine to their animals in the absence of a veterinary doctor. According to the pointers, colouring the animals’ horns is cruelty, it is cruelty to hold their tails and it is unlawful to tie them up with a short rope. In short, it is not possible for the ordinary Indian farmer to keep animals anymore under the BJP rule.

It is true that Muslims are affected by the ban on livestock business, but it should be noted that of the poor farmers of India who are worst hit by the government ban, 70% are non Muslims and 30% are Muslims.

During the Modi rule India has already lost the tag of fastest growing economy, it had gained during Manmohan Singh’s rule. National GDP has already dropped two points. And this 2% drop can be solely credited to the demonetisation policy of Modi. Now the ban on livestock business will bring it a few notches lower. It is a matter of time, and very little time at that, when more bad news will surface about Indian economy.

(Translated by Nabila Habib)

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