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The UP Government of Yogi Adityanath on 9th June, 2020 amended the UP-Cow Slaughter Prevention Act, 1955 by passing an ordinance in order to make the law more stringent. The ordinance is passed to punish anyone who harms a cow or endangers life of the cow and shall be fined up to Rs 3 Lakh and imprisoned for 7 years.

The new law is applicable on all the people who try to endanger a cow’s life or tries to illegally transport them and even to those who deny them food or water. The government passed the ordinance in order to protect the cow from any harm. The new ordinance covers punishment from 3-10 years and fine of 3-5 lakh.

For the first offence, a person can be given a rigorous punishment of one to seven years with a fine ranging from ₹1 lakh to ₹3 lakh and for second time, the person can be given a 10-year rigorous imprisonment with a fine up to ₹5 lakh, a statement said.

Except from punishment and fine, under the ordinance the government has put up a clause to shame the offenders by putting up the name and photograph of the offender at a prominent spot in the locality where the offender lives. The government was of the point of view that the current law was not perfect and there were certain loopholes due to which many a times the offender was able to go unpunished.

Another, new change that has been brought is, that the person who finds illegally transporting cow or its progeny, beef, the driver, operator along with the owner(subject to, the owner proves that the transportation was done without his knowledge, he shall be not held liable) of the transport will be held liable and the transport used shall be confiscated. The owner of the vehicle shall also incur the maintenance of the captured cow for a period of 1 year or until the cow is released, whichever is earlier. The intention of UP government passing this ordinance is to safe guard the cows from mutilation and slaughter.

But the opposition has raised voice against the shaming the offender by putting their photos and name in the locality where they live. But the real question is whether, we need such a law or not?

In a country like INDIA, i.e.the 7th largest country in the world, and, where so many different religions are followed; it is not difficult to see in future and say that there will be a dispute between people due to their disparate thinking and beliefs. On this belief the makers of our Constitution have drafted the Constitution in such a manner so that it will help us in facing these disputes and disparities. So, it would not be wrong to say that such a law is needed but, before coming to the conclusion we must see the view of different religions.

The dispute mainly arises between the Hindu and Muslim mythology.

According to Hindu mythology cows are considered to be sacred and not just in Hinduism but among Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and many other. In Mahabharata cow meat is said to be non-consumable as it gives us food without killing via dairy products. The Hindu religion also advocates vegetarianism. Even lord Krishna considered cow as an essential part of human life. For long Hindu people have been worshiping cow and is given a sacred status because it helps in agriculture, gives dairy products and helps the rural people financially.

In Islamic religion, the cow slaughter is a religious practice generally done on auspicious occasions like Eid, etc. Though during the rule of many Mughal emperor cow slaughter was banned, first started by Babar. This difference in ideology has many times led to riot or mob lynching, just not in the pre-independence India but in post-independence India as well of which the Britishers took profit for a long period of time.

But the government of India after Independence was smart enough to pass an act to protect cattle and in order to put an end to these riots and tension between the two religions. The Constitution of India has many parts that itself bans beef. The 15th and 16th entry in the State List that talks about cattle protection, preservation and stock improvement, and prevention of animal disease; Ponds and the prevention of cattle trespass. The Article 48 of DPSP’s also talks about Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry.

This ordinance passed by the UP Government is important in order to reduce the increasing number of deaths due to mob lynching that has increased in the past years and to protect cows from mutilation. This ordinance is an attempt of government to protect the interest of all the religions and not to cause any harm.

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