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Cattle Slaughter Law: Kerala to call an all-party Meeting to discuss the Issue

There have been widespread protests against the new law. Youth Congress have taken to the streets in the state but caused outrage by publicly slashing the head of an ox during one such protest.

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Kerala, May 29,2017-With both the main political fronts in Kerala opposing the ban on cattle slaughter, the state cabinet will on Wednesday announce a date for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar said on Monday.

“This is a question of livelihood for thousands of farmers in the state and has been in practise for ages. We will take up this issue in the cabinet meeting and don’t be surprised if Kerala initiates legal steps against the new law,” he told the media here.

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There have been widespread protests against the new law. Youth Congress have taken to the streets in the state but caused outrage by publicly slashing the head of an ox during one such protest.

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist held over 300 “beef festivals” across Kerala where cooked beef was freely served.

Forest and Animal Husbandry Minister P. Raju said the new law cannot come into effect in Kerala.

“This is a ridiculous law. Kerala cannot implement it. We will look into all angles on how to tackle this,” Raju said on Monday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears to be the only party in Kerala which has accepted the central government’s directive on cattle slaughter.

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“The new law has been misunderstood by the other parties,” BJP state General Secretary K. Surendran said.

For the Congress, what has come as a dampener was the manner in which their activists in Kannur slashed the head of an ox.

The police on Sunday night registered a case against the Youth Congress activists, whose action has been strongly condemned by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.

Youth Congress leader Regil Makutty and three others were suspended on Monday by the national leadership and the state Congress followed suit.

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State Congress President M.M. Hassan told reporters that the state government should call a special session of the assembly to override the central law.

“Today we are observing a black day to protest against the anti-people law of the Centre. But we do not approve of what happened in Kannur. Hence, we have suspended them from the party,” said Hassan. (IANS)

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BJP Offers Christians a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Is Religious Pilgrimage A New Playground For The Political Parties?

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community

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In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented. Wikimedia Commons
  • The political parties (BJP and Congress ) are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage in the coming local elections of the eastern states of India
  • The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively
  • After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022

The Campaign promises during the elections times are quite bizarre nowadays, from “I’ll cut your taxes,” to “vote for me, and I’ll set you free.”

In the coming local elections in the Christian- majority state of Nagaland in India the agenda by the rival BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and Congress parties are unique: “Vote for us and get either a free or a heavily subsidized pilgrimage to Jerusalem.”

Yes, you read it right. The political parties are promising a free trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage. The offer has been put up by the Prime Minister Modi- led BJP for the upcoming elections. Even the local partners of the Congress party are treading up the same path.

Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons

The BJP has not made it clear yet if it is offering the scheme to all of India’s Christians, or only to Christians in the northeast, or only to Christians in Nagaland. The Christian population in Meghalaya and Nagaland is almost 75 percent and 88 percent respectively. Nagaland is one of smallest states of India, with the population of just under two million people.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel for Haj without Mahram

As per the Tourism Ministry figures, around 58,000 Indian tourists came to Israel in 2017, a 47% increase from 2015.

The elections are scheduled for the February 27 in three northeastern states – Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura – later this month.

The AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also tweeted on the double standard of the government and lashed out at the government for its discriminatory decision, ending Haj subsidy but allowing subsidies to continue for Hindu pilgrimages like the Mansarovar Yatra.

This would not be the first time that India has bankrolled pilgrimages for the Christians. Before this, the government had subsidized the Haj pilgrimage for the Muslim community. But recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. The government cited the reason for the subsidy withdrawal as they wanted to utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls. After the Supreme Court’s intervention, the government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner by 2022.

Also Read: Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

The scheme is a clear cut example of hypocrisy and opportunism, especially considering the cancellation of Haj subsidies. It seems quite contrary, on the one hand, the government is cutting down the benefit scheme for one section of the society and on the other hand, some other community is been offered the same thing. Such moves bring out the double standards of the political parties just for the sake of vote bank. In a country like India, such miscalculated steps could backfire in form of communal rights and the results could be unprecedented.

In 2011, Nigeria also did something same as that of India. For many years, their government financed a trip to Mecca for Muslims, leading to some 42,000 Nigerians visiting the country. But with the change in the government, subsidies have been cut considerably and now a 12-day pilgrimage costs around 2000 dollars. The change in stance has resulted in 78% decrease from 2011.