Save Our Cows

India Today - - UPFRONT -

One of the Con­gress party’s poll prom­ises in Mad­hya Pradesh is the wide­spread build­ing of cow shel­ters. Con­gress vet­eran Ka­mal Nath has at­tacked the state’s chief min­is­ter Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the ba­sis of the dwin­dling cat­tle pop­u­la­tion in the state. The BJP, Nath said, talks a good game, but Chouhan “loves golf cour­ses and not cows”. Home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh, while cam­paign­ing in MP, de­rided the Con­gress for “hold­ing on to the cow’s tail”. “For us, cow is not an elec­tion is­sue. Tem­ple and cow are cru­cial parts of our cul­ture,” he said. But, thanks in large parts to cow vig­i­lan­tism, there is ev­i­dence that cows are worse off now, left to stray in large num­bers be­cause farm­ers can­not af­ford to feed un­pro­duc­tive an­i­mals. The gov­ern­ment’s much touted scheme to pro­vide cat­tle and live­stock with Aad­haar-style 12-digit num­bers ap­pears to have stalled. And the 20th Live­stock Cen­sus is only now get­ting un­der way, some 15 months later than sched­uled, so the gov­ern­ment is still re­ly­ing on 2012 data. Does the pol­i­tics of cow pro­tec­tion ex­tend into car­ing for the ac­tual wel­fare of cows?

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