It’s safe to say that the government of Maharashtra has its priorities in order, since cows are now safer than women and Muslims. As of March 2015, the sale of beef as well as the slaughter of bulls and bullocks in Maharashtra is illegal and can be punished with up to five years imprisonment.
Now, I’m a Bombay girl. I love beef vindaloo, I’ve spent most of my life in Maharashtra, and I’m fiercely defensive of my domicile when I come to the capital of the country.
But even I can’t deny that this ban (and this is coming from a state that issues arbitrary bans on books) is so utterly impossible to defend that one can only marvel and calculate the distance to mercifully permissive Goa.
Pretty much everybody understands the fact that beef is a controversial subject in India, because most of the country’s population is Hindu and holds the cow sacred.
That’s actually part of what makes the ban so aggravating—not everybody is a Hindu, and not everybody thinks the fact that people eat cows is an indication of total moral breakdown.
So here’s a list of reasons the beef ban makes about as much sense as a pregnant goldfish:
1. It’s awfully impolite to impose “culture” on people by telling them what to watch, read or eat, especially in a country like India—and whose culture do we mean, anyway?
2. The state government doesn’t seem to have a game plan to look after the cows once they’ve been saved from the hands of those anti-sanskari people, like leather traders in Dharavi.
3. Even if they do produce a game plan, circumstances are against them—there’s a grave fodder shortage already, and this won’t make it better.
4. Lakhs of people just went out of employment.
5. The silver lining provided in the bill is the permission to slaughter and sell the meat of water buffalo, which is called cara-beef. This would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that not a lot of people want to eat Cinderella’s aquatic little stepsister.
6. This bill is going to leave a lot of people hungry, because beef is the cheapest and most nutritious alternative to mutton and chicken.
7. Speaking of chicken and mutton, they’re going to get expensive rather abruptly.
8. A ban like this is not a smart move for a government that is fast coming off as decisively rigid and troublingly intolerant.
But don’t worry, folks—it’s just half a day’s journey to Goa. We can make it that far.
Watch as everyone else across Spoon University still gets to enjoy beef: