The politics behind cattle transportation

The van that was used to transport four cows was attacked by activists of Hindu Jagarana Vedike at Brahmavar in Udupi district.  

Transportation of cattle has always been a highly contentious issue in the three coastal districts of Karnataka.

Hindutva organisations have often targeted transporters of cattle suspecting they are headed to slaughterhouses. On the other hand, however, questions have been raised on the economic reasons behind farmers giving up old cattle, as maintenance is tough once they are old.

According to G. Rajashekhar, social commentator from Udupi, farmers have no alternative but to give up old cows and oxen as maintaining them is difficult. Not just members of minority communities, but Hindus from the lower strata of society too were involved in cattle transportation, he pointed out.

Writer K. Phaniraj said the issue became politicised only after 2000, when some Sangh Parivar outfits used it for political purposes. People against whom most of cases of cow transportation have been registered do not have other sources of livelihood. “Some religious institutions ask people to send old cows to goshalas. But, people want to sell them, and use the money to buy a new cow,” he said.

Taking a contrary view, Baikady Suprasad Shetty, vice-president of the BJP district and former president of the district unit of Vishva Hindu Parishad, said farmers who cannot take care of their cows can contact his organisation.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 1:31:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/The-politics-behind-cattle-transportation/article14580067.ece

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