DNA Exclusive: Politics over Assam’s proposed law on beef ban within 5 km of temples

New Delhi: The Assam government has introduced the Cow Protection Bill in the state assembly under which it will be illegal to buy and sell beef within 5 km of temples. If the Bill is passed, the violators could be punished with imprisonment from 3 to 8 years and can also be fined up to Rs 5 lakh. The opposition parties are now protesting against the proposed law saying that the move aims to target the Muslims of the state.

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Tuesday (July 13) discussed how the opposition parties are playing politics over the new Bill in the name of secularism.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma introduced the Cow Protection Bill keeping in view the religious sentiments of the Hindus. However, some political parties are turning it into a communal issue.

According to a 2015 survey by the National Sample Survey Office, 40 percent of India’s Muslims eat beef, while 26 percent of Christians and 2 percent of Hindus eat it. The number of Hindus who eat beef is decreasing rapidly all over India, whereas Assam is the only state where the number of Hindus who eat beef has increased.

The question is can’t the Muslims, which constitute 34 percent population of Assam, accept the law, and respect the religious sentiments of the Hindu community? The other question is why the politicians should be allowed to make it a communal issue.

Buying, selling and eating pork is illegal in many Islamic countries including Pakistan. In countries like America and Britain, those who eat horse meat are frowned upon. In many states of America, horse meat is completely banned. In Singapore, even chewing gum is banned.

That is, countries around the world make laws regarding the food habits of the citizens. But in our country, some politicians play dirty politics in the name of secularism.

The government of Assam does not intend to ban beef. The Bill just aims to stop its purchase and sale near religious places. Secularism allows everyone to practice their religion in their own way. But it should not hurt the sentiments of others. Just like it is not right to sell pork near mosques, it is not right to sell beef near temples.

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