During PM Modi's roadshow in Surat on Sunday evening, two Muslim children were seen holding a gold metal cow and a placard with the message--'I am Muslim, save cow'. Later, the gold metal cow was gifted to PM Modi by the children.
Several Muslim organisations and individuals in recent times have supported ban on cow slaughter. Recently, Ajmer dargah dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said that the government should put a ban on the slaughter of all bovine animals as well as the sale of beef to promote communal harmony in the country.
"Muslims must stop eating beef as it is a cause of disharmony," said Syed Zainul. Welcoming the Gujarat government's move to enact a law with the provision of life sentence for those found guilty of cow slaughter, the dewan said that the central government should declare cow as the national animal if the government wants to protect it.
Moreover, a madrasa in Uttar Pradesh has started a postcard campaign asking PM Modi to ban cow slaughter all over the country. The campaign, started by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar madrasa in Sambhal, UP, also urged PM Modi to declare cow as the national animal of India.
The issue of ban on cow slaughter has been hogging the limelight in recent times, especially in the wake of killing of a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, in Alwar, Rajasthan, by a group of gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes).
Cow slaughter laws in India are pretty confusing as different states have different rules and regulations. While in Kerala and in most parts of the Northeast India, cows, bulls and bullocks are allowed to be slaughtered, in several southern and northern parts of India only bulls and bullocks are allowed to be killed. In states like Maharashtra, none of these animals are allowed to be slaughtered.
Experts say ban on cattle slaughter, including cow, has an adverse impact on farmers as they can't sell their old livestock once they become useless for them. Moreover, many say ban on beef is against an individual's right to food. For millions of poor, especially Dalits and Muslims, beef is their main source of protein, as the red meat is cheaper than pulses.