Cow Slaughter
(With friends and pressmen, 1966)
Q : How did cow slaughter begin in our country?
A : It began with the coming of the foreign invaders to our country. In order to reduce the population to slavery, they thought that the best method to be adopted was to stamp out every vestige of self-respect in Hindus. They took to various types of barbarism such as conversion, demolishing our temples and mutts. In that line cow slaughter also began. The later aggressions by the French, Dutch and the English continued this so that it may help their ways of subjugation.
Q : Some say that we have to tolerate cow-killing to respect the feelings of Muslims.
A : Then it means that we have to forego our self-respect. In the name of tolerance are we to let our sentiments and feelings be trampled? The people who say that the 'sentiments' of Muslims are to be respected say so for two reasons. One is that the Muslims are organized, and if they begin to loot and plunder in order to safeguard their ' sentiments', the Government never wants to take any action against them. Secondly, once in five years the people in power go to them for votes and are anxious that the Muslims should not take to en masse voting for parties other than their own. This selfishness on their part encourages them to advance such arguments. Being encouraged by this, the other political parties also follow the same device and try to appease the Muslims putting forth similar arguments.
Q: There is much anti-propaganda about the anti-cow-slaughter movement. How does one counteract it?
A : All points have to be put before the people. There are so many standpoints - the economic, the sentimental etc. However, I look at it from another standpoint also. Cow slaughter began in this country with foreign domination. The Mohammedans started it and the Britishers continued it. Therefore it is a stigma on us. We have now achieved independence and with it all such stigmas ought to be removed. Otherwise we will be still laboring under mental slavery. Now instead of being removed it has increased manifold. In 1944-45 cow killing was 50 or 100 times more than what it was before. This was mainly because of the foreign army camping here during the war period. Now after independence, instead of decreasing, this has increased 20 times that of the 1945 level, though the foreign army is no more there.
As regards our army, we know that the British had put a ban on the use of beef and pork in the army. They had learnt the lesson of 1857. And now in our own national army, they use beef but not pork! In provinces like U. P. etc., though there is a legal ban on slaughter of cows, the Government has instructed these states to bring in necessary amendments so that useless cattle can be slaughtered for army purposes and so on. Even useful cattle get slaughtered. Also, slaughter of cattle goes on all round the borders of states like Mysore where there is a ban, and beef is brought into the state. It is for these reasons that we demand a countrywide and complete ban on cow slaughter by the Centre.
About the question of foreign exchange also some leaders told me that we will be losing much of our foreign exchange if we don't export beef. How can we compromise on our points of honor for the sake of mere foreign exchange?
Q: What is the intention of the Government in refusing to ban cow slaughter?
A : They may be fearing that they will lose Muslim and Christian votes by banning cow slaughter. Anyhow the poor Hindu will vote for them. And so the Muslim and Christian votes are to be safeguarded. America has also pressurized us that cow slaughter should not be banned. They want hides and cheap beef from us. They don't want their good cows to be killed in large numbers. And they want us to depend on them even for their milk powder.
(With friends at Sirsi, November 1969)
Q: The previous Act which had declared a total ban on cow slaughter in Mysore State has been amended in the light of Supreme Court's direction, permitting the killing of bullocks above the age of 12. Was it inevitable?
A : The Supreme Court had passed the orders in the particular case of the Uttar Pradesh butchers, upholding partially their claim to practice a particular profession. Here, in the case of Mysore, that argument does not hold good at all. For, since cow slaughter had been totally banned for a long time, there was no question of their profession being affected.
Of course, even the Supreme Court's argument that freedom of profession should be respected is a myth. Prohibition has deprived a section of our people of their age-old profession. Then does the Supreme Court uphold their 'rights' too?
(With the Editor, Organizer, October 1952)
Q: Some say there are references to beef-eating in Vedas also. Is it true?
A : The supposed references to beef-eating are in fact misinterpretations of the word gou in the Vedas, which also means the indriyas, the senses. It is in this senses that Yajnavalkya used in when he said he would eat gou i.e., conquer the senses, and make himself invincible. The misconstruing or ignorance has been conveniently used by pleaders for cow slaughter to defend their case.