Seeking to register a protest against the Union Environment Ministry’s controversial restrictions on cattle trade, a group of around 80 students from IIT Madras participated in a ‘beef fest’ organised in the campus on Sunday. Organised by the Progressive Student’s Union, the event also included discussions on the impact of the Centre’s new rule on poor farmers and on Dalits.
Speaking to news agency ANI, students said the government’s move could interfere with one’s dietary freedom. Another added that governments in different states haven’t been able to function, owing to the Modi government's centrist attitude.
Meanwhile, politicians from across the spectrum remained divided on the controversy. While the DMK’s Elangovan termed the Modi government as ‘insensitive’ towards people, the BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, condemned beef festivals across India, urging state governments to take strong action against the provocative activities.
This comes soon after the Kerala Youth Congress volunteers reportedly, on Saturday 27 May, brought a male calf in a truck, killed and skinned it publicly, and distributed the meat among the locals. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and party leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Randeep Surjewala condemned the act. Party workers involved in the act were also suspended from the party.
Last Week, the Ministry of Environment made it compulsory for sellers and buyers of cattle, to furnish an undertaking, stating that the cattle sold through cattle markets would not be used for slaughter. This, as many have pointed out, could directly cause a shortfall in supply of meat to abattoirs across the country.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj