Maharashtra, a western state in India, recently passed a bill banning the consumption of beef. The law imposes a fine and up to five years of prison as punishment for breaking the law.
Most of the meat in Maharashtra comes from water buffalo, and the ban is likely to be felt pretty harshly. A Trinamool Congressman, Derek O’Brien, feels the same type of concerns, and brought them up at the Zero hour. While many people oppose his views, and some even desire to disallow discussion on the subject, O’Brien aptly poses his problems with the beef bill.
The first problem Derek O’Brien expressed was the economic impact it is likely to have on the state. He urged the others not to look at the situation through a religious perspective, but rather a public perspective. The expense for other meats will skyrocket if beef, known as the “poor man’s protein” and consumed by most of the state, is banned from production and consumption. He said that the farmers would be heavily impacted by the ban, as the already have 55% fodder shortages. If they can’t slaughter old or sick animals, the fodder shortage would be harshly affected.
Goats in Maharashtra singing sad songs after beef ban. pic.twitter.com/UTXNZlj7YA
— Geekology (@academic_dud) April 11, 2015
As of right now, the punishment for eating beef in Maharashtra is more than the punishment for sexual harassment. He feels that the ban would completely alter the Constitution as well. He said that the people who made and sold the meat would face difficulty in their lives, and a decidedly different livelihood.
Though he was interrupted through most of his discussion, with taunts or slogans from the treasury, PJ Kurien, the Deputy Chairman, ruled that he had the right to express concerns that are in the interest of the public. He added that anyone who disagreed must raise the concern appropriately.