(By Member Secretary)
2. Terms of Reference and Powers of the Commission
3. Constitution of Committees
5. Public Hearings and Meetings with State Governments
7. Importance of cattle
8. Ban on Cow Slaughter – Historical Perspective
9. Gandhiji’s views on the Cow
10. Acharya Vinoba Bhave and cow protection
10A. Cow Protection in Pre-Independence India
11. Constituent Assembly Debates
12. Cattle protection in the post-Independence era
13. Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions
14. Constitutional Provisions
15. Cattle in the Planning Process
16. Findings of Earlier Committees and Commissions
17. Legislation regarding ban on Cow slaughter
18. Trends in population of cattle
19. Public Hearings and Meetings with officials
20. Preparation of the Report and Acknowledgements
LIST OF ANNEXES
ANNEX II (1) Govt. Resolution dt. 2.8.2001
ANNEX II (2) List of Members of the Commission
ANNEX II (3) Members of Committees & Task allotted
ANNEX II (4) Composite Questionnaire of the Commission
ANNEX II (5) Schedule Public hearings & meetings with State Govt. Officials
ANNEX II (6) Views of Mahatma Gandhi on Cow protection
ANNEX II (7) Survey on Hindu – Muslim Riots (1917 to 1977)
ANNEX II (8) Gist of State Legislations on Cow Slaughter
ANNEX II (9) Growth of Cattle population of India 1992-97
ANNEX II (10) Details of Public hearings & Meetings with officials
ANNEX II (11) Response of His Holiness Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram
ANNEX II (12) Response of Justice Dr. Pratibha Upasani
1.1 Recognising the fact that the cow and its progeny has a significant role to play in the agricultural and rural economy of the country the Government felt that it was necessary to formulate measures for their development in all possible ways. In view of the persistent demands for action to be taken to prevent their slaughter, the Government also felt the need to review the relevant laws of the land relating to protection, preservation, development and well-being of cattle and to take measures to secure the cattle wealth of India.
1.2 Vide its Resolution dated 2nd August, 2001, the Government of India established a National Commission on Cattle, comprising of 17 Members. Shri Dharampal, Chairman, was accorded the status of Minister of State in Government of India. In the absence from Delhi of the Chairman, Justice Guman Mal Lodha, Vice Chairman of the Commission functioned as the Acting Chairman and looked after the day-to-day functioning of the Commission. A copy of the Resolution is at Annex II (1) to this Chapter.
1.3 The Member Secretary, Shri Rajiv Gupta was subsequently replaced by another officer, Smt. Chitra Gouri Lal, in the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India. One Member, Shri Laxminarain Modi subsequently resigned from the Membership of the Commission. Another Member, Ms. Ingrid Newkirk was unable to attend any of the meetings of the Commission, due to the fact that she was residing abroad. She, therefore, requested that her name be excluded from the Report. The list of the 15 remaining Members of the Commission is at Annex II (2).
2. Terms of Reference and Powers
The Commission was given the following terms of reference and powers:
Terms of reference:
a) To review the relevant laws of the land (Centre as well as States) which relate to protection, preservation, development and well-being of cow and its progeny and suggest measures for their effective implementation,
b) To study the existing provisions for the maintenance of Goshalas, Gosadans, Pinjarapoles and other organisations working for protection and development of cattle and suggest measures for making them economically viable,
c) To study the contribution of cattle towards the Indian economy and to suggest ways and means of organizing scientific research for maximum utilization of cattle products and draught animal power in the field of nutrition and health, agriculture and energy, and to submit a comprehensive scheme in this regard to the Central Government,
d) To review and suggest measures to improve the availability of feed and fodder to support the cattle population.
Powers of the Commission:
a) To seek public opinion in matters covered by the terms of reference,
b) To accept memoranda and representations,
c) To visit and interact with various Central and State Government offices and Institutions / organisations engaged in the field of preservation, production and improvement of cow and its progeny,
d) To take all such steps which are necessary in furtherance of its terms of reference,
e) To suggest and give recommendations on its objects and terms of reference and any other subject which is entrusted to it by the Government of India, during its tenure.
3. Constitution of Committees
3.1 At the first meeting of the Commission, held in New Delhi on 13 August 2001, apart from administrative decisions regarding the staffing and office accommodation for the Secretariat, one of the important decisions taken was to set up five Committees for in-depth study of the issues, in all their dimensions, allotted to the Commission, as enunciated in the terms of reference.
3.2 The following five Committees, each with a Convener, were set up:
I. Cattle Laws and Legislation Committee.
II. Committee for Administration of Cattle Laws.
III. Goshala, Gosadan, Pinjarapole, Pasture Land and Fodder Development Committee.
IV. Cattle products, by-products and energy utilisation and research Committee.
V. Breed improvement and preservation Committee.
The composition of the five Committees that were set up and the details of the tasks that were allocated to them are at Annex II (3).
3.3 A Steering Committee comprising of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Member Secretary and the 5 Convenors of the Committees was also established to take decisions from time to time with regard to the working of the Commission.
4.1 In order to ascertain the views of the general public, legal experts, NGOs, animal welfare activisits, Goshalas managers, scientists, researchers as well as Government and semi-Government agencies, detailed questionnaires were sent out to various categories of people.
4.2 A composite questionnaire, seeking detailed information on the various issues confronting the Commission was also sent out to State Governments, NGOs and others. This questionnaire was used to elicit information during the public hearings and official meetings held by the Commission. A copy of the questionnaire is at Annex II (4).
5. Public Hearings and Meetings with State Government officials.
5.1 Under the Chairmanship mostly of the Acting Chairman, the Commission held a series of Public hearings and Meetings with State Government officials, as per the Schedule given at Annex II (5).
5.2 Public Hearings were held in the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, NE States (at Guwahati), Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Punjab, UT of Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The hearing in Goa was fixed but could not be held due to unforeseen circumstances. Brief synopses of the proceedings of the hearings and meetings with State Government officials have been prepared by each of the Committees on the subjects pertaining to them.
6.1 India is traditionally a predominantly agricultural economy. Although the share of agriculture in the GDP has been declining, there is still a large section of the populace, which depends on agriculture as a means of livelihood.
6.2 The livestock sector comprises a very important part of the agriculture sector. Production systems are based on low cost agro-byproducts as nutritional inputs, using traditional technologies for production. A sizeable percentage of livestock owners are below the poverty line. It has been estimated that 70% of the animals belong to small and marginal farmers and landless population, whereas these categories own only 30% of agricultural land in the country.
6.3 The livestock sector requires a balance between animal and man to maintain the ecological bio-sphere and to enable economic exploitation of the resources without causing irreversible damage to the environment. Rural women play a very significant role in livestock management and participate actively in areas such as feeding, breeding, maintaining and providing health care to the animals. Livestock production is an integral part of crop farming and contributes substantially to poverty alleviation and creates employment opportunities. The livestock sector has a great potential for bringing about socio-economic transformation in the lives of the rural masses and improving their standard of living.
7. Importance of cattle
7.1 The importance of cattle and cattle-products, and their contribution to the national economy has been discussed in detail in the chapter on cattle products and by-products. The inter-dependence between man and cattle and their relation to land and plant life grown thereon, have been schematically shown. Apart from giving a wholesome and nutritious diet, containing all the elements required for a balanced diet, in the form of milk and milk products, providing draught power for ploughing fields and for transport, cattle dung and urine can also prove to be an invaluable source of organic manure as well as for medicines to cure a number of diseases. Dung is also burnt as a fuel and used in bio-gas plants as an alternative source of energy for electrification and cooking in rural areas. The slurry from bio-gas plants is also usable as a manure, as it is a rich source of nitrogen.
8. Ban on Cow Slaughter - Historical perspective
8.1 Historically speaking, the cow has always had a very special place in the social fabric of the country. Mythological history has it that, during the churning of the oceans (Sagar Manthan), as a result of the struggle between Good (represented by Devas) and Evil (represented by Rakshashas) one of the oucomes was a Cow, named as Kamdhenu. The cow was worshipped by the sages and, it is said, that Dhanwantri worshipped Kamdhenu and with her blessings, developed a great medicine ‘Panchgavya’, comprising of five products of the cow (milk, ghee, curd, urine and dung, which even today is used in Ayurveda as a remedy for many diseases.
8.2 ‘Ahimsa’, one the basic principles of Hinduism, preaches non-injury to all living beings, be they humans or animals. Apart from this general principle, protection of the cow and its progeny is a centuries old concept, finding its roots in ancient scriptures and teachings of sages over long periods of time.
8.3 According to German historian, Jurgen Lensch, “One is inclined to subscribe to the notion, that Ahimsa and cattle taboo must be really ancient features of the Indian culture, which were probably there even before the invaders marched into this land and remained covered up for a long period until they again got a chance to manifest themselves. The assimilation of earlier and later conquerors of India – with the exception of the Muslims and the British – into the mainstream of the Indian civiliization with Ahimsa and cattle taboo as guiding principles of Hinduism sounds convincing. Moreover, it is a fact that, during the entire period of Hinduistic culture, cattle taboo was never applied in a radical and unconditional sense. In the old medical books, for instance, we learn that cattle products were used for medical purposes. Thus, Hinduism seems to possess a tremendous flexibility and an amazing capacity to assimilate and incorporate the incoming streams.” (Lensch, J., Probleme der Rinderhaltung in Indien in “Tierarztliche Umschau”, Nr. 11/1967, Konstanz, p.44, from Chapter on Problems and Prospects of Cattle Husbandry in India).
9. Gandhiji’s views on the Cow
9.1 Throughout his life, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi worked towards the goal of a total ban on cow slaughter. His views on the cow, are brought out in his own words, as follows:
“ The central fact of Hinduism, however, is cow-protection. Cow-protection to me is one of the most wonderful phenomena in human evolution. It takes the human being beyond his species. The cow to me means the entire sub-human world. Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with all that lives. Why the cow was selected for apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow was in India the best companion. She was the giver of plenty. Not only did she give milk, but she also made agriculture possible. The cow is a poem on pity. One reads pity in the gentle animal. She is the mother to millions of Indian mankind. Protection of the cow means protection of the whole dub-creation of God. The ancient seer, whoever he was, began with the cow. The appeal of the lower order of creation is the gift of Hinduism to the world. And Hinduism will live so long as there are Hindus to protect the cow.” (The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi – The Complete Book, page 318, down-loaded from the web-site http://www.mkgandhi.org/momgbook/ .
9.2 Another extract from an article on Hindu-Muslim Unity by Mahatma Gandhi, as brought in the journal ‘Bharat Mata’ is given below, which reflects his anxiety that the issue of cow-slaughter should not be allowed to be used by mischievous elements to foment trouble between the two communities:
“My main purpose is to think of the immediate task lying before us. Bakr-i-Id will be soon upon us. What are we to do to frustrate the attempts that will then be made to foment quarrels between us - Hindus and Mussalmans? Though the situation has improved considerably in Bihar, it is not yet free from anxiety. Over-zealous and impatient Hindus are trying to force matters. They lend themselves an easy prey to the machinations of mischief-makers not always prompted by the Government side. Protection of the cow is the nearest to the Hindu heart. We are therefore apt to lose our heads over it, and thus be unconsciously instrumental in doing an injury to the very cause we seek to spouse. Let us recognise that our Mussalman brethren have made great efforts to save the cow for the sake of their Hindu brethren. It would be a grave mistake to undertake them. But immediately we become assertive, we make all effort on their part nugatory. We have throughout all these many years put up with cow slaughter either without a murmur of under ineffective and violent protest. We have never tried to deserve self-imposed restraint on the part of our Mussalman countrymen by going out of our way to cultivate friendly relations with them. We have more or less gratuitously assumed the impossibility of the task.
But we are now making a deliberate and conscious attempt in standing by their side in the hour of their need. Let us not spoil the good effect by making our free offering a matter of bargain. Friendship can not be a contract. It is a status carrying no consideration with it. Service is a duty, and duty is a debt, which it is a sin not to discharge. If we would prove our friendship, we must help our brethren whether they save the cow or not. We throw the responsibility for their conduct towards us on their own shoulders. We dare not dictate it to them as consideration for our help. Such help will be hired service, which the Mussalmans can not be blamed if they summarily reject. I hope, therefore, that the Hindus of Bihar and indeed all the parts of India will realise the importance of observing the strictest forbearance, no matter what the Musslamans do on Bakr-i-Id. We must leave them to take what course they chose. What Hakim Ajmal Khan did in one hour at Amritsar, Hindus could not have done by years of effort. The cows that Messrs Chhotas and Khatri saved last Bakr-i-Id day, the Hindu millionaires of Bombay could not have saved if they had given the whole of their fortunes. The greater the pressure put upon the Mussalmans the greater must be the slaughter of the cow. We must leave them to their own sense of honour and duty. And we shall have done the greatest service to the cow.
The way to save the cow is not to kill or quarrel with the Mussalmans; the way to save the cow is to die in the act of saving the Khilafat without mentioning the cow. Cow protection is a process of purification. It is tapasya, ie., self-suffering. When we suffer voluntarily, and, therefore, without expectation of reward, the cry of suffering (one might say) literally ascends to heaven, and God above hears it and responds. There is the path of religion, and it has answered even if one man has adopted it in its entirety. I make bold to assert without fear of contradiction that it is not Hinduism to kill a fellowman even to save the cow. Hinduism requires its votaries to immolate themselves for the sake of their religion, ie. for the sake of saving the cow. The question is how many Hindus are ready without bargaining with the Mussalmans to die for them and for their religion? If the Hindus can answer it in the religious spirit, they will not only have secured Mussalman friendship for eternity, but they will have saved the cow for all time from the Mussalmans. Let us not swear even by the greatest among them. They can but help. They cannot undertake to change the hearts of millions of men who have hitherto given no thought to the feelings of their Hindu neighbours when they slaughter the cow. But God Almighty can in a moment change them and move them to pity. Prayer accompanied by adequate suffering is a prayer of the heart. That alone counts with God. To my Mussalman friends I would but say one word. They must not be irritated by the acts of irresponsible or ignorant but fanatical Hindus. He who exercises restraint under provocation wins the battle. Let them know and feel sure that responsible Hindus are not on their side in their trial in any bargaining spirit. They are helping because they know that the Khilafat is a just cause and that to help them in a good cause is to serve India, for they are even as blood-brothers, born of the same mother - Bharat Mata.
9.3 A compilation of other statements made by the Father of the Nation on various occasions regarding cow protection, Goseva, cow-slaughter etc. is given at Annex II (6) to this report. Gandhiji felt that a Nation is to be judged by the way it treats its animals. He felt that cow slaughter should, and could be made economically impossible.
10. Acharya Vinoba Bhave and cow protection
10.1 The following extract from the web-site http:// www. mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/vinoba/cow.htm reflects the thinking of Vinoba Bhave regarding Cow Protection:VINOBA'S THOUGHTS ON
• COW PROTECTION
“Protection of the cow and the bullock is a characteristic of the Indian social philosophy. We are, in this respect, a step ahead of the Western socialism. Western socialism asks for a full and equal protection being given to all men, but there it stops. We in India have gone a step further. We have included the cow as a member in the family. True, we have not followed this principle in practice fully. We merely pay respect to the cow but do not look after it so well as they do in the Western countries. Nevertheless we have deep regard for it and consider it worthy of our care and protection in the same way as the human members of the family. We do not drive out the latter when they grow old. In the same way, though we make full use of the cow and the bullock - take milk, get our fields ploughed, use the dung for manure, and use even their hides after they are dead - we do not kill them. But now we must link up this regard with a scientific attitude. Superstitious respect will not do. We must open good dairy forms, Gosadans, and the wealthy amongst us should come forward to provide for the upkeep of decrepit cattle. S.V.-1160
• BAN ON COW-SLAUGHTER
Some people are under serious misapprehension in regard to the secular character of our State. They think that there is some kind of incompatibility between cow protection and a secular State. There is no incompatibility between the secular character of our State and the protection of the cow. No religion in India says that it is meritorious to kill a cow, and therefore there is no conflict among our different religions about the desirability of the protection of the cow. Therefore I say that there is nothing to prevent the secular State from striving to protect the cow, and our State must do it. S.V.-1161 “
10 A. Cow Protection in pre-Independence India
10A.1 As has been brought out before, the fervent desire of the people of this country to protect the cow and its progeny has been prevailing for centuries together. The First War of Independence was triggered off when Indian soldiers in the British Army were forced to open beef-coated cartridges with their mouths, leading to the firing of the first shot in the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 by Sepoy Mangal Pandey.
10A.2 During British Rule in India, there were several cases of communal riots caused by the slaughter of cows. However, a Historical Survey of some major communal riots, between 1717 and 1977, reveals that out of 167 incidents of rioting between the two communities, that although in some cases the reasons for provocation of the riots was not given, 22 cases were attributable directly to cow slaughter (Ms. Zenab Banu,• Politics of Communalism, Appendix IV, Page 175-193). The list as down-loaded from the relevant web-site, is at Annex II (7).
10A.3 Gandhiji’s views on the protection of the cow have already been mentioned. We have seen how Gandhiji was of the conviction that cow protection was an act of purification and how he gave the cow protection movement preference over even the struggle for Swaraj.
11. Constituent Assembly Debates
11.1 After India attained Independence, the Members of the Constituent Assembly, debated the question of making a provision for the protection and preservation of the cow in the Constitution of India. An amendment for including a provision in the Directive Principles of State Policy as Article 38A was introduced by Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava. The amendment read as follows:
‘38-A. The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall in particular take steps for preserving and improving the breeds of cattle and prohibit the slaughter of cow and other useful cattle, specially milch and draught cattle and their young stock'.
Another amendment motion to Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava was moved by Seth Govind Dass, who sought to extend the scope of the provisions for prohibiting slaughter to cover cow and its progeny by adding the following words at the end of Pandit Bhargava’s amendment:
'The word "cow' includes bulls, bullocks, young stock of genus cow',
11.2 While the amendment of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava was passed by the Constituent Assembly, that of Seth Govind Das was negative. A verbatim record of the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly Debate on 24 November 1948 is placed at Annex I (3) to Chapter I of this Report. It will be seen that several Members of the Constituent Assembly, especially Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava (East Punjab), Seth Govind Das (C.P. and Berar), Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United Provinces), Shri Ram Sahai (United State of Gwalior-Indore-Malwa:Madhya Bharat), Dr. Raghu Vira (C.P. and Berar) and Shri R.V. Dhulekar (United Provinces), Shri Ram Sahai (United State of Gwalior-Indore-Malwa:Madhya Bharat) had strongly pleaded for the inclusion of a provision in the Constitution for prohibiting the slaughter of cows.
11.3 It is apparent from the debate, that the Members were keen on including the provision in the chapter on Fundamental Rights but, later as a compromise and on the basis of an assurance given by Dr. Ambedkar, the amendment was moved for inclusion as a Directive Principle of State Policy.
11.4 Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava stated that “While moving this amendment, I have no hesitation in stating that for people like me and those that do not agree with the point of view of Dr. Ambedkar and others, this entails, in a way, a sort of sacrifice. Seth Govind Das had sent one such amendment to be included in the Fundamental Rights and other members also had sent similar amendments. To my mind, it would have been much better if this could have been incorporated in the Fundamental Rights, but some of my Assembly friends differed and it is the desire of Dr. Ambedkar that this matter, instead of being included in Fundamental Rights should be incorporated in the Directive Principles. As a matter of fact, it is the agreed opinion of the Assembly that this problem should be solved in such a manner that the objective is gained without using any sort of coercion. I have purposely adopted this course, as to my mind, the amendment fulfils our object and is midway between the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights. “
11.5 Pandit Bhargava also observed that “I do not want that, due to its inclusion in the Fundamental Rights, non-Hindus should complain that they have been forced to accept a certain thing against their will. ”.
11.6 Similarly, Seth Govind Das said, “ As Pandit Thakur Das told you, I had submitted this earlier to be included in Fundamental Rights but I regret that it could not be so included. The reason given is that Fundamental Rights deal only with human beings and not animals. I had then stated that just as the practice of untouchability was going to be declared an offence so also we should declare the slaughter of cows to be an offence. But it was said that while untouchability directly affected human beings the slaughter of cows affected the life of animals only – and that as the Fundamental Rights were for human beings this provision could not be included therein. Well, I did not protest against that view and thought it proper to include this provision in the Directive Principles.”
11.7 The words of Shri Ram Sahai in this regard are significant. Shri Sahai said, “ My only object in tabling this amendment was to secure complete prohibition of the slaughter of cows. But I find here that a section of the House does not like this. I also do not like, on my part, to make any proposal that may not receive the unanimous acceptance of the House, nor a proposal, which may lead to the curtailment of the freedom of the provinces in this matter. Under the Directive Principles of State Policy, Provinces will have the power to stop cow slaughter totally or partially. Though there is a ban in one form or another on the slaughter of cows, in almost all countries of the world, yet I would not emphasise that fact before you. I hope Honourable Dr. Ambedkar will appreciate and accept the amendment moved by Mr. Bhargava because it is on the basis of the assurance to this effect given by him that the amendment has been moved as a compromise. In view of that assurance I am not moving my amendment.”
11.8 The highlights of the Debate are the views expressed by two Members of the Constituent Assembly belonging to the Muslim community. Muslim Member, Shri Z.H.Lari (United Provinces), said, amongst other things, the following:
"My own submission to this House is that it is better to come forward and incorporate a clause in Fundamental Rights that cow slaughter is henceforth prohibited, rather than it being left vague in the Directive Principles, leaving it open to Provincial Governments to adopt it one way or the other, and even without adopting definite legislation to resort to emergency process under the Criminal Procedure. In the interests of good-will in the country and of cordial relations between the different communities I submit that this is the proper occasion when the majority should express itself clearly and definitely.
I for one can say that this is a matter on which we will not stand in the way of the majority if the majority wants to proceed in a certain way, whatever may be our inclinations. We feel -- we know that our religion does not necessarily say that you must sacrifice cow: it permits it .... Therefore, let the leaders of the majority community here and now make it clear and not leave it to the back-benchers to come forward and deliver sermons one way or the other. Let those who guide the destinies of the country, make or mar them, say definitely ‘This is our view’, and we will submit to it. We are not going to violate it.”
11.9 Although the other Muslim Member, Syed Muhammad Sa'adulla (Assam), opposed the motion, refuting the argument for a prohibition on cow slaughter based on the economic considerations, he was willing to accept the religious sentiment argument. He said:
“Mr. Vice-President, Sir, the subject of debate before the House now has two fronts, the religious front and the economic front. Some who want to have a section in our Constitution that cow killing should be stopped for all time probably base it on the religious front. I have every sympathy and appreciation for their feelings; for, I am a student of comparative religions. I know that the vast majority of the Hindu nation revere the cow as their goddess and therefore they cannot brook the idea of seeing it slaughtered. I am a Muslim as everyone knows. In my religious book, the Holy Qoran, there is an injunction to the Muslims saying - "La Ikraba fid Din", or, there ought to be no compulsion in the name of religion. I therefore do not like to use my veto when my Hindu brethren want to place this matter in our Constitution from the religious point of view. I do not also want to obstruct the framers of our Constitution, I mean the Constituent Assembly if they come out in the open and say directly: "This is part of our religion. The cow should be protected from slaughter and therefore we want its provision either in the Fundamental Rights or in the Directive Principles."
11.10 Shri Dharampal, Chairman of the National Commission on Cattle, has gone through the record of the Constituent Assembly Debates and has, in addition to commenting on the above, observes as follows:
“Both Lari and Sa'adulla, seeing a basic contradiction between modern and scientific agriculture (as understood in the West) on the one hand, and banning slaughter of cattle on the other hand were suspicious of the clause (ultimately, the main points of it however were adopted as Article 48) which was being adopted. Here Lari said, "the preceding portion of the clause speaking about modern and scientific agriculture and the subsequent portion banning slaughter of cattle do not fit in with each other." Sa'adulla said about the same when he stated, "but, those who put it on the economic front, do create a suspicion in the minds of many that it is the Muslim people who are responsible for the slaughter of the cow. That is absolutely wrong." Then he added, "there are lakhs of Muslims who do not eat cow's flesh. I am not speaking in any sense of braggadocio when I say that I myself do not take it….. The Muslims are as much agriculturists as the Hindus and the cattle in their farms form their capital asset, the natural source of their power to till the land and produce the food, which will maintain them for the entire year. Therefore, it is wrong to say that the Muslims kill the cows either to offend my Hindu friends or for any other purpose. Fortunately or unfortunately the Muslims are a meat-eating people. The price of mutton is so high that many poor people can not buy it. Therefore on rare occasions they have to use the flesh of the cow."
Earlier, Syed Sa'adulla in a roundabout way indicated the main culprits responsible for large-scale cow slaughter in India. He said that in Assam, during the early 1940s (World War II), he found, "droves of cattle being taken to the military depots for being slaughtered not by Muslims, but by Hindus who had big 'sikhas' on their heads." The reason being, that "Assam alone had to accommodate about 5 lakhs of fighting men and equal number of camp followers. Cattle from all parts from India were then taken to Assam to feed these 10 lakhs of people from America and elsewhere, white as well as black."
While much is talked about what was said by Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava and Seth Govind Das, R.V. Dhulekar, I think, reflected the opinion and sentiments of a very large majority, if not of all, of the people of India, best. In his speech he said, "We want that India should declare today that the whole human world as well as the whole animal world is free today and will be protected. The cow is a representative of the animal kingdom, the Peepal tree is the representative of the vegetable kingdom, the touchstone or the shaligram is the representative of the mineral world. We want to save and give peace and protection to all those four worlds, and therefore it is that the Hindus of India have put these four things as representative of this world-the human being, the cow, the peepal, and the shaligram. All these were worshiped because we wanted to protect the whole humanity."
As I usually see events in historical contexts, what attracted me in this text is somewhat different. I would rather that such texts are judged by the readers and listeners themselves. Persons like me can merely indicate what seems important to them. I have a feeling that there was quite some deception and steamrolling of ordinary members of the Constituent Assembly by those who managed the Assembly. This also happened in the case of Panchayats, the national anthem and scores of other matters.”
11.11 The end result of the debate in the Constituent Assembly was that the amendment motion of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava was carried and the Article in its present form exists as Article 48 of the Constitution of India, as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Thus, the opportunity of meeting the persistent demand for a complete ban, by including it in the Fundamental Rights chapter, was lost. The non-acceptance of Seth Govind Das’s motion also removed the possibility of protecting bulls and bullocks from slaughter.
12. Cattle protection in the post-Independence era
12.1 Agitations against cow slaughter took place sporadically, from time to time in Independent India and, gradually, the movement for a ban on cow slaughter gathered momentum in several parts of the country, mainly in North Indian cities like Mumbai, Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi. Several organisations took up the cause and a number of demonstrations took place. In 1966, a massive protest march was held, in which people of all faiths, castes and age-groups participated. The peaceful demonstration in Parliament Street, Delhi was fired upon in which around hundred people lost their lives.
12.2 In the year 1979, Acharya Vinoba Bhave decided to go on an indefinite fast from 22.4.1979 on the question of prevention of cow slaughter. His demand was that the Governments of West Bengal and Kerala should agree to enact legislation banning cow slaughter.
12.3 On 12.4.1979, a Private Members Resolution was passed in the Lok Sabha, which is reproduced below. The Resolution was approved by 42 votes to 8, with 12 absentees.
“This House directs the Government to ensure total ban on the slaughter of cows of all ages and calves in consonance with the Directive Principles laid down in Article 48 of the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, as well as necessitated by strong economic considerations based on the recommendations of the Cattle Preservation and Development Committee and the reported fast by Acharya Vinoba Bhave from 21st April, 1979”.
12.4 Later, an announcement was made in the Parliament by the then Prime Minister that Government would be initiating action for amending the Constitution with a view to conferring legislative competence on the Union Parliament for legislating on the subject of cow protection. Accordingly, a Constitution Amendment Bill seeking to bring the subject of Prevention of Cow Slaughter on to the concurrent list was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 18.5.1979. The Bill, however, lapsed on account of dissolution of the Sixth Lok Sabha.
12.5 In July 1980, Acharya Vinoba Bhave reiterated his demand for a total ban on cow slaughter, while addressing the All India Goseva Sammelan. He requested that cows should not be taken from one State to another.
12.6 In 1981, the question of amending the Constitution by introducing a Bill was again examined by the Government, but, in view of the sensitive nature of the issue and owing to political compulsions a ‘wait and watch’ policy was adopted. However, as a number of complaints were received from time to time that despite the ban on the slaughter of cow and its progeny, healthy bullocks were being slaughtered under one pretext or the other and calves were being maimed, so that they could be declared useless and ultimately slaughtered, the then Prime Minister, in her letter dated 24.2.1982 wrote to the Chief Ministers of 14 States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, HImachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, in which she desired that (i) the ban be enforced in letter and spirit; (i) the ban on cow slaughter is not allowed to be circumvented by devious methods; and (iii) Committees to inspect cattle before they are admitted to slaughter houses be adopted.
12.7 Recognising that the problem basically arose on account of inaction or obstruction on the part of a few States and large scale smuggling of cows and calves from a prohibition State to a non-prohibition State like Kerala was taking place, a suggestion was made that this problem be brought to the notice of the Sarkaria Commission, which was making recommendations regarding Centre-State relations, but this idea was dropped as the Sarkaria Commission was then in the final stages of report-writing.
13. Private Members’ Bills and Resolutions introduced in Parliament
13.1 A number of Private Member’s Bills and Resolutions on Prevention of Cow Slaughter were introduced in Parliament, both in Lok Sabha, as well as in Rajya Sabha, from time to time. Some of these attempts have already been described. Subsequent attempts to address the issue through a Central Legislation or otherwise are described below.
Dr. A.K.Patel - 1985
13.2 On 22.11.1985, a Private Member’s Bill on Prevention of Cow Slaughter was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Dr.A.K.Patel, M.P., the purpose of which was stated to be as follows:
“ The cow is held in veneration by millions of people of India. It serves the nation in many fields of life. Bullocks are needed for agriculture. The necessity of the cow for Indian life can never be over-estimated. In the Directive Principles (Article 48) enshrined in the Constitution, a duty has been cast upon the Government to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves. It is therefore, necessary to have legislation for stoppage of slaughter of cows. Hence the Bill”.
13.3 Since the Bill sought Central legislation on the subject and Parliament did not have the competence to enact any legislation on the subject by virtue of the subject matter falling under entry 15 of List of the Seventh Schedule, it was decided to withhold the recommendations of the President under Article 117(3) of the Constitution for consideration of the Bill in either House of Parliament. (The Government, in 1985, however, considered the question of amending the Constitution to bring the subject of prohibition of slaughter of cows and other milch and draught animals in the Concurrent List, but after due deliberation, decided against it.)
Shri Guman Mal Lodha – 1990
13.4 In 1990, a Private Member’s Resolution put up by Shri Guman Mal Lodha, regarding suitable legislation to ban slaughter of cow and its progeny throughout the country was introduced. After detailed discussion on 17.8.1990, the Resolution was put to vote in the House and was first passed by electronic voting. However, since this would have meant a fall of the Government, the voting was redone by slip=voting, and subsequently the resolution was defeated, although by a narrow margin, due to the fact that several Members were prevailed upon to change their stand to save the Government of the day.
13.5 On 10.8.1990, a Private Member’s Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Shri Guman Mal Lodha, MP seeking amendment of Articles 48 and 246 of the Constitution read with List II of the Seventh Schedule. The Bill could not be discussed and debated in the Lok Sabha on account of its dissolution but was re-introduced in the Lok Sabha on 30th August 1991 in the form of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 1991
13.6 In the statement of objects and reasons it was stated, as follows:
‘’ Although Article 48 of the Constitution provides for prohibition of slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle, the States of West Bengal and Kerala have not yet introduced prohibition of cow slaughter. Moreover, Article 48 provides for prohibition of cow slaughter and not for the progeny of cow.
In the absence of an entry providing for prohibition of slaughter of cow and its progeny in List III – Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, the Parliament cannot enact a law for the prohibition of cow slaughter. The Supreme Court in the past has taken the view that though a ban on cow slaughter is constitutional yet slaughter of other animals like bullock, she-buffaloes etc. can be allowed if such animals are not economically viable.
The people of India, both for economic and religious reasons, have always demanded complete ban on slaughter of cow and its progeny and other milch animals but it has not been accepted so far.
Hence, this Bill.
Shri Kanshiram Rana - 1994
13.7 On 24.2.1994, Shri Kanshiram Rana, M.P. introduced in the Lok Sabha a Bill entitled “Ban on Cow Slaughter Bill, 1993, seeking to prohibit the slaughtering of cows in India. The Statement of Objects and Reasons attached to the Bill stated as follows:
“Article 48 of the Constitution enjoins on the State to organise Agriculture and Animal Husbandry on modern and scientific lines and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cow and its progeny. In view of the consideration that the Cow and its Progeny must be saved with a view to provide milk, bullock power as well as manure, it becomes imperative to impose a complete ban on Cow Slaughter.”
Shri Kanshiram Rana - 1996
13.8 An identical Bill was introduced by Shri Kashi Ram Rana again on 22 November 1996, with the same objects and reasons. At the time of introduction of this Bill also, Shri G.M.Banatwala, supported by Shri Iliyas Azmi, opposed the introduction on the grounds that Parliament had no competence to legislate on the matter. However, after a short debate (verbatim at Annex 7), the Deputy Speaker granted leave to introduce the Bill and it was introduced by Shri Kanshi Ram Rana.
Shri Adityanath - 1999
13.9 The Ban on Cow Slaughter Bill, 1999 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Shri Adityanath, M.P. which provided for complete prohibition on slaughter of cows for all purposes. The Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Bill stated that:
“Article 48 of the Constitution enjoins on the State to organise Agriculture and Animal Husbandry on modern and scientific lines and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cow and its progeny. In view of the consideration that the cow and its entire progeny must be saved to provide milk, as well as manure, it becomes imperative to impose a complete ban on the cow slaughter.”
Shri U.V.Krishnam Raju - 2000
13.10 In 2000, Shri U.V.Krishnam Raju, M.P. moved a motion for introduction of The Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2000 with the following Statement of Objects and Reasons:
“Article 48 of the Constitution enjoins upon the State to organize Agriculture and Animal Husbandry on modern and scientific lines and in particular to take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cow and its progeny. In view of the consideration that the Cow and its Progeny must be saved to provide milk and milk product, as well as manure, it has become necessary to enforce prohibition of cow slaughter.”
13.11 When Shri Krishnam Raju moved the motion on 20.4.2000 for leave of the House to introduce the above Bill, Shri G.M. Banatwala, M.P., Lok Sabha raised the issue regarding the legislative competence of Parliament to enact legislation on the subject. Shri Banatwala referred to the opinion given by the then Attorney General, Shri N.C.Setalwad in the Lok Sabha on 1.4.1954 on the above issue, to the effect that it was outside the legislative competence of that House to come forward with any Bill concerning organisation of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. However, the Chairman, Lok Sabha in his ruling on the point raised by Shri Banatwala interalia observed that Chair does not decide whether the Bill is Constitutionally within the legislative competence of the House or not and further, the House also does not take a decision on the specific question of vires of the Bill. The motion moved by Shri Raju was, therefore, put to the vote of the House and adopted. Accordingly, the Chair permitted introduction of the Bill by Shri Raju and the Bill was introduced.
Shri S.S.Ahluwalia - 2000
13.12 On 22.12.2000, Shri S.S. Ahluwalia, M.P. introduced a Private Member’s Bill entitled ‘Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2000’ in the Rajya Sabha. The Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Bill stated as follows:
Article 48 of our Constitution enjoins upon the State to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves. This directive has been given by the Constitution and more so cow is considered sacred as “Gaumata” by the believers of HInduism as, according to HIndu mythology, cow is the mother of Lord Vishnu. Religious sentiments of overwhelming section of the society are, therefore, also attached with cow.
The origin of the demand for banning of slaughter of cow in our country, sought for by several social and religious leaders from time to time, can be tracked back even in the freedom movement of India from colonial British rule in the middle of 19th Century and Acharya Vinoba Bhave in the recent past. The freedom movement, known in the history as the Namdhari or Kooka movement, launched by Guru Ram Singh at Bhaini Sahib, a village in Ludhiana district, on Baisakhi day in 1858, under the shadow of the “Sepoy Mutiny” was primarily aimed at religious and social reform. During the middle of January, 1872, several participants of the Kooka movement were blown off from cannon mouth at Malerkotla by the British officer for the offence of attacking the fort of Pathan Nawab and demolishing of a cow slaughter house.
Moreover to increase milk production, bullock power in rural parts and natural manure in the country it becomes necessary to ban cow slaughter completely throughout the country.
Hence this Bill.”
Shri Prahlad Singh Patel - 2002
13.13 A Private Member’s Resolution was put up by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, M.P. in the Lok Sabha on which discussion commenced on 26.7.2002 and is still not completed (at the time of writing this Report). The Resolution states as follows:
“This House is of the opinion that the Government should bring forward a suitable legislation to ban slaughter of cow and its progeny throughout the country.”
14. Constitutional Provisions
14.1 As discussed earlier, one of the Directive Principles of State Policy relating to prohibition of slaughter of cow is contained in Article 48 of the Constitution of India, which states as follows
“The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
14.2 However the preservation of cattle is a matter on which the State Legislatures have exclusive powers to legislate, the relevant entry being Entry 15 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, which reads as follows:
“Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice.”
14.3 During the Constituent Assembly Debate on an amendment moved by Shri Thakur Dass Bhargava, fervent pleadings were made for a ban on cow slaughter. Efforts to include a provision for a total ban on slaughter of cow and its progeny in the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the Constitution of India, were made but came to nought. Instead, they were included in the Chapter containing the Directive Principles of State Policy, by including a provision as Article 38A, which subsequently became Article 48 of the Constitution, as it stands today. It may be noted that, during the Debate in the Constituent Assembly, two Muslim Members, expressed the view that, if a total ban on cow slaughter was desired by the Hindu majority on grounds of religious sentiment, they would not stand in the way. One of them even stated that, in order to make the position clear that cows could not be slaughtered, even on occasions like Bakr-Id, the provision should be included in the Fundamental Rights portion rather than leaving it open to the discretion of the State Governments whether or not to lay down the laws.
15. Cattle in the Planning Process
15.1 It is necessary to see how the issues relating to Cattle have been dealt with in the successive Plan periods starting from the First Five Year Plan. The issue of surplus cattle has been handled in different ways in the various Plan documents, some discussing this issue at great length and other remaining completely silent on the subject. Other issues such as cattle development, genetic improvement and breeding, feed and fodder, goshalas etc. have also received varying degrees of emphasis in the different Plans.
15.2 First Five Year Plan Document
15.2.1 The issue of cattle numbers and surplus cattle has been dealt with at considerable length in the First Plan. According to the First Five Year Plan document, the 1951 livestock census showed the cattle population of the country as 150 million, while the buffalo population was 43 million. It has also been stated that the importance of livestock to the economy of the nation could be judged by the fact that the annual contribution to the gross national income was about Rs.1000 crores, excluding the value of draft animal power.
15.2.2 The total bovine population of undivided India, (before Independence) is stated to have risen from 145.8 million in 1920 to 154.6 million in 1930 and then fallen to 144.5 million in 1945. The following table shows the trend in bovine population during 1920 – 1945, according to the quinquennial census, as reflected in the Plan Document:
Year Number in millions Variation taking
1920 as the basis
1920 145-8 100
1925 151-0 104
1930 154-6 106
1935 153-7 105
1940 147-7 101
1945 144-5 99
15.2.3 The Plan Document quotes the estimates made by the Cattle Utilisation Committee that about 10 per cent of the cattle population or roughly 11.4 million adults were unserviceable or unproductive. It was also found that in the rice belt and the southern regions, a comparatively larger number of unproductive cows are maintained. The Plan Document recommended that measures should be taken for upgrading the cattle and removing useless and inefficient animals to Gosadans. As regards bullocks, the estimate that there was a surplus of 4 million bullocks in UP and Bihar but it was concluded that due to small farmers maintaining bullocks which are not fully utilised, there was shortage of bullock power only in certain areas, and there was scope for increasing the efficiency of bullock power by 60% for the country as a whole.
Key Village Scheme
15.2.4 In summing up, the First Five Year Plan document speaks of the fact that the available feed could not adequately sustain the then existing bovine population and noted that, while there was a deficiency of good milch cows and working bullocks, there existed a surplus of useless or inefficient animals, and that this surplus was pressing upon the scanty fodder and feed resources. It was suggested that a programme for improvement of cattle should be launched, involving arrangements for production and use of adequate numbers of superior bulls of known parentage and productivitiy and elimination of inferior and unapproved bulls. It was envisaged, under the Key Village Scheme, that 600 centres would be set up in the Plan period, each centre with three or four villages having about 500 cows of over three years of age where maintenance of records of pedigree and milk production, feeding and disease control would receive full attention and techniques of artificial insemination would be utilised by setting up one AI centre for four key villages centres. Improvement of common grazing grounds, growing of fodder crops in suitable rotations, preservation of surplus monsoon grass, and use of untapped fodder resources were some of the key components of the Scheme.
15.2.5 According to the census figure, out a total of 48 million cows over three years of age, as many as 28 million were dry. In order to remove the useless cattle to areas of natural grazing or tracts where fodder supply was not being fully utilised, the Plan provides for establishment of 160 Goshads at a cost of about Rs.97 laks. It was proposed that, all old, infirm and useless cattle will be segregated and sent to Gosadans located in wastelands, forests and other out-of-the-way places where grazing facilities existed but were not being utilised. The entire flocks were to be castrated and the animals, after natural death, would be utilised for their hides, skins, horns, hooves, etc. by small tanneries / flaying units to be set up at each of the centres. It was estimated that, with each Gosadan maintaining about 2000 cattle heads, the number of animals removed from the selected areas would reach about 3.2 lakhs in 1954-55, the penultimate year of the Plan period.
Fodder and Feed Problem
15.2.6 The Plan document stated that without proper feeding and management of the cattle, the effects of better breeding would be largely negated. Some experts were quoted as feeling that feeding alone could bring about an increase of 30 per cent in the milk yield of cows. The Planners felt that the supply of green and leguminous fodders should be introduced by crop rotation in irrigated areas and ‘Kudzu” grown on steep slopes of regions of good rainfall for grazing. Research in fodder crops and also on feeds like mango-seed kernel needed to be encouraged.
15.3 Second Five Year Plan
15.3.1 The document for the Second Five Year Plan notes that the object of animal husbandry programmes is, inter alia, to increase the supply of milk, meat and eggs and to provide efficient bullock power for agricultural operations in every part of the country which meant that the quality of the cattle was of critical importance to the rural economy.
Low Productivity and Surplus Cattle
15.3.2 The Plan document notes that, despite a large population of cattle (155.09 million) and buffalo (43.35 million), the net value of live-stock products amounted to only Rs. 664 crores or about 16 per cent of the income from agriculture. The Plan also took note of the fact that studies had indicated that the cattle population was considerably in excess of the available supplies of fodder. It was estimated that, in relation to the supplies of dry fodder at least one-third of the cattle population may be regarded as surplus and that in relation to the supplies of green fodder and concentrates the position was still worse. Due to increase in the requirements of food for the human population, areas, where grazing was possible, had diminished, eroding the available fodder for cattle, which were dependent on grazing, apart from feeding on crop-residues. It was realised that cattle-raising had to undergo a basic change and mixed farming systems would have to be developed, wherein most of the fodder would have to be grown progressively on the holdings of the farmers.
15.3.3 The Plan document notes that there was a natural tendency for the number of surplus cattle to increase even in the ordinary course and that this trend would become more marked owing to action taken in preceding years to place a total ban on the slaughter of cattle. The document acknowledges that proposals for bans on the slaughter of cattle derive from a widely prevalent sentiment, which has found expression in the Constitution and must inevitably also enter into national planning. The document cites Article 48 of the Constitution, which prescribes that the States shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modem and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle. However, the Planners have cautioned that, in giving effect to this Directive Principle, care had to be taken to see that conditions were not created, which may defeat the very objective, which is sought to be achieved by this provision of the Constitution.
15.3.4 The document refers to the findings of the expert committee on the prevention of Slaughter of cattle, appointed by the Government of India in 1954, to the effect that the fodder and other resources of the country were grossly inadequate even for maintaining the then existing cattle population, and notes that a complete ban on the slaughter of all cattle would tend to increase their numbers further and would jeopardise the well-being of the limited number of good cattle.
Gosadans and Goshalas
15.3.5 The Plan document notes that the Gosadan Scheme, envisaged as a solution to the problem of surplus cattle in the First Plan, had not made satisfactory progress. Only 22 gosadans for 8,000 cattle had been established (as against the envisaged number of 160 Gosadans for 3.2 lakh cattle). Although the Second Plan proposed to set up 60 gosadans for about 30,000 cattle, it was obvious that it would be impossible to establish enough numbers of Gosadans to take care of unproductive cattle. The Plan document therefore, recommends that, in defining the scope of bans on the slaughter of cattle States should take a realistic view of the fodder resources available and the extent to which they can get the cooperation of voluntary organisations to bear the main responsibility for maintaining un-serviceabie and' unproductive cattle with a measure of assistance from the Government and general support.
15.3.6 During the second five year plan it was proposed to select 350 goshalas, out of a total number of 3,000, as centres to be developed for livestock improvement. It was envisaged that these goshalas would send their unserviceable and unproductive cattle to the nearest gosadans, each of which would have facilities for the better utilisation of hides, bones and other products. Each Goshala would be provided by Government with a certain number of animals of improved breed and would be required to secure an equal number from its own resources. A sum of Rs. 1 crore was provided for the scheme.
Cattle Breeding Policy and Programme
15.3.6 The Plan paper documents the fact that there are as many as 25 well-defined breeds of cattle and six well-defined breeds of buffaloes in India, which are distributed in different parts of the country. High class specimens in each breed are limited in number and are found in the interior of its particular breeding tract, around which there are animals of the same type but of poorer quality. A few of these breeds are of the dairy type while a large majority of the breeds are of the draught type. In between there are "dual-purpose" breeds, whose females yield more, than an average quantity of milk, while the males are good working bullocks. It was found that the while the well-defined breeds are largely found in the dry parts of the country, over large parts of the country in the east and the south of India where rainfall is very heavy, the cattle are non-descript and do not belong to any definite breed.
15.3.7 The major guidelines of the all-India breeding policy, drawn up by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and accepted by the Central and State Governments were:
• In the case of well-defined milch breeds the milking capacity should be developed to the maximum by selective breeding and the male progeny should be used for the development of the nondescript cattle.
• In the case of well-defined draught breeds, the objective is to put as much milk in them as possible without materially impairing their quality for work.
15.3.8 Thus, the breeding policy was generally designed to increase the production of milk in the country, without affecting the position in regard to the supply of bullocks required for cultivation. In every draught breed there is always a small number which give more than an average quantity of milk and by selecting bulls from this group, the milk production of the population could be progressively increased by further selection and breeding. When this is done in the interior of the breeding tracts, the bulls produced can be used in the outer areas in order that general improvement may be brought about in the entire population.
15.3.9 For the implementation of this policy, each State was divided into zones according to the breeds used in them. Thus, in the districts of Ahmedabad, Kaira, Broach and Surat. the breed to be used was 'Kankrej'. In the western tracts of U.P. like Saharanpur, Muzaffamagar, Aligarh, Mathura, etc., the breed proposed to be used was 'Hariana'. In the hilly tracts such as Dehra Dun, Garhwal, Almora and parts ofNainital, where the cattle are non-descript, Sindhi bulls were to be used.Key Village Scheme
15.3.10 It was envisaged that, mainly through the key village scheme that the programme of livestock improvement is being pursued by State Governments. This scheme provides tor concentrated work in selected areas. • It envisages castration of scrub bulls, breeding operations controlled by artificial insemination centres (each of which is intended to serve about 5,000 cows of breeding age), rearing of calves on a subsidised basis, development of fodder resources and the marketing of animal husbandry products organised on co-operative lines. During the first five year plan 600 key villages and 150 artificial insemination centres have been established. During the second plan 1258 key villages, 245 artificial insemination centres and 254 extension centres are to be set up. The programme is intended to produce about 22,000 improved stud bulls, 950,000 improved bullocks and a million improved cows. The scheme has made encouraging progress, but in respect of fodder development and the marketing of animal husbandry products not much headway has been made. On the other hand, controlled breeding has found a large measure of acceptance and States have enacted the necessary legislation for implementing the scheme. In the early stages work in many key villages and artificial insemination centres was delayed for want of equipment and shortage of staff, but everywhere the local people have been willing to provide rent-free buildings and contribute in other ways to make the scheme a success. During the second plan a great deal of attention must be given to the fodder programme as this is an essential basis for the programme of cattle development. In each area efforts should be made to develop the limited pasture lands which are available. With the large programme envisaged in the second plan a high degree of urgency atlaches-to ihe provision of adequate staff, to better administrative planning of supplies and to public education in matters affecting animal husbandry development.15.4 Third Five Year Plan
15.4.1 The Third Five Year Plan document took note of the seriousness of the problem of surplus and uneconomic cattle, a problem which is widely recognised, although estimates of the numbers of such cattle vary. Since large numbers lead to poor feeding which in turn results in low productivity, weeding of inferior stock was a necessary complement to a programme of cattle improvement and systematic breeding. The gosadan scheme, which was worked out by the Cattle Preservation and Development Committee in 1948, was introduced as a partial answer to this problem. The scheme envisaged segregation of useless cattle so as to avoid their further multiplication and the resultant damage to crops. Although is was proposed to set up 23 more gosadans in the Third Plan, in its very nature, the programme for establishing gosadans presented certain difficulties, the most important of these being the non-availability of suitable sites in the interior of forest areas where the necessary grazing facilities are available. The scheme has been modified from time to time with a view to making gosadans a more economic proposition, providing facilities for the full utilisation of hides, bones, horns, and reducing overhead costs. Regarding the menace of wild and stray animals, the Plan document noted that, in the Second Plan, a scheme for catching, taming and disposing of wild and stray cattle was initiated as part of the gosadan programme and that the scheme was in operation in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
15.4.2 The Plan states that having regard to the size of the problem of surplus cattle and its special features, with a view to elimination of scrub male stock, it was proposed to undertake a large-scale programme of castration during the Third Plan. The programme envisaged that mass castration work would be initiated first, in areas in which intensive livestock development programmes have been taken up and would be later extended to other areas.15.5 Fourth Five Year Plan
15.5.1 This Plan has not specifically discussed the problem of surplus cattle but has talked about the cattle development programmes launched in the previous Plan period. It was proposed that the schemes of the Third Plan including those relating to cattle breeding farms, bull rearing farms, goshala development, control of wild and stray cattle and organisation of mass castration would continue and three central cattle breeding farms and eight bull rearing farms would be set up during the Fourth Plan period. It was also indicated that Sire evaluation cells would be established in each State.15.6 Fifth Five Year Plan
15.6.1 The document for the Fifth Five Year Plan has not mentioned the animal husbandry sector, and while discussing the perspectives on agriculture has singularly concentrated on foodgrain production and related issues. Only in the Chapter on Plan Outlays and Programmes of Development, a small paragraph on Animal Husbandry and Dairy Farming find its place. Here it has been acknowledged that there had been some delay in giving a start to the special livestock development programmes through small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. By and large, the targets under production oriented projects such as the intensive cattle development (ICD) projects were expected to be fully achieved. There were 85 subsidised projects for calf-rearing. It was envisaged that the emphasis would continue to be laid on cross-breeding of cattle through establishment of exotic cattle breeding farms and intensive artificial insemination measures.
15.7 Sixth Five Year Plan
15.7.1 While reviewing the position with regard to animal husbandry and dairying, the Sixth Plan document notes that the increase in productivity of cattle and buffalo received continuing emphasis since the advent of the Planning process and progressive introduction of artificial insemination technique using superior breeding bulls was the main plank for cattle development under the Key Village Scheme and the Intensive Cattle Development programmes.
15.7.2 The Plan document noted that several special livestock production projects through small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers were formulated based on the recommendations of the National Commission on Agriculture. Under this programme, 99 projects for subsidised rearing of cross-bred heifer calves were taken up in different States.
15.7.3 The document speaks of the need to increase the productivity of cattle by making concerted efforts to contain the increase in the population of cows and she buffaloes and to change the structure of these populations by replacing non-descript local stock by high-producing cows of indigenous breeds, cross bred cows and improved buffaloes. To achieve this, States were required to frame their breeding policies. 15.8 Seventh Five Year Plan
15.8.1 The Plan document for the Seventh Plan period speaks of the efforts to increase productivity of milch cattle in the previous Plan, through the establishment of 500 Key Villages and 122 Intensive Cattle Development projects. Cross-breeding with exotic dairy breeds was accelerated through the establishment of frozen semen stations in different States.
15.8.2 For increasing milk production and to improve draught power of bullocks, programmes for improvement of various breeds would continue, with emphasis on inputs like high merited breeding bulls, adequate and scientific feeding, modern management practices, provision of health facilities would continue and efforts would be made to bring at least 25 million cows under the cross-breeding programme. 15.9 Eighth Five Year Plan
15.9.1 In the Plan for the Eighth Five Year Plan, the need for paying special attention to technologies being developed to make activities in the livestock and dairy development sector economically more remunerative for the farmers. Emphasis was sought to be given to research in frontier areas such as genetic engineering which would provide for rapid upgradation of cattle through the use of Embryo Transfer Technology, development of more effective vaccines to control livestock diseases and so on. 15.10 Ninth Five Year Plan
15.10.1 The Ninth Plan paper documents a considerable improvement in production of milk during the previous Plan, which is attributed to the intensified activities particularly, in improvement of genetic stocks, through cross-breeding, effective control of diseases and the Operation Flood Programmes. The Ninth Plan sought to achieve the goals of doubling of food production and alleviation of hunger by adopting, for the first time, a Regionally Differentiated Strategy based on the agro-economic and climatic conditions of different regions. One of the note-worthy features of the strategy, from the Commission’s point of view, is the emphasis on increased utilisation of chemical fertilizers to be accompanied by complementary use of farm yard manure, compost, green manure and bio-fertilizers for promotion of soil health.
15.10.2 Animal Husbandry and Dairying, contributing about 26% of the total agricultural output was recognised as an important tool for generating employment and supplementing incomes of small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. The specific areas identified for intervention and support included, scientific management of genetic stock resources and upgradation, breeding, producing quality feed and fodder and so on.
15.10.3 One of the key research areas identified under Animal Sciences discipline was Genetic resource enhancement of cattle and other animals, through selection / cross breeding / embryo biotechnology. 15.11 Tenth Five Year Plan (Proposals)
15.11.1 The Planning Commission had set up a Working Group on Animal Husbandry to finalise the approach and strategies to be adopted during the 10th Plan Period (2002-2007). The Working Group, in turn, set up 15 sub-Committees to study the different subject areas in greater detail.
15.11.2 In its Report, the Working Group on Animal Husbandry has, inter alia, stated that, in India, meat production is largely a byproduct system of livestock production utilizing spent animals at the end of their productive life. Cattle and buffaloes, which contribute about 60 % of total meat production, are primarily reared for milk and draught purpose, and in the end utilized for meat purpose subject to many limitations.
15.11.3 The Working Group felt that a national livestock breeding strategy should be evolved with a major thrust on genetic up gradation of indigenous/native cattle and buffaloes using proven semen and high quality pedigreed bulls and by expanding artificial insemination network to provide services at the farmer’s level.
15.11.4 The Working Group felt that conservation of threatened breeds of livestock and improvement of breeds used for draught animal and pack should be the major goal of the Tenth Plan and that it should be a national priority to maintain diversity of breeds and preserve those showing decline in number or facing extinction.
15.11.5 The Group stressed that importance of feed and fodder in livestock production hardly needs to be emphasized and stated that specials attention should be given to cultivation of fodder crops and fodder trees to improve animal nutrition. The Working Group felt that, although the area under permanent pasture and grazing land has been estimated at 11.06 million hectares, in actuality, the availability appeared to be much less. An integrated approach for regeneration of the grazing lands needs to be evolved. Due to improper management of common property resources and lack of coordination between different agencies involved, the productivity as well as carrying capacity of the present public and forestland are decreasing. This problem needs to be addressed on priority for sustainable and economic livestock production.
15.11.6 The Working Group felt that, the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources ((MNES) had done very little work in the field of draught animal power, and for this work the Ministry of Agriculture should be the nodal ministry. The Group recommended that a National Center for Animal Energy Development be established under the Department of Animal husbandry and Dairying as a Central Sector Scheme to coordinate all the activities related to the efficient utilization of DAP in collaboration with other Ministries/ Departments. The further recommendation was that a new programme, focusing exclusively on improvement and conservation of draught breeds of livestock should be initiated during Xth Plan.
16. Findings of Earlier Committees and Commissions
16.1 The issue of a ban on cow slaughter was agitated over several decades in one form or the other both on the floor of the Parliament as well as outside. The Government set up various Committees and Expert Groups to look into the question as well as related aspects concerning development and preservation of the cattle wealth of the country. Some of the more important Committees / Commissions are discussed below.Cattle Preservation and Development Committee (1947-48)
16.2 An Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Sardar Bahadur Datar Singh was constituted by Government Resolution dated 19th November 1947G. The introductory part of the Resolution reads as follows:
“ It has been brought to the notice of the Government of India that large numbers of cattle are annually slaughtered in this country for meat, that this slaughter is often indiscriminate, that it includes animals of all ages and qualities and that the slaughter results in short supplies of milk and work bullocks and in the depletion of the country’s cattle wealth. There has been considerable agitation in the press, on the platform and on the floor of the Legislature in regard to this matter, and Government has been urged to take immediate steps to prohibit slaughter by legislation. As this is a complicated socio-religious subject the Government of India have after careful consideration decided to appoint an Export Committee of officials and non-officials to consider the question in all its aspects and to recommend a comprehensive plan of action which can be put into immediate effect for preserving the cattle wealth of the country and for promoting its development.
In considering the subject the Committee will pay particular attention to the following:-
(a) The cause and the extent of periodical variation in the population of each class of cattle and the effect of such variation on the supply of milk and bullock power.
(b) Detailed examination of the available statistics of slaughter, proportion of useful animals therein and an estimate of the material loss caused thereby.
(c) Population trend of old and unproductive cattle and the problem of their mainenance and economic utilization in view both of shortage of cattle feed and of prevailing sentiments against slaughter.
(d) How agencies like Gaushalas and Cattle Protection Societies and Salvage Centres can be utilized for preserving cattle wealth and for promoting its development.
(e) Review of existing regulations regarding restrictions on cattle slaughter and of the administrative arrangements for the enforcement of the regulations.
16.3 While summing up general discussions, the Chairman observed that there was a large degree of unanimity in that the whole committee wanted cattle slaughter to be stopped completely. Majority of the members were of the view that prevention of slaughter should be enforced by legislation, while the minority was of the view that no legislative action should be resorted to. They held that the urge for stopping slaughter should come from within and that it would come when people were convinced of the economics of the whole matter.
16.4 In its final recommendation, made in its Report submitted in November 1948, the Committee said that slaughter of cattle is not desirable in India under any circumstances whatsoever, and that its prohibition shall be enforced by law. The Committee suggested that, the first stage, which should be given effect to immediately, should cover the total prohibition of slaughter of all useful cattle other than a) animals over 14 years of age and unfit for work and breeding and b) animals of any age permanently unable to work or breed owing to age, injury or deformity. The committee also suggested that unlicensed and unauthorized slaughter of cattle should be immediately prohibited and made a cognizable offence under law. In the second stage, the Committee envisaged that slaughter of cattle should be prohibited totally. The Committee also made suggestions for arrangements for maintenance and care of serviceable and unproductive cattle and for development of feed and fodder etc.Expert Committee on the Prevention of Slaughter of Milch Cattle in India (1954-55)
16.5 A Committee of Experts was set up by Government Resolution dated 10th June 1954, under the Chairmanship of Shri P.N.Nanda, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, to consider what steps should be taken I) to prevent the killing of milch cows particularly in the cities of Calcutta and Bombay even when they had gone temporarily dry, ii) to make the present law on the subject more effective so as to put an end to such evil practices as ‘phooka’, iii) to explore the possibility of making milk powder in suitable centers and iv) to impose some effective control on the inter-state movement of cattle.
16.6 The Committee, in its Report submitted in January, 1955 found that the root cause of slaughter of milch cattle was the unnatural conditions under which animals were kept for milk production in urban areas. The sale of dry animals for slaughter became under these conditions an economic necessity. The only way in which the abuse could be permanently prevented was to follow the methods found most suitable by other countries, namely the removal of cattle from the cities and the arrangements of milk supplies from rural areas. By doing this, not only would the slaughter of prime milch cattle and all the accompanying evils be stopped for ever, but there would be large development of cattle and dairy industries of the country. The Committee felt that measures like legislative ban on slaughter and cruelty or salvage of animals which have already been mishandled and misused in city stable, will only be treating the symptoms and not curing the disease. Gosamvardhan Seminar (1960)
16.7 The problems of salvage from cities and towns of milch stock when they go dry and their calves and ways and means for preserving good-quality cattle in the breeding areas were discussed at the Gosamwardhana Seminar at Mount Abu in June 1960. The Seminar, organized by the Central Council of Gosamwardhana, felt that the problem of preservation of cattle in breeding areas was linked with the system of milk supply to the big cities and therefore the only solution was to remove the milch cattle from cities and town to rural areas. As an interim measure, the good quality animals should be salvaged. The Committee suggested that the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act should be rigidly enforced so that the health of animals was maintained. Dry-stock farms, operated by private enterprises should be tried out, for maintaining animals when they are dry. Railway freight should be subsidized for movement of the animals. Special Committee on Preserving High-yielding Cattle (1961-62)
16.8 Programmes for implementing the recommendations of the Nanda Committee and the Gosamwardhan Seminars were taken up by the States concerned under the Five Year Plans but the scope of the programmes was limited. Meanwhile, the exodus of the superior types of milch cattle from the breeding areas continued in an accelerated manner, in view of the larger demand for milk in urban areas. Alarmed at this situation, the Central Council for Gosamvardhans set up a special high-powered committee for suggesting comprehensive proposals on long-term and short-term measures for solving the problem. Vide its Memorandum dated 29th September, 1961, the Council constituted the Special Committee on Preserving High-yielding Cattle under the Chairmanship of Shri Shriman Narayan, Member (Agriculture), Planning Commission. The Committee was asked to examine in detail, the various measures necessary for preserving high-yielding cattle in the breeding tracts, control on the import of milch cattle into city stables, salvage of dry cows and young stock in the cities and suggest a comprehensive programme for implementing the recommendations.
16.9 In its Report, submitted in July 1962, the Committee made several recommendations for preservation of high-yielding cattle in their breeding tracts. Some of the major recommendations are paraphrased below:
• In order to prevent the depletion of stock of good quality cattle form breeding tracts through unrestricted removal of a large number of high-yielding milch cattle to areas outside the States, the States concerned should undertake legislation for the registration of milch cattle and for controlling their removal outside the State, keeping in view the problem as a whole affecting the various States.
• With a view to coordinating and controlling the large-scale movement of milch cattle from the breeding tracts, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture should examine the need for a comprehensive Central Legislation for the preservation of cattle and development of dairying.
• Implementation of various cattle development schemes should be concentrated in the breeding areas and around dairy projects in the Third Five Year Plans of States like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat.
• The various schemes drawn up by the States for the preservation and improvement of cattle should receive a high priority and necessary funds for their implementation be allocated in the annual Plans of the States.
• To control import, maintenance and movement of milch animals in Bombay, licensing of all cattle within the city should be made compulsory. Similarly, Rules should be formulated for import and export of milch animals by various State Governments in consultation with one another and permits should be compulsory for movement of animals to cattle owners who salvage dry animals satisfactorily and adopt improved animal husbandry practices.
• The West Bengal Animal Slaughter Control Act should be enforced more rigidly and the Act should be suitably amended so as to provide for the prohibition of import and sale of contraband beef in the city. The Act should be extended to other Municipal areas also and, wherever possible, non-officials should be associated in its enforcement.
17. Legislation regarding ban on Cow slaughter
17.1 As mentioned earlier, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry being in the domain of the State Government, and by virtue of Entry 15 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, presently, the States alone are empowered to enact legislation for the prevention of slaughter and for preservation of cattle. Consequent upon the adoption of the Constitutional Provisions, several State Governments and Union Territories enacted Cattle Preservation Laws in one form or the other.
17.2 The following State Governments and Union Territories have enacted legislation relating to prevention of slaughter of cow and its progeny:
1. Andhra Pradesh
7. Himachal Pradesh
8. Jammu & Kashmir
10. Madhya Pradesh
15. Sikkim 16. Tamil Nadu
17. Uttar Pradesh
18. West Bengal
20. National Capital Territory of Delhi
1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
3. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
17.3 Kerala is a major consumer of beef and the absence of any regulation on slaughter of cow and its progeny has led to slaughter of untold numbers of cattle, most of them being smuggled into Kerala from neighbouring States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The following States/UTs have no legislation.
1. Arunachal Pradesh
4. Mizoram 5. Nagaland
7. UT of LakshadweepLack of uniformity in existing legislations
17.4 A Statement showing the main features of the legislations enacted by the different States and Union Territories is at Annex II (8) to this Report. It will be seen that there is a complete lack of uniformity in these State laws. By and large, most of the laws prohibit the slaughter of cows of all ages. However, Assam, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal permit the slaughter of even cows of over 14, 10 and 14 years of age, respectively. Most States prohibit the slaughter of calves, whether male or female. However, except for Bihar and Rajasthan, where age of a calf is given as below 3 years, the other Acts have not defined the age of a calf. In Maharashtra, the Commission was told that the definition of calf being followed, by some executive instructions, was ‘below the age of 1 year’.
17.5 Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan have banned totally the slaughter of cow and its progeny, including bulls and bullocks of all ages. The Uttar Pradesh Act permits the slaughter of bulls and bullocks of over 15 years or who have become permanently incapacitated. However, by an Ordinance issued in 2001, the Uttar Pradesh Government prohibited the slaughter of cow and its progeny.
17.6 Most of the legislations specify that offences would be cognisable. However, only Delhi, Goa, Pondicherry, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have made the offences both cognisable and non-bailable. The maximum term of imprisonment varies from 6 months to 5 years (Delhi and Haryana) and the fine from Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000. Delhi and Madhya Pradesh have fixed minimum term of imprisonment at 6 months.
18. Trends in population of cattle
18.1 As has been brought out in the detailed chapters, there is a lack of timely and accurate data of cattle population in the country. The results of the 1992 Livestock Census are the latest compiled and validated data available, even ten years later. The 1997 results have just been compiled, and these too are incomplete, as Bihar and Dadar & Nagar Haveli did not conduct the 1997 Census. The 2002 Census has not even begun and the results will be probably available in another five years, if the time lag continues to occur as it has been doing so far. Since lack of timely data hinders the formulation of policies to correct negative growth trends. The DAHD should take over the work of Livestock Census and arrange to make the detailed results available within 1 year of the Census, while the provisional figures should be released much earlier.
18.2 If we look at the figures received from the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, as given in Annex II (9), we find a disturbing trend in growth rates, with several States showing negative growth during the 5 years between 1992 and 1997. Commission feels that this trend would continue to manifest itself in the 1997-2002 period, once the 2002 results are known.
18.3 From the available figures, it is seen that Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Orissa, Punjab, Sikkim, TAmil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Daman & Diu are the States and Union Territories where the cattle population has declined in the five years between 1992 and 1997. The cattle population of Karnataka has come down by 23.42 lakhs, with an average annual negative growth of -3.55%. Surprisingly enough, the heart of the so-called ‘Cow Belt’, Uttar Pradesh has shown a decline of over 35.88 lakhs during the five years, which coupled with the negative growths in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and - of all places – Punjab, shows a very disturbing trend indeed. The Commission fears that this trend would be all the more pronounced by the time the 2002 Census is conducted and figures made available.
18.4 The total cattle population of the country, excluding Bihar and Dadar/Nagar Haveli, has declined from 182.38 million in 1992 to 175.053 million in 1997, which means an average annual negative growth of over –0.8%. The Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics 2002 puts the provisional total population of cattle in the country in 1997 at 197.71 million, as compared to the figure of 204.58 million cattle in 1992, which means a decline of 68.70 lakh cattle in five years, or an annual negative growth of –0.67%, as compared to a positive annual growth rate of 0.49% in the preceding five years period, i.e., 1987-1992. It is for the first time since 1951, that the total cattle population in the country has shown a negative growth as will be seen from the figures given below, as extracted from Annex I (23). The Commission hopes that the Government will wake up in time and take steps to arrest the disastrous trend in depletion of cattle wealth of India. The oft-repeated argument of strain on fodder resources if the population of cattle is allowed to increase does not hold good in a situation where the population is actually decreasing. There are other ways of controlling indiscriminate growth of cattle, which can be put in place, once the population growth rate stabilises at a reasonable and sustainable level.
Extracts from Table at Annex I (23) showing livestock population and growth rates
(in million numbers)
2. Adult Female Cattle
Annual Growth Rates
2. Adult Female Cattle
18.5 The Commission got a Quick Cattle Survey conducted through the Field Operations Division of the National Sample Survey Organisation, at the initiative of Smt. Maneka Gandhi, the then Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation and Animal Welfare. The NSSO conducted a survey in two Districts of Andhra Pradesh and two Districts of Haryana. Although the sample size was too small to come to any definite conclusion, the survey came up with certain findings, which deserve to be studied in greater detail by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. This study should be taken as a pilot survey and the design and methodology should be modified to suit the needs of the Department, so that the survey could be conducted on a larger scale. Once a representative sample is studies, conclusions can be drawn for development of a broad-based policy for dealing with the problem of declining numbers, and for preserving and developing the precious cattle resources of the country.
19. Public Hearings and Meetings with officials
19.1 Starting from mid-January 2002, the Commission held a series of public hearings, in all the States and ending in Tamil Nadu. The schedule of the public hearings that were held, in two or more places in all the States, except in Jammu & Kashmir and in the North-Eastern States and the smaller Union Territories, is given at Annex II (10), along with the names of the Members who attended these meetings and public hearings.
19.2 The response in terms of attendance at the public hearings varied from ‘very good’, in States like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP & Tamil Nadu to ‘very poor’ in Kerala and the North East.
19.3 The Commission ensured adequate publicity for these hearings with notices appearing in national as well as local vernacular dailies before the date of the public hearings. These notices explained the terms of the reference of the Commission and sought the views and suggestions from all interested members of the public on this important national issue.
19.4 Although the Commission did make efforts to obtain the views of persons, who may subscribe to the opposite school of thought, for whatever reason, unfortunately, the attendance from this section of the society was lacking. The opportunity of expressing the views was given at each meeting by the Acting Chairman, and the people were asked to speak their minds without fear or prejudice. However, except for a very few isolated cases, the dissenters kept away, probably because they just do not care and are indifferent. Since adequate opportunity was given, it is not now open to them to say that their views were not solicited by the Commission.
20. Preparation of the Report and Acknowledgements
20.1 Each of the Committees were asked to provide their inputs and reports to the Acting Chairman, which have been included in the form of different Chapters on the various issues given to the Commission. The draft of the Report, prepared by Justice Lodha, especially the Introduction and the Recommendations, was discussed at various meetings, some even during the tours for the public hearings in the States.
20.2 In the last meeting of the Commission held on 23.6.2002 the report was approved by the Members present. The Report was also briefly discussed with Shri Dharampal, the Chairman when Justice Lodha visited him in Sevagram. Shri Dharampal made some suggestions for editorial changes and presentation of the Report, which have since been incorporated by the Member Secretary.
20.3 The blessings of His Holiness Jagadguru Sankaracharyaji Jayendra Saraswati of Kancheepuram were sought by the Commission when it launched its work as well as at the final stage, before submission of the Report. Mahaswamigal’s views on some of the issues are given in brief at Annex II (11). It was not possible for the Commission to reproduce the views of many important personalities. However, the replies to the questionnaire of the Commission by a sitting High Court judge, Justice Pratibha Upasani are placed at Annex II (12).
20.4 Hon’ble Justice R.N. Misra provided valuable guidance and also participated in all important activities and drafted the Chapter on “Legislation”, which has been accepted by all other members, who have added some material.
20.5 Ms. Ingrid E. Newkirk, from the organisation PETA, could not participate in the Commission meetings as she resides in USA. Vide her letter dated 27.6.2002, Ms. Newkirk informed the Commission that she would not be a signatory of the Report of the Commission. Another Member, Shri L.N.Modi resigned from the Membership of the Commission. His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Balagangadharanatha Mahaswamiji, of Bangalore also could not participate in any of the meetings of the Commission. However, when the Commission visited Karnakata, he gave his blessings both in the Muth and by attending the public hearing at Mysore. He has broadly supported the recommendations for Central Legislation for prohibition of Slaughter of Cow and its progeny.
20.6 The report has been prepared by the Acting Chairman, with inputs from all Conveners of the Sub Committees and from the Member Secretary. The Commission wishes to convey its appreciation to the Consultants, Dr. Niranjan Misra, Shri Udaylal Jaroli, Shri A.V.Sharma and Dr. Dorle, who have worked in the various Committees. Dr. Niru Vora, APS to the Chairman, rendered invaluable service to the Commission by systematically documenting and cataloguing the huge volumes of papers received by the Commission. Shri R.P. (Nutan) Aggarwal, also handled the public relations work of the Commission ably and efficiently.
20.7 Special thanks are due to Shri R.K.Joshi, Viniyog Parivar, Mumbai, who provided valuable inputs to the Commission, on a purely honorary basis. The Commission would also like to thank organisations like Govigyan Bharati and Love4Cow Trust, for their important contributions, such as the latter’s concept of Cow Sanctuaries. Chairperson, NDDB also provided valuable suggestions, especially with regard to organic farming and environment and conservation issues, and Commission would like to thank her. Since it is not possible to do so individually, the Commission would like to collectively thank the numerous other organisations, individuals and members of the public from all walks of life, who have supported the Commission and helped it to achieve its task, within the given frame of time.