In a path breaking move, the Allahabad High Court has most recently on September 1, 2021 in a learned, laudable, latest and landmark judgment titled Javed v State of Uttar Pradesh minced just no words to observe that the cow should be declared the national animal and cow protection should be made a fundamental right of the Hindus because we know that when the country’s culture and its faith get hurt, the country becomes weak. This was so observed while denying bail to a man accused of cow slaughter. While rejecting the bail application of Javed who went by one name only and who had been accused of slaughtering a cow after committing its theft and was booked under Section 379 IPC r/w Section 3, 5, 8 of UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, a single-Judge Bench comprising of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav of Allahabad High Court minced just no words to make it absolutely clear that, “Fundamental Right is not only the prerogative of beef eaters rather those who worship the cow and are financially dependent on cows, also have the right to lead a meaningful life. The right to life is above the right to kill and the right to eat beef can never be considered a fundamental right.”
As we see, the Allahabad High Court also observed that cow should be given the status of National Animal in light of the fact that, “Cow is part and parcel of the culture of India” and that eating/consuming cow-beef can’t be considered to be a fundamental right of any person. We also cannot be oblivious of the irrefutable fact that in India, the slaughter of cow is partially or fully banned by law in 20 states, with the earliest going back almost 70 years. This is because majority of Indians hold cow in highest esteem and consider it a symbol of “mother goddess” and even its urine is considered to be very useful for curing so many diseases!
It is worth mentioning here that the Judge noted that the applicant after committing the theft of the cow had killed it, beheaded it and stored its meat. It cannot be just glossed over that the Judge then also said that, “This is not the first offence of the applicant” adding that if the applicant is released on bail, he will again commit the same offence, spoiling communal harmony. The Judge also asked the government to pass a legislation declaring “the cow as the national animal” and that enables action “against those who talk about harming the cows” and also those who claim to protect cows but only want to “earn money in the name of cow protection”.
While stressing that this wasn’t about religion, Justice Yadav stressed unequivocally pointing out that several Muslim rulers of India made a point of protecting cows. Justice Yadav also very aptly underscored that, “Muslims have also considered the cow as an important part of India’s culture during their reign. For example, slaughter of cows was banned by five Muslim rulers. Babur, Humayun and Akbar prohibited the sacrifice of cows in their religious festivals. The Nawab of Mysore, Hyder Ali made cow slaughter a punishable offence”. These are all a part of history which no one can ever deny!
In hindsight, why talk about the past only? Even in today’s context, we can see so many brave examples like that of Dilshad Quraishi of Meerut who despite being a Muslim and that too from a community where slaughtering is a very normal thing and part of business to sustain themselves vowed with full zeal to dedicate his whole life wholeheartedly for cows and as a corollary did not even marry and ultimately was killed by firing bullets at him by those who didn’t like what he was doing from people in the business of cow slaughtering and he battled for his life for several months in 2014-15 first in Meerut and then in Gurgaon and yet his supreme sacrifice went unnoticed completely! “My grandson stood for truth and his death will not go waste. Our family will not take rest so long as a single cow is slaughtered in the city,” said Dilshad’s 82-year-old grandmother, Begum in a choked voice. He was most brutally murdered by few goons, whom one will never call Muslims because those who murder innocents are only killers and they are neither Hindus nor Muslims. What an unbeatable irony that his family had earlier expressed their fear of his being eliminated yet he was not given a security cover. He was shot with bullets in the head in June 2014 and after seven months of suffering and battling for life, he ultimately died on January 22, 2015, after having undergone treatment in a number of hospitals in Noida and Meerut. Soon afterwards, his mother Najma went into depression and died a few months later. On the other hand, for Hindus like me, we don’t even think or ever bother about how many cows are slaughtered everyday leave alone dedicating whole life for cows yet Centre as well as successive UP State Governments have vowed since 2015 when Dilshad Qureshi made the supreme sacrifice never to recognize his brave valour! This is what pinches me most! Dilshad even changed his name to Dilshad Bharati as he did not like the surname Qureshi which is associated normally with beef trade!
Dilshad’s grandmother says: “He would often say that he was a true Muslim. If he could not tolerate disrespect of the Quran, how could a Hindu tolerate the butchering of an animal he considers his mother?” His brother Asif further stated: “There was a time when every nook and corner of Saddiq Nagar used to have illegal slaughterhouses. Dilshad launched a crusade against the slaughter of these animals and during the process we all four brothers stopped consuming meat of any sort.” Imran who is one of Dilshad’s brothers says: “More than 5000 cows and buffaloes are slaughtered illegally in the entire district on a daily basis. The hotspots are Shyam Nagar, Rashid Nagar, Sardhana, Harra Khiwai, Badda, Kithore, and so on. The police are corrupt or choose to be a silent spectator.” Dilshad was instrumental in sealing more than 200 illegal slaughterhouses in Saddiq Nagar area alone. But who cares? This thankless nation has cared a damn to recognize his supreme sacrifice that he made for cows sake at a time when Hindus like me myself have not done anything extraordinary in favour of cows even though we feed it whenever we find some cow roaming in front of our house! Why our nation is so thankless for the supreme sacrifice made by Dilshad Qureshi which can be independently corroborated also? India has a lot of explaining to do! Centre also has a lot of explaining to do! UP State Government from 2015 till 2021 also have a lot of explaining to do on this who have all glossed over what he did so selflessly and rendered his own supreme sacrifice of his life also for sake of protecting it from butcherers!
Coming back to the judgment, the Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav minced no words to point out that cow is the only animal which inhales and exhales oxygen. Justice Shekhar also said that, “Panchgavya which is made of cow milk, curd, ghee, urine and cow dung, helps in treatment of several incurable diseases.” He observed that, “It is a tradition in India to use ghee made of cow milk during yajna because this gives special energy to sunrays, which ultimately causes rains.” Who can deny this?
Most significantly, Justice Shekhar made no bones in highlighting that cow protection and promotion aren’t just about any one religion, but the cow is the culture of India and the responsibility to save this culture is of every citizen living in the country, irrespective of their religion. The best example to cite here to the best of my personal knowledge is again Dilshad Qureshi about whom I have already illustrated above in detail! India must accord his supreme sacrifice the recognition that it truly deserves but yet was just glossed over which has hurt every Indian who loves cow in India!
Equally significant is that Justice Shekhar also minces no words to send out a loud and unequivocal message to one and all that, “There are hundreds of examples in our country that whenever we forgot our Sanskriti, the foreigners attacked us and made us slaves, and even today if we do not wake up, then we should not, forget the autocratic Taliban invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.”
This should also provoke all right minded Indians to deliberate on what my best friend Sageer Khan said to me way back in 1994 that, “Why was monogamy imposed only on Hindus and not on Muslims also? In British rule both Hindu men and Hindu women could marry as many as they wanted but in free India our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru imposed monogamy only and only on Hindus alone even though Dr BR Ambedkar had favoured the retention of polygamy in his Hindu Code Bill 1951 and had recommended that it be a ground for divorce. Muslims will keep producing more and more children and can keep 4 wives also and this will only make them more poorer! Why no PM till date has not sought to correct it? It is because no PM dare afford to antagonize Muslims who unlike Hindus will never accept this! Muslims enjoy maximum liberty in India but on this there must be equality yet no Judge or PM has the guts to ever dare to do anything on this till now!” Now it is 2021 and we still see polygamy continuing unabated till now as my best friend Sageer Khan had predicted that no PM can ever summon the courage to do anything on this! The incumbent PM Narender Modi has completed more than 7 years in office but he too like the past PM have done nothing on this and his term will last till 2024 and we have to wait till 2024 to see whether he does anything on this or prefers to play safe just like all the former PMs!
Coming back to the judgment, Justice Shekhar also noted as to how during the Constituent Assembly debates, it was debated that cow protection be made a fundamental right, however, the same didn’t happen and rather, Article 48 was included in the Constitution of India (which directs the state to make efforts for banning animal slaughtering of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle). The Court further observed that cow protection should be made a fundamental right of Hindus and that cows must be put under Part III of the Constitution of India, which deals with fundamental rights.
It is worth noting that the Allahabad High Court also took note of the pathetic conditions under which cows are forced to live despite there being claims and initiatives related to the protection of cows. Justice Shekhar also lamented that, “There are many such examples, where the cows die due to hunger and disease in the cowshed. They are kept amidst the filth. In the absence of food, the cow eat polythene and as a result, dies after getting sick. The bad condition of cows, who have stopped giving milk could be seen on the roads and streets. Sick and mutilated cows are often seen unattended. In such a situation, it comes to the fore as to what those people are doing who promote the idea of conservation of the cow. Sometimes by taking photographs with a couple of cows, people think that their work is done, but it is not so. The cows will have to be protected and taken care of with a sincere heart and the government will also have to consider their case seriously.”
Not stopping here, Justice Shekhar also was at pains to point out that, “It is very painful to see that sometimes, those who talk about cow protection and prosperity, become cow-eaters. The government also gets the cowshed constructed, but the people who have been entrusted to take care of the cows, do not take care of the cow.”
What’s more, Justice Shekhar also made it clear that, “The bad condition of cows, who have stopped giving milk could be seen on the roads and streets. Sick and mutilated cows are often seen unattended. In such a situation, it comes to the fore as to what those people are doing, who promote the idea of conservation of the cow.”
On an unflattering note, Justice Shekhar then very rightly holds that, “Sometimes by taking photographs with a couple of cows, people think that their work is done, but it is not so. The cow will have to be protected and taken care of with a sincere heart and the government will also have to consider their case seriously.”
Furthermore, Justice Shekhar also said as a note of caution that, “The country will be safe, only when there would be the welfare of cows, and then only, there the country would prosper. Especially, those people who talk about the protection of the cow by mere pretense, have to give up the hope of promotion of cow protection.”
Needless to say, Justice Shekhar also made it clear that, “India is the only country in the whole world, where people of different religions live, who may worship differently, but their thinking is the same for the country and they respect each others religion. They respect the customs and food habits. In such a situation, when everyone takes a step forward to unite India and support its faith, then some people whose faith and belief are not at all in the interest of the country, they only weaken the country by talking like this in the country.”
In conclusion, the Single Judge Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav has made it absolutely clear that there is no fundamental right to eat cow beef. It also directed very categorically that cow should be declared national animal. It also directed that cow protection be made the fundamental right of Hindus. Now it is up to Centre to take a final call on it! It also made it clear as was said also by Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav that, “The cow needs to be protected and taken care of… and the government will also have to consider their case seriously. Only when there is welfare of cows, will there be welfare of this country.”