A day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government would try its “level best” to bring in a countrywide ban on cow slaughter, the Vishva Hindu Parishad found in the Congress’s Jairam Ramesh an unlikely advocate for its campaign.
The outfit has dug out a speech, made six years ago, by Mr. Ramesh, a former Union minister, calling for a ban on beef eating as it was the “single-most important cause of emissions.” Armed with this “scientific explanation” for the perils of allowing beef consumption, the VHP has asked all political parties to “put aside their ideological differences and come together to save the cow and the country.”
Speaking to The Hindu , VHP national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said the outfit was reaching out to political parties and the masses to explain how cows helped in “the economic, spiritual and cultural uplift.”
“Even Mr. Ramesh has said beef-eating leads to a huge amount of methane emission, which is harmful to the environment. He said on record that beef-eating must be stopped. In pushing for a total ban on cow slaughter, we are not only saving the cow but also the environment, agriculture and the economy of the country,” he said.
Speaking at a United Nations Population Fund’s function in 2009, Mr. Ramesh had said: “It has been seen that developed countries which eat beef have the maximum amount of emissions... The single-most important cause of emissions is eating beef. My formula is to stop eating beef.”
Responding to the VHP’s remarks, Mr. Ramesh said his support was for other reasons. “ I backed it [in 2009] because large cattle populations cause methane emissions, deadly for global warming.”