A cow in any of the five government run gaushalas around Delhi is allotted 40 rupees for its maintenance per day: Rs 20 from Delhi government and 20 rupees from Delhi Corporation, as reported in The Times of India on Jan 16. Each cow is supposed to get 12-15 kg of green and 4-5 kg of dry fodders per day. With forty rupees no one can buy that much of green and dry grasses. Those in charge of gaushalas complain that even forty rupees have not been released for two years. All the gaushalas are overcrowded and all animals are in pitiable condition. Obviously the animals in gaushalas are dying earlier than those abandoned cows roaming around outside. India is the only place in the world where the old cattle are kept in shelters and worshipped obsequiously but not fed or cared: Invisible Injustice most paradoxical.
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has allocated Rs 816 million for opening gaushalas in 68 out of 75 districts in the State. Another 20 million is allocated for setting up gaushalas in 12 district jails across the state. The State Prison Minister Jai Kumar Singh has selected those district jails to open cow shelters. He stated proudly that the prisoners in those prisons will be getting fresh milk and vegetables (India Today 5 July 2018). UP politicians can produce milk and vegetable from abandoned cows. Projects of this sort are the best way to beef up the valets of Ministers, their stooges in the ruling party.
We should remember people India can produce milk artificially from vegetable oils, detergents and a few other ingredients as reported by India TV on Oct 30, 2013. The same channel on March 4th 2015 broadcast the use of synthetic milk in the preparation of sweets for Holi Festival and on Oct 21st 2012 that 68% of the milk in India has paint and detergent wastes. Zee TV, Aaj Tak TV and India TV too flashed similar news on Oct 13th 2009, Oct 26th and 30th 2013 respectively. No wonder the Central Minister of State for Agriculture boldly assured the Lok Sabha members that the country’s milk production will go up from 176.35 million tons in 2017-18 to 254 million tons by 2021-22. Technically such quantum jump in milk production is impossible except by artificially. Artificial milk preparation is the most despicable outrage on Gaumata; worst still is government’s inaction on adulterated milk.
As reported in several media many villages in UP are facing menace of abandoned stray cattle eating up the crops precious to farmers. Angry farmers locked up cattle into schools and other public places. Several video clips are being circulated around in the social media about the havoc created by stray cattle in the cities and towns especially by the ferocious bulls, even injuring and killing people. In such situations fake NGOs apparently supported by local politicians appearing suddenly as rescuers and contracting with farmers to transport out unwanted cattle at charges as high as 6000 rupees per animal. Such cattle are stealthily transported to other states where cattle slaughter is allowed and sold for very high price. The hypocrisy of the so called Gaumata-worshipper’s ubiquitous presence in the Indian political scenario is known to all, but covered up under ostentatious religious ceremonies and political utterances over cow worship which, beyond doubt, is hypocritical. All other nations in the world are laughing at us over the idiosyncrasy of the vast majority of the “cow-mad” people. Some years ago there were “mad cows” in England which were slaughtered; but in India “cow-mad-people” who cannot be slaughtered. In this entire senseless melee, the poor are put into enormous trouble both physically and economically.
History shows that cattle slaughter and beef eating was a common practice from Vedic times till last century middle. Like the recent controversial ban over the entry of women into Sabarimala Temple, ban on cow slaughter was also an interpolation into the Indian religious codes by the religious majority of this country. Many in India feel that ban on cattle slaughter is not only a religious proscription but a political wickedness not only to the people of India but also to the cattle in India.
As reported in Business Line on January 11, 2018, the renowned economist Vikas Rawal delivering a lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, cautions that the ban on cow slaughter can pose a serious threat to the Indian economy as the country may have to spend 1.5 times its current Defence Budget to take care of the 27 crores of unproductive cattle during the first eight years after the slaughter ban. An additional expenditure of 5.4 lakh crores, which is 35 times the annual animal husbandry budgets of the centre and all the states put together will be needed to look after them. Another 10 lakh crore will required for building sheds for them. In his lecture Rawal had already warned of the menace to the farmers by the stray cattle eating up their crops.
At the same time let us analyse also what is happening in China with regard to cattle rearing and dairying. Mudanjiang City Farm, the biggest dairy farm in the world is located in China occupying 22,500,500 acres and houses 1,00,000 cows producing 22 million litres of milk per day. This was expanded two years ago to meet the demands of milk and milk products in Russia following the ban on the European Union milk products.
The second biggest dairy farm Modern Dairy is also located in China covering 11,000,000 acres housing 40,000 cows producing 6,00,000 litres of milk per day. The third biggest is in the US occupying 2,100,000 acres. Australia is in the fourth position with regard to dairying. The way the cows are trained to stand in line to be milked two or three times daily shows the perfection with which dairy farms are managed. In many such dairy farms they discard cows yielding milk less than 20-30 litres a day. Roughly one-third of the animals are culled every year to maintain the expected average milk yield in the farm. The care and management of cows in such large scale dairy farms is so scientific and technical that those countries are not only able to compete in the world markets but also improve the productivity of cows year by year. Now there are cows that yield 100-120 litres of milk per day whereas the average milk yield of our indigenous cows still remain just 2.54 kg per day. While computerized or digitized dairy farms are being run in other countries most of our dairy farmers are herding very low productive cattle hang on to the teats of the hardly milk producing udders of their cows to squeeze a pint (568 ml) of milk and add water or artificial milk to augment its quantity to make a livelihood sale at the nearest shop or collection centres.
Dairy farms mentioned above are real challenge to the cow worshiping people of India promoting artificial milk production. Improvement of cattle was a major project in the independent India. But as it requires meticulous, hard and systematic work both in practical and theoretical aspects for several generations of animal and humans and as people in India are not inclined to such meticulous long term research and development work, the whole programme was shelved. At present we are importing frozen semen from other countries for the improvement of Indian cattle as we do in defence and in many other technologies. Do we have anything to boast off in research and development, except in space programmes? We import almost all the goods and technologies and we export religious fanaticism and superstitious practices. When will our people realize that cow worship is causing degradation of our cattle breeds and continuous cross breeding will cause the disappearance of the genes of our indigenous cattle? The cow worshipers are the invisible slaughterers of our indigenous breeds. All the cow protection projects are mostly stealthy means of beefing up the bank accounts of the politicians and their stooges in administration: Injustice Invisible.
(The writer is a retired Professor, XIM, Bhubaneswar. Email: email@example.com)
(Published on 25th March 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 13)