Tuesday 14 August 2018

"Uttarakhand HC legal guardian of cows in Uttarakhand" and WE!

Written by Anil Singh

What does Uttarakhand High Court's "legal guardians of cows in Uttarakhand" mean for an average Uttarakhand person?

Yesterday, the Uttarakhand High Court, Nainital, called itself the legal guardians of cows in Uttarakhand.

Many in the media and society are calling it a one of a kind or landmark ruling by any court in the country.

Is the High Court ruling landmark or Is is stating the obvious?

I think the large part of the ruling is stating the obvious. A small portion of it can have new results.

If the slaughter of any cow, bull, bullock, or calf, is banned in the state, then such animals are already protected by the law. But that doesn't mean people are free to punish anyone suspected of the slaughtering such an animal. The punishment for the act will be decided by the Court as per law.

In this respect, there is nothing landmark in the court's ruling.

The portion which can be termed as landmark is best explained by the Nainital High Court itself. By becoming the legal guardians the Court means,

“ensuring the banning of slaughter of any cow, bull, bullock, heifer or calf, prohibition on selling of beef or beef products in any form throughout the state, providing medical treatment to all the stray cattle in the state, appointing infirmaries within a period of three weeks in order to treat and take care of the animals, evicting all unauthorized occupants/encroachers from gaushalas (Cow shelters) within a period of three months and ensuring adequate patrolling by state police in rural areas once in 24 hours to ensure that no cow is slaughtered.

In short, the Court has expanded the legal protection to such animals in the state.

What does "Uttarakhand HC becoming legal guardian of cow and other protected bovines" mean for ordinary Uttarakhand people, and the Uttarakhand Government?

It means that the court will now ensure that these animals are not only protected from slaughter but also injuries, cruelty, disease, lack of shelter etc. In short, the court will see that they die, they die of old age.

For ordinary Uttarakhand people who are already suffering because of lack of adequate education, health-care and basic necessities etc; this ruling will mean even smaller resources. If real money and resources are spent on protecting thousands or lakhs or stray bovines, then how will the basic needs of people be met?

For Uttarakhand Govt, it will be the time to rise above rhetoric ("jumla") of cow love and do something real on cow protection.

To conclude, Uttarakhand people (especially youth) must understand that "if cow is used to get your votes, then the level of your human life will not improve". The latest court ruling is a reminder for both the people and the politicians.

If politicians use cow protection to get votes, then why don't they do something concrete.

At the same time, if people vote in the name of cow protection, then they must be ready to see the money meant for people welfare, being spent on animal protection!


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