Cow does not rep­re­sent re­gres­sive past, says PM

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent and Agen­cies

MATHURA: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi launched a na­tion­wide cat­tle vac­ci­na­tion cam­paign on Wed­nes­day in the holy town of Mathura, in­vok­ing mytho­log­i­cal references to stress the need for bal­anc­ing eco­nomic imperative­s and the en­vi­ron­ment, and took a swipe at crit­ics who, he said, be­lieved that the gau (cow) rep­re­sented a re­gres­sive past, draw­ing a swift ri­poste from the Op­po­si­tion.

“Cat­tle wealth has al­ways played a piv­otal role in the ru­ral econ­omy, yet there are those who be­lieve that the words ‘om’ and ‘gau’ would take the na­tion back to the 16th-17th cen­tury. Peo­ple with such a mind­set have dam­aged the coun­try a lot,” Modi said af­ter launch­ing the ₹12,652-crore Na­tional An­i­mal Dis­ease Con­trol Pro­gramme.

The cam­paign is aimed at vac­ci­nat­ing cat­tle to erad­i­cate the foot and mouth dis­ease (FMD) and bru­cel­losis, a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, among live­stock. Over 500 mil­lion live­stock, in­clud­ing cat­tle, buf­falo, sheep, goats and pigs, will be vac­ci­nated against FMD. Thirty-six mil­lion fe­male bovine calves will be vac­ci­nated yearly in the fight against bru­cel­losis.the pro­gramme has two com­po­nents – to con­trol the dis­eases by 2025 and erad­i­cate them by 2030.

The cam­paign is linked to the Na­tional Democratic Al­liance (NDA) govern­ment’s pledge to dou­ble farm­ers’ in­comes by 2022. It was one of a raft of ini­tia­tives Modi launched on Wed­nes­day which in­cluded the Na­tional Ar­ti­fi­cial Insem­i­na­tion Pro­gramme, ‘Swach­hta Hee Seva’ {san­i­ta­tion is ser­vice} to phase out sin­gle-use plas­tic, and the Startup Grand Chal­lenge aimed at en­cour­ag­ing young en­trepreneur­s. “Sights that made me very sad,” Modi wrote on a Twit­ter post. “At the Pashu Ar­o­gya Mela {an­i­mal health fair} in Mathura, saw cows be­ing op­er­ated and heaps of plas­tic be­ing re­moved from their bod­ies.this is de­plorable and should in­spire us to work to­wards re­duced and care­ful plas­tic us­age.”

Modi, who be­gan his visit to Mathura with gau puja (cow wor­ship) and used the oc­ca­sion to push the theme of “waste to wealth,” said his govern­ment was try­ing to main­tain a bal­ance be­tween na­ture and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Greet­ing the au­di­ence in Mathura, the PM said: “The Bra­jb­hoomi has al­ways been in­spir­ing the en­tire world and hu­man­ity. “

AFP

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi feeds a cow at an an­i­mal health fair in Mathura on Wed­nes­day as CM Yogi Adityanath looks on.

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