Part I By Justice Ranganath Misra, M.P. Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India
Part II By others Members of the Committee on Legislation
List of Annexes to Chapter IV
1) Annex IV (1) – Synopsis of answers in reply to questionnaires and submissions made at public hearings.
2) Annex IV (2) – Compilation of sayings of important personalities of the Nation (in Hindi)
3) Annex IV (3) – Questionnaire issued by the Committee
4) Annex IV (4) – Memorandum submitted at the Public Hearing in Kolkata
PART I - By Justice Ranganath Mishra
1. Human efforts for affording protection to the cow are clearly traceable from Vedic Times. With the discovery of milk as life’s nectar, early human society started looking upon the cow as friendly animal and soon started worshipping the species. Regard for the cow became a Universal human response and, in the Vedas it was referred to with reverence as a holy animal.
2. Some of the references described the animal as Vishnu, the Lord of life. The Atharva Veda forbade harm to the cow, saying:
“The slaughter of an innocent cow is an awful deed. Slay not a cow.”
It further mentioned that both Gods and mortals depend for life on the cow. Similar eulogising references appear in the Rigveda.
3. Mankind realized that cow’s milk was the sustaining factor of life and, therefore, the cow had to legitimately be worshipped and protected. Some of these great sayings are found extracted in the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Constitution Bench decision in the case of Mohd. Hanif Quareshi Versus the State of Bihar, A.I.R. 1958 S.C
4. As time rolled by, Mankind equated milk to nectar and its producer as ‘Mother’. In India this position is almost universal. There have been occasions when the cow, as a valued possession, has been offered to Gods by way of sacrifice and the meat has been taken as the residue of the offering. Such occasions have, however, been rare and the practice has not been widely in vogue nor encouraged.
5. It appears that the Cow was gradually elevated to the status of Divinity, and named as Kamadhenu, as she was capable of fulfilling all the desires of her owner. Kautilya’s Arthasastra has a special chapter (Ch. XXIX), which deals with “superintendence of cows” and describes the duties of the owner of cows, which are referred to in Ch. XI of the book on Hindu Law by Dr. Ganga Nath Jha.
6. In the Mughal period, (as observed by the Supreme Court in Hanif Qureshi’s case and later in the case of Hashmatullah), the Moghul emperors had been issuing ‘farmans’ and ‘fatwas’, which were enforceable by law, prohibiting the slaughter of cows either totally or on specified occasions of Hindu festivals.
7. The Muslim Emperors of India - Babar, Humayun, Akbar and Bahadur Shah, in their respective regimes, had prohibited cow slaughter with a view to respecting the popular sentiment of the Hindu brethren and there was a general support for the view.
8. From the speeches during the Constituent Assembly Debates, particularly the speeches of Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava and Seth Govind Dass, it appears that there were laws restricting cow slaughter even during the British period. By and large, the British, in order to feed their armies, British nationals being habituated to eating beef, allowed cow slaughter on a large scale; yet, on occasions, they even protected the cow and punished those who were indulging in cow slaughter leading to riots.
10. In the Constituent Assembly in the course of the Debate on Article 48 of the Constitution, two powerful Muslims Members – Z.H. Lari and Syed Mohammad Saidulla, pressed for full protection of cows and strongly pressed for stopping cow slaughter incorporating prohibition of such slaughter as a Fundamental Right. Hindu members, including the Prime Minister and Dr. Ambedkar, while supporting the stand in principle, wanted that the protection should be incorporated in the form of Article 48, which stands thus:
“The state shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lives 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”
11. Soon after the Constitution came into force, most of the States legislated for preservation of the cow and prohibition of its slaughter following the Directive Principle in Article 48. The Assam Cattle Preservation Act came in 1950 itself and the following legislations were brought into the statute books in different States.
i. The Bombay Animal Preservation Act, 1954
ii. The Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, 1955
iii. The Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955
iv. The Himachal Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955
v. The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955
vi. The Tamil Nadu Animal Preservation Act, 1958
vii. The Madhya Pradesh Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1959
viii. The Orissa Prevention of Cow slaughter Act, 1960
ix. The Pondichery Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1968
x. The Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964
xi. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976
xii. The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Cow Slaughter and Animals Preservation Act, 1977
xiii. The Goa Daman & Diu Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1978 and The Goa Animal Preservation Act, 1995)
xiv. The Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994
xv. The Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Temporarily Migration of Export) Act, 1995.
12. Some of these Acts have application beyond the present State limits, on account of their being covered by the laws existing before reorganization of the States. All Indian States today have legislation on this score, excepting the State of Kerala.
13. The foundation of all these legislations is the Directive Principle of State Policy contained in Article 48 of our Constitution. Though the theme of the law in these different statutes is more or less the same, the respective legislatures have perceived the problem differently and sought to provide remedies & treatments to the problems, in their own ways and focused the legislations to cover them.
14. The problems relating to the matter are more or less common to the whole country. The Commission has already pointed out that, throughout India, the cow has been held in great reverence and is worshipped as a Mother. The traditional culture of the majority of the people is opposed to cow slaughter and the sentimental approach is in favour of preserving the cow and prohibiting its slaughter. The problem throughout the country being one and the same, on this score, remedial measures to meet it have to be of a common pattern. The interaction of the Commission with members of the public in different parts of the country during public hearings, revealed that most of them were in favour of a common central legislation, which would be helpful to tackle the problems and a uniform treatment of the same would also facilitate implementation and enforcement of the law. Emergence of a common regulated conduct throughout the country would bring about a uniform reaction, leading to generation of a common culture.
15. There are two ways in which Parliament can legislate on the subject. The simple process would be to bring about an amendment of the Constitution and shift entry 15 (relating to preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases) of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution to List III of the same Schedule, which is the Concurrent List or the list of subjects on which both the Centre and the States are competent to legislate. There have been several such amendments. For example, Education was an item on List II and by the 42nd Amendment in 1976 was shifted to the Concurrent List as item No. 25 of List III. This would require an amendment within Article 368 of the Constitution.
16. The Commission, therefore, recommends that early steps may be taken for a Parliamentary Legislation applicable to the whole country by repealing various legislations now in force.
17. Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases is presently an item at Entry No. 15 of List II (State List) of the Constitution’s Schedule VII. Unless, by an appropriate amendment, the entry for this head of Legislation is taken from List II and put in List III (Concurrent List), Parliament would not have the legislative competence to bring forth a Central Legislation on the subject. A similar amendment had been made in 1976 (42nd Amendment) when the entry of Education was taken out of List II and put in List III.
Recommendation No. 2
18. The Commission is of the view that Entry 15 of List II should be shifted to List III to enable Parliament to give proper attention to the matter and bring about proper legislation.
19. In the case of Hanif Quareshi Vs. State of Bihar (AIR 1958 S.C. p. 713), a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has held that butchery is a profession and citizens have a fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (g) to carry on the same, subject to sub-article (6). Within the parameters of the law, as settled by the Supreme Court, two issues that arose have been examined by the Commission. A butcher slaughters various animals, apart from the bovine group, for carrying on his profession and restriction has been sought to be imposed on slaughter of the cow. The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, on examining the legal position, has come to the conclusion that.
i. A total ban on the slaughter of the cow of all ages and calves of cows and of she buffaloes, male and female was quite reasonable and valid;
ii. A total ban on the slaughter of she buffaloes or breeding bulls or working bullocks (cattle as well as buffalo) as long as they were capable of being used as milch or draught cattle, is also reasonable and valid;
iii. A total ban on the slaughter of she buffaloes, bulls and bullocks (cattle and buffaloes) after they ceased to be capable of yielding milk or of breeding or working as draught animals, was not in the interest of general public and was invalid.
The Supreme Court was examining the validity of the provisions of the Bihar Preservation and Improvement of Animals Act, the U.P. Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act and the C.P. and Berar Animal Preservation Act.
20. Article 48 of the Constitution, which provides directive principles by way of guidelines of state policy on the subject, requires steps for preservation by prohibiting the slaughter of cow and calves and other milch and draught cattle. On an analysis of the provisions of these statutes in the backdrop of the Directive Principles, the Supreme Court came to its conclusions indicated above. In view of the first two conclusions, supporting tenability of ban on slaughter by law, the question for consideration is in respect of bulls, and bullocks after they have ceased to be capable of breeding or working as draught animals. The Supreme Court has held that banning slaughter of these animals is not in the interest of the general public.
21. Before the Supreme Court the questions were examined from a limited angle and the matter was not examined in the broad prospective. We have pointed out with reference to Constituent Assembly Debates that Muslim representatives were prepared for a total prohibition of slaughter of cow and its progeny, including bulls and bullocks of all ages, and it was on the insistence of Pandit Nehru and Dr. Ambedkar that the ban in that form was not incorporated in Article 48.
22. The Supreme Court came to the conclusion that sacrifice of a cow on the occasion of the Id Kirban is not a religious mandate. The slaughter of the animals has, therefore, no religious sanction and the issue has to be considered on its own perspective.
23. The considerations, which weighed with the Muslim members to volunteer consent for total ban are still of considerable importance and are a matter of great consequence. Half a century back, it had not been known to Man that cow urine and cow dung have great medicinal value and serious ailments are curable by their use. Bulls and bullocks, have great utility to human beings and even if bulls and bullocks cease to be capable of breeding or working they remain useful till death, as yielders of urine and dung.
24. The Supreme Court did not go into the question of animal rights (corresponding to human rights) of the animals in question, as that concept had not developed by then. Right to life is the most important one for all animals having life. The Constitution provides right to life as a fundamental one. It has been the accepted principle in this country that life, whether human, animal or even plant, has to be respected. This outlook had provided great heights to our culture. The Father of the Nation had preached that whatever Man couldn’t create, he cannot destroy.
24. By the time Hanif’s case was examined by the Supreme Court in April, 1958, Fundamental Duties of Indian citizens were not a part of our Constitution. Article 51A, which was inserted in 1976, provides that every citizen shall have the fundamental duty to protect and improve the conditions of wildlife. If duty is cast to protect wildlife, would it not follow that animals that live with men and serve them by providing the elixir of life should also be protected?
25. The Commission is of the view that, if the decision in Hanif’s case operates as a ban to provide total prohibition on killing of bulls and bullocks even after they have ceased to be useful, early steps should be taken to move the Supreme Court for a review of the judgement delivered in Hanif’s case, in respect of the third category shown in the judgement.
26. The Commission is inclined to the view that there should be a provision embodied in the Act recognizing the right of the Indian Citizen to a slaughter-less society of the cattle species and, extending the protection to the two categories now excluded from protection, namely bulls and bullocks after they have ceased to be capable of breeding or working as draught animals should be provided by law.
26. Banning bovine meat does not keep out animal meat from the market. We are not oblivious of the fact that meat of cow and its progeny or beef is cheaper and perhaps is available in greater quantity. The Commission is aware of the fact that a lot of cows and other animals of the species are taken out of India clandestinely. That, however, cannot be a weighty consideration to take the final view. We would like to take notice of the fact that meat-eating is being disapproved by doctors today as not conducive to health. Perhaps bovine meet could be totally avoided even if meat of other animals is taken.
27. The Commission suggests to the Central Government to create public opinion against beef-eating and stop killing of the bull and bullocks in addition to cows and calves. A cohesive society is what we in India have been looking for and the Commission is of the opinion that food habits have a contribution to make in this direction.
28. In the course of public hearings at different places, the Commission visited Bhubaneshwar. One of the Members of the Commission informed the Chairman and other Members that she had come to learn that every day cows are slaughtered by the contractor who has undertaken to supply meat to feed animals at Nandankanan, the Orissa government Zoo. The Commission paid a hurried visit to the place and to their utter surprise the Chairman and the members found slaughtered animals being delivered to the Zoo staff and some cows were yet to be slaughtered. Local officers gathered at the spot and admitted that everyday that was being done to provide food for animals. This is an instance to show how the law is not being followed at a place so close to the State capital and Senior officers are a party to the violation. This is not a solitary instance. The provisions are not strictly followed. In some States, exemption from the rigours of the law is provided for the asking.
29. The Commission recommends that the existing law should be strictly followed and penal action should be effective so that violation is reduced and the law is implemented.
CHAPTER IV LEGISLATION
PART II By other Members of Committee on Legislation
1. The Legislative history of Cow Protection can be traced out from the earliest Vedas, Strutis and Smrithis and other ancestral religious historical scripts under different captions and headings. The Supreme Court in its judgement in the case of Mohd. Hanif Quareshi versus State of Bihar and others, has observed as under:
High esteem was bestowed on the cow as will appear from the following verses from Rig Veda Book VI, Hymn XXVII (Cows) attributed to the authorship of Sage Bhardvaja:
“ 1. The kine have come and brought good fortune; let them rest in the cow-pen and be happy near us.
Here let them stay prolific, many coloured and yield through many morns their milk for Indra.
O Cows, ye fatten e’en the worn and wasted, and make the unlovely beautiful to look on.
Prosper my house, ye with auspicious voices, your power is glorified in our assemblies.
Crop goodly pasturages and be prolific; drink pure sweet water at good drinking places.
Never be thief or sinful man your master and may the dart of Rudra still avoid you.”
(Translation by Ralph Griffath)
Verse 29 of Hymn 1 Book X of Artharva Veda forbids cow slaughter in the following words:
“29. The slaughter of an innocent, O Kritya, is an awful deed, slay not cow, horse, or man of ours”.
Hymn 10 in the same book is a rapturous glorification of the cow:
“30. The cow is Heaven, the cow is Earth, the Cow is Vishnu, Lord of Life. The Sadhyas and the Vasus have drunk the out-pourings of the cow.
34. Both Gods and mortal men depend for life and being on the cow. She hath become this universe; all that the sun surveys is she.”
2. In the Moghul period, as observed by the Supreme Court in the above judgement of Mohd. Hanif Quareshi and, later in their judgement in Hashmatullah’s case, the Moghul emperors issued Farmans, which were the law and treated as legislation, prohibiting slaughter of cows either totally or on some specified Hindu religious days of functions.
3. The Ferman of Akbar and on his instructions to Jahangir and Babar’s directions and instructions to Humayun and similarly the orders of Aurangzeb and Bahadur Shah, promised a ban on cow slaughter, which was not practiced, thus respecting sentiments of public (Hindus) of those times. The Farmans may be in different languages and in different forms, but the central theme running through all of them is that rulers of India should respect the sentiments of the local people (Hindus) in the matter of treating the cow as sacred and therefore should not hurt their feelings by killing. Since they have been recognized by the Supreme Court in the above judgements right from Md. Hanif Qureshi Vs. State of Bihar (AIR 1958 SC 731) to Hashmatullah Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and others ( AIR 1995 SC 464). It is not necessary to extract and reproduce them here.
4. From the speeches during the Constituent Assembly Debates, particularly the speeches of Pandit Takur Dass Bhargava and Seth Govind Dass, it appears that there were some laws to restrict slaughter during the British period also. Although by and large, the British, in order to feed their army and British Nationals, who were habituated of eating beef, indulged in cow slaughter on large scale, the British even protected the non-Hindus who were indulging in cow slaughter resulting in riots, as per details given in the newspaper clippings.
5. The text of the Constituent Assembly debates shows that two Muslim Members, viz. Shri Z.H. Lari and Shri Syed Mohammad Saidulla, as well as Hindu Members like Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava and Seth Govind Dass, Prof. Shiban Lal Saxena, Dr. Raghuvira and Shri Dhulkar wanted the provision for a total ban on cow slaughter to be included in the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the Constitution. However, the Draft Committee Report piloted by Dr. Ambedkar having the approval of the then Prime Minister insisted on adopting cow protection only as one of the directive principles. The members mentioned above including Muslim Members wanted it to be in the fundamental right. They also wanted that the protection in directive principles should be for all cattle and its progeny and not for cow and calf only. But Dr. Ambekar prevailed over them, as per the Draft Committee report and what the regional draft committee passed, which is now in the form of Article 48 only.
6. The king-pin of this Debate was the Muslim members requesting the Hindu Members to be bold and keep the provision as a fundamental right rather than as a directive principle. As an anti climax, the Hindu Member, Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava stated that he has accepted the advice of Dr. Ambedkar and would not like to put it in fundamental right, as it may not be agreeable to some of the non-Hindu people in India and, therefore, he did not press for amendment to bring it in fundamental rights.
7. We do not think it prudent to comment on the lapse of departed freedom fighters and great patriots, who sacrificed their lives for the country’s Independence. We would only observe that for cow and its progeny, it was the blackest day, as the flood-gates of mass slaughter were opened by non-inclusion in the fundamental rights and further by making it as a State Subject.
8. The Parliament and Central Government were made powerless and legislatively impotent to make any law for the entire country, which remain after partition as “Hindustan” or India i.e. “Bharat”. Posterity cannot forgive this serious lapse, although it would be imprudent for us to analyse the reasons now. This generation from 1950 to 21st century is only left with tears as Gandhiji pointed out earlier in thirties and forties, on the pitiable plight of our “Gomata”.
9. If the Commission can venture to ‘call a Spade a Spade’, even partition of the Motherland could not make Pandit Thakur Dass Bhargava and Seth Govind Dass to have the foresight to safeguard the cow and its progeny from Massacre, increasing in leaps and bounds from a few lakhs then to a few crores now. If they would have agreed to the suggestion of the Muslim Members referred to above and insisted on the provision being included as a fundamental right, Dr. Ambedkar might have persuaded high-ups and the catastrophe of the “holy, but helpless cow” could have been avoided.
10. The legislative scenario after adoption of the Constitution is that almost all the States, except Kerala, came out with the cattle Preservation Laws. The Assam Cattle Preservation Act, 1950 ( Act 13 of 1951) was passed immediately and is still in the same form. However, the other States have come out with initial laws in 1950’s and, thereafter, the amendments continued to take place repeatedly. In the laws of Gujarat, M.P., Rajasthan and Delhi the amendments have been made for protecting “Bulls and Bullocks” and progeny of cow also/ Despite trying again and again up to the nineties, Gujarat and M.P. have met their judicial Waterloo, with Chief Justice Ahmadi striking down the amendments and opening the flood-gates for slaughter of the progeny of the Cow.
11. Students of law, politics, social sciences and Social justice in this country would be aware that the initial effort of the majority of the legislatures was for prohibiting slaughter of cow, as well as its progeny. As per the sentiments and public mandate of the people, most of the Acts were passed unanimously. However, a microscopic minority, mostly led by butchers, persuaded the fundamentalists amongst non-Hindus to support them on the issue of slaughter of cows and its progeny, to change their food habits by adopting beef-eating and to do the business of leather obtained from the slaughtered animals.
12. Finding that the public sentiments were too strong against them, they started a judicial battle and, fired the first shot in the form of Md. Hanif Quresh’s case which witnessed a long drawn battle. The arguments continued for months and months together before a Five-judge Bench constituted for hearing the case. The decision of the Supreme Court in the Md. Hanif Qureshi case, happened to be a landmark success for the anti-cow lobby of butchers, supported by fundamentalists, and a death-blow for the pro-cow population (90% of the total) of India.
13. In order to understand the legislative history, we have to consider in detail the deductions, conclusions and directions given by the Constitutional Bench in the Mohd. Hanif Quareshi case (AIR 1958 SC 731). This judgement was followed by other judgements Abdul Hakim and others Vs. State of Bihar (AIR 1961 SC 448), Mohd. Faruk Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and others (1970 (1) SCR 1456), Ashutosh Lahri and others Vs. State of West Bengal (AIR 1995 SC 464) and Hashmattullah Vs. State of M.P. and others decided on 10.5.1996.
14. In order to appreciate the Md. Hanif Qureshi judgement, we must highlight a few of its important features. The Supreme Court observed - “There can be no gainsaying the fact that the Hindus in general hold the cow in great reverence and the idea of the slaughter of cows for food is repugnant to their notions and this sentiment has in the past even led to communal riots.”
15. Following in the same vein, in para 11 of its judgement in Mohd. Faruk’s case (AIR 1970 SC Page 90), the Supreme Court refused to act on the sentiments saying “The sentiment of section of the people may be hurt by permitting slaughter of bulls and bullocks in premises maintained by a local authority. But a prohibition imposed on the exercise of a fundamental right to carry on an occupation, trade or business will not be regarded as reasonable, if it is imposed not in the interest of the general public, but merely to respect the susceptibilities and sentiments of a section of the people whose way of life, belief or thought is not the same as that of the claimant”. The same view was expressed by the Supreme Court in its last and latest judgement (AIR 1996 SC 2076 at page No.2080), in the case of Hashmattullah.
16. The crux of the matter is that the judicial verdict on interpretation of Constitution of India particularly Article 48 and Article 19 is as follows:
“A total ban was not permissible if, under economic conditions, keeping a useless bull or bullock be a burden on the society and therefore not in the public interest.”
17. The replies to the Questionnaires of the Commission and the statements made at the Public Hearings, show that 95% of the people are in favour of a total ban on slaughter of the cow and its progeny. (A synopsis of the views in this regard, can be seen at Annex IV (1). A copy of the questionnaire is at Annex IV (2). A copy of a Memorandum received by the Commission at Kolkata is placed at Annex IV (3). However, the above-mentioned judicial decisions, cannot allow even Parliament to put a total ban on slaughter of cow and its progeny. If the public mandate is to be respected the only way out is “Constitutional Amendment”.
18. What can be the hurdles in Amendment of the Constitution particularly fundamental rights? In the judgement in Keshavanand Bharati’s case, the Supreme Court only declares “Basic features of the Constitution” to be beyond powers of Amendment under Article 368. The so-called fundamental right of butchers for doing trade or business by the slaughter of cow and its progeny cannot be called a “basic feature” and if the Constitution takes away such a right, it would not be against the basic structure of the Constitution.
19. On the contrary if “Prohibition of slaughter of cow and its progeny” is added as a Fundamental Right of the citizens of this country, it would be consistent with Articles 48 and 51A (g) of the Constitution and also, with the spirit of the Constitution.
20. The Parliament is a “Constituent body” also and normally its powers are unrestricted and unbridled. We, therefore, do not see any legal hurdle for a Constitutional Amendment to be brought about.
The Second dimension is “Political”
21. Although it is not in the domain of this Commission to discuss the political dimensions of the issue before it, much less decide on it, yet a passing reference would not perhaps be irrelevant.
22. The oldest important political party, the Congrees Party, had its political mentors in Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak, Gokhale, Madan Mohan Malviya, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Rajrishi Purshotamdas Tandon, Thakurdas Bhargav and Seth Govind Das, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Smt. Indira Gandhi. Except Panditiji, all in one voice have suggested total ban on slaughter of cow and its progeny. A compilation of the sayings of various national level personalities is given at Annex IV (4).
23. In the debate on a Private Member’s Resolution moved by Justice Guman Mal Lodha, seeking a total ban on cow slaughter, the Congress Party conveyed its support through Shri Vasant Sathe, M.P., who categorically mentioned that he was supporting the Resolution, in his capacity as the official Congress Party Spokesman and not in his personal capacity. As discussed in the “Introduction” of this Commission’s Report, many Members belonging to the Janata Party, supported the Resolution, although subsequently, because of the threat to the Government of Shri V.P.Singh, they did a somersault and changed their views when the voting was done by slip counting. Today, the party is a house divided in itself. J.P.’s letter dated 1966 to Smt. Indira Gandhi, supports a total BAN, wholly and strongly.
24. Insofar as the Bharatiya Janata Party is concerned, it is committed to total ban on cow slaughter, right from ‘day one’ when its precursor the Jan Sangh was formed. It reaffirmed this viewpoint by incorporating in the speech of the then President Dr. Shankardayal Sharma on 24.5.1996 the resolve of the Government led by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayyee to take steps to BAN completely slaughter of cow and its progeny.
25. Shiv Sena and other parties, like those led by Shri Chauthala and Shri Ajit Singh are in full support of the ban on cow slaughter.
26. Though “Yadavs” are supposed to be descendants, belonging to the Vansaj, of Lord Krishna the greatest worshipper of “Cow”, it would appear that leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasad Yadav in U.P. and Bihar, would decide what stand to take on the issue, depending on their calculations with regard to their vote banks and hence their ultimate view is quite unpredictable.
27. The Leftist Parties, CPM and CPI are against anything, which to them smells of true Nationalism or pertains to the Religlion of majority culture. Therefore, “COW” slaughter is maximum in Kerala and West Bengal, the only States ruled by these political parties and they would be the strongest opponents to a ban.
28. Other regional parties would decide on expediency and political Vote Bank calculations and are unpredictable.
29. All said and done, a Constitutional Amendment would succeed only if the ruling party can muster up massive support of 2/3 majority and ratification by at least half of the State Legislatures, would also be necessary. The present Government can manage to muster the necessary support, although it would require lot of effort and perspiration. The Government can take heart from the fact that, when a Bill is brought before the Parliament, the public opinion of 90% pro-cow people would also make the legislators to support it.
30. The Commission is hopeful of acceptance of its well-considered report by all rational, wise and Nationalist Legislators, irrespective of the stands taken by their respective parties.