Yogi Adityanath, Indians can’t give up cow milk, nor their yummy meat

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Noida | Published: March 27, 2017 4:03:30 PM

It hasn't been many days since he took oath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at a grand ceremony in Lucknow. But Yogi Adityanath is already facing a crisis for which he is apparently responsible.

 yogi adityanath, yogi adityanath meat ban, yogi adityanath slaughter houses, meat sellers' strike, meat crisis, meat crisis in uttar pradeshChief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath greets media as he arrives at the Parliament in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (AP Photo)

It hasn’t been many days since he took oath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at a grand ceremony in Lucknow. But Yogi Adityanath is already facing a crisis for which he is apparently responsible. Following the direction of the new BJP government in the state, the Uttar Pradesh police launched a crackdown on illegal slaughter houses a few days ago. However, in the name of the crackdown on illegal slaughter houses, the Uttar Pradesh cops even made small outlets selling mutton and chicken close shops, creating a sense of fear among lakhs of workers employed in this sector.

Yogi’s fault lies in the fact that either he has not been able to strictly tell cops that licence-holding small meat shops should not be targeted or he has deliberately let cops lose on all mutton/chicken shops along with the illegal slaughter houses. Yogi’s crackdown has also given some motivation to self-declared vigilantes, despite public order against such elements from the CM himself.

Now, the chicken and mutton Mandi Committee has gone on an indefinite strike against the ban on illegal slaughter houses in Lucknow. Their demand: The government should first make alternative arrangement before enforcing a ban on the slaughterhouses. One can smell some politics behind the move of the committee, but then their genuine concerns regarding the livelihood of lakhs of workers cannot be ignored either.

Not just in Lucknow, the chicken and mutton outlet owners have either closed their shops in protest or forced by the cops to do so even in other urban centres like Noida and Ghaziabad. The Yogi administration needs to come up with a balanced approach to solve the crisis. It can’t simply ignore the wishes of the non-vegetarians of the state or the workers of slaughterhouses that is part of around Rs 15,000 crore meat industry in the state.

Food is people’s prerogative in democracy, not something that the government can impose by means of coercion. Just like the state can’t force the vegetarians to give up cow milk, the non-vegetarians can also not be forced to not enjoy the kind of meal they like.

It is apparent that the crackdown on illegal slaughter houses had a hidden motive: To stop the slaughter of cows. But cow slaughter is already banned in UP. The illegal slaughter houses were involved in providing cheap buffalo meat, which is not officially banned, to the local market in the state as well as outside. Yogi government could have launched a selective crackdown on those slaughter houses found indulging in killing cows. To force the illegal slaughterhouses to get licences as well as operate as per the law, the Yogi government could have formulated a proper policy and given a definite time frame to such set ups.

However, the sudden crackdown by police has come as a shocker. Yogi government would have to do a lot of explaining in this regard. To start with, he should take some swift decisions to pacify the meat sellers. Or it may spiral into a big crisis and derail the Yogi’s developmental plans.

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