Gaga over ‘beef’: Media or politicians, who is at fault?


While the nation goes gaga over the ban on sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through the recent notification by the BJP led centre, the beef eaters are up in rebellion against the declaration. Cows have suddenly taken the form of 'The Holy Beings' after the advent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power. And as if the 'Holy' tag was not enough, these creatures are treated like endangered species now that the entire section of the Indian community is talking about them.   

Cow or beef, whatever you may call it,  politicians to civilians, students to teachers, whosoever can is willing to gain mileage out of the current situation and Media? Well, as usual the media is busy reporting both sides of the story, bit by bit as it progresses. But, how can the Fourth Estate be immune to the wrath of those in power?

As Beef Politics has led to the resignation of a number of BJP MLA's in Meghalaya, the matter seems to escalate with each passing day while the leaders in power are unwilling to douse the political fire, media has yet again become the culprit for all that it does.

As Assam's influential minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was quoted as saying on his official Facebook page-

"Some media houses have been constantly trying to project people of North East as compulsive beef eater and spreading negativity which isn't right. Some do eat beef but our major focus is health, education, job and progress. Request media friends not to divert peace & focus of the North East"

Hence with due respect to Dr. Himanta, I would like to say that this is what happens when influential leaders in power, instead of discussing issues that matter begin to eye on people's platter and take an initiative to guide one's food habits! Since when have people's health begun to matter so much? What about the uncontrolled population rise in the nation, the uncontrolled cases of rape and assault in Assam? the APSC scam that still haunts people's lives?  Guwahati's unchecked drainage system that is still left unchecked and leads ti unnatural floods even after a 30 minute downpour? Oh I could go on and on but okay, you care about our health, so let me stop here.

But, how on earth will you stop the people sir? Because this is what the people have to say:

DrSikhar Jyoti Bhuyan: " When hundreds of women are raped, thousands of people are hungry, lakhs of people are unemployed, people lack proper education, shelter, affected by floods, and the list of problems goes on. The Government is talking about banning Beef. Way to divert the interest of people into other things. This was not the Acche Din we hoped for when we voted for u"

Tanga Kena  "beef issue is not so important. the main issues is development, jobs creation , most of the northeast people go Delhi Mumbai bangalore etc searching jobs. .please try to solve unemployed problem of northeast. otherwise many unemployed youth will join extremist groups. invite more investment like private and public sector company in these regions"

And this very important point raised by a follower of Mr. Himanta himself:

Barique Al Amin  "Do you hv two minutes to expln anythng about 11 months agreemnt of ssa teacher. You noticed about beef issue in media bt this one…."

Pankaj Baruah "Respect should be given to people's fooding habit on religion basis. Banning beef should not be the subject matter. We have lot of issues and focus to be remain on issues not on beef.Its my opinion,banning beaf will never going to improve our society but it will hurt our Muslim friends. Pl make Assam a United of all religions"

Saurav Buragohain  "Why is this ban ?? Why? India is diverse dont just try to focus only on one community.. what good would it bring to the people who consumed beef on regular basis"

And yet another very important point raised:

Almamun Khan Please do visit JIST & do some developmental works for the infrastructure & educational conditions of JIST . And please take action against the fraud people who are continuously eating the money of students in the name of the various fees & also doing corruption in the various schemes which government has given for the development of JIST. Thank You Sir .

Saurav Das  "I dont seen any ahchedin till now NH 15 roads are very bad condition unemployement etc.How the Govt will fullfill the common Indian peoples dream God knows"

Mandira Borah "If one wants to eat beef it is absolutely their personal matter.No one has any right to interfere on anyone's food habit.What rubbish"

The matter is not only about banning sale of animal for slaughter, it is about which section of people will fall under its purview and be affected by it the most!

The annual meat business in India is estimated to be around Rs one lakh crore with exports worth Rs 26,303 crore in 2016-17. Uttar Pradesh is the market leader followed by Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana. Most states in India hold weekly animal markets and many states operate them near borders to attract traders from neighbouring states. The meat industry worries it will come to a "standstill". As is evident, this will hurt millions of poor farmers and squeeze supplies to the country's meat industry.

The new rules do not amount to a blanket ban on cattle trade or their slaughter, and license breeding remains legal. But the move will crimp supplies to the country's Rs 1-lakh crore meat and allied industries that source about 90% of their requirements from animal markets. The worst hit, however, will be the mostly Muslim meat and leather traders who face mounting violence by increasingly assertive cow vigilante groups. Farmers will also be hit because they will be deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and ageing cattle.

But statistics aside, I believe even this post of mine will be taken as an attempt by the media to fuel the fire of 'Beef Politics'. Again, Northeast Indians are 'NOT' compulsive beef eaters and we are not dependent on it for survival, but nonetheless, how can anyone allow their platter to be ruled? Because, if beef is not good for health then are cigarettes, gutkha, pan masalas, beedis, alcohol good for survival?Many lives have been lost and families shattered due to alcoholics than beef eaters. I hope I am making a point here!

–Anonymous (letter to the editor)

DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed in the article are the writer's own and TNT-The Northeast Today may not necessarily hold the same views