In this file:
· India to ease cattle slaughter ban after backlash over threat to exports, livelihoods
· Beef-eaters should be ‘hanged in public’ for consuming sacred cows, says Hindu leader
India to ease cattle slaughter ban after backlash over threat to exports, livelihoods
By South Asia correspondent James Bennett, ABC News Australia
June 16, 2017
The Indian Government has this week bowed to widespread pressure and promised to ease an outright ban on selling cattle for slaughter, which has jeopardised billions in exports and ruined livelihoods.
In New Delhi's mainly Muslim district of Nizamuddin the butchers have sat idle, surrounded by rows of empty hooks for two weeks now, ever since the ban was imposed.
"You can see the situation by yourself — it's bare," Mohammed Javed Qureshi said as he gestured at his shop.
Generations of his family have been butchers. Mr Qureshi, 36, says unless the ban is revoked, he will go broke.
"It will finish completely," he says.
It is believed $14 billion in meat and leather trade are under threat.
The Government now concedes it did not anticipate the impact of the ban, which has been condemned as religiously-motivated and an unconstitutional attack on freedom of religion.
Stung by the criticism, environment minister Harsh Vardhan — who is responsible for the regulation — is promising changes.
The decree, made on animal cruelty grounds, requires bovine buyers to guarantee in writing the animals will not be killed.
"We will not leave a single person in India who may have the slightest worry over this issue."
Regulation contested on freedom of religion grounds ...
Hardliners cheered the restrictions ...
Beef-eaters should be ‘hanged in public’ for consuming sacred cows, says Hindu leader
16 Jun, 2017
The leader of an Indian nationalist Hindu organization has stirred up controversy by saying that beef-eaters should be hanged in public. The inflammatory statement has prompted some MPs to demand her arrest.
Sadhvi Saraswati, the leader of the nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organization, made the comment while speaking at the All India Hindu Convention in Panaji, Goa, on Thursday.
“I would recommend to the government of India that those who consider it a status symbol to eat the meat of one’s own mother should be hanged in public,” Saraswati said, as quoted by the Press Trust of India.
“Then only people will realize that it is our duty to protect the ‘gau mata,’” she said, using a Hindi term which translates to “mother cow."
Cows are considered sacred by Hindus, who make up almost 80 percent of India’s population, according to 2011 census data.
The 22-year-old went on to state that India’s Hindu population is “living under threat,” and that she sees nothing wrong with “picking up arms” to protect the religion.
She also criticized those with Hindu backgrounds who are “in the garb of seculars.”
“These seculars are the first who will be attacked,” she said, as translated by The Indian Express. ..