Those were the times when India was at the peak of Mughal Rule. The rulers of a large part of India were Muslims and guess what; they had banned Cow Slaughter in that Mughal Empire. Nobody dared to kill cows and eat beef during the Muslim Empire.

The Mughal Empire and Cow

Babur, who invaded India all the way from Kabul and established the Mughal Empire in India, despite being an orthodox Muslim had banned Cow Slaughter in his empire. All successive Mughal Emperors had banned Cow Slaughter in their kingdoms. Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan who ruled the Mysore State in the present day Karnataka had made cow slaughter and beef eating a punishable offence and the crime would be punished by cutting off the hands of the person who committed the crime!

Today in India we have over 36000 slaughterhouses! How did this massive turn around take place?

Cow and The Hindu Civilization

Cows are the most sacred animals to the Hindus and this is not without any reason. In fact the very word Cow in English is derived from the Sanskrit word Gau for Cow.

Hindus believe that all Gods and Goddesses live inside a Cow

One of the most important reasons is that cows have been the backbones of Indian families and the Indian agricultural system ever since the dawn of human civilization. Without Cow the Indian agriculture in those days was as good as gone, and this was one of the prime reasons why Hindus being nature worshippers also worshipped Cow.

There was no industrial revolution, no artificial fertilizers, no chemical pesticides and insecticides. The entire Indian agriculture was based on the nature’s best fertilizer – Cow dung, and one of the nature’s best pesticide – Cow’s urine (along with the neem based solutions) were used extensively in the agriculture. Buttermilk again which is a derivative of Cow’s milk was used as an effective fungicide and weedicide.

British Rule and Slaughterhouses

Both Mahathma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru had declared before Independence that they would ban Cow slaughter in India after Independence. Obviously they didn’t impose it. Why? Thanks to Robert Clive who had converted the Indian Muslims (who never ate beef till the end of Mughal era) into believing that beef eating was their religious right. Cow slaughter had become a vote bank issue. How? Read below.

Robert Clive – the so called Founder of the British Empire in India who was twice the Governor of Bengal too – on entering India was astonished and amazed to see the success of the agricultural system here. He went on researching the reasons for the success of the Indian agriculture and discovered the root – The Holy Indian Cow. The entire Hindu life style revolved around this animal, not just religiously, but socially. Cow was an integral part of a Hindu family as was any other human member in the family. He even found that in many places the total number of cattle was more than the number of humans living there.

OK, so he decided, to break the backbone of agriculture in India – the holy cows have to be targeted. And thus was opened the first slaughterhouse of cows in India in 1760 by Robert Clive at Kolkata. It had a capacity to kill 30,000 cows per day.

And anyone can guess within a year’s time how many cows would have been killed. And within a century India had very little cattle left to sustain its agricultural needs. And Britain as an alternative started offering artificial manure, and in this manner urea, phosphate etc started getting imported from England. Indian agriculture had started becoming dependent on west invented artificial products and was forced to give up home grown natural practices.

Guess what, till 1760 most of India had banned not only cow slaughter, but also prostitution and drinking wine was banned as well. Robert Clive made all three legal and removed the ban.

Now the British had hit two birds with a single stone by this move. The first was to break the backbone of the Indian agriculture i.e. making cattle not available for agriculture. And the second – to start people in India consume Cow.

Well, obviously Hindus did not work as butchers at the slaughter houses opened by the British. So what did they do? Well, they hired Muslims as butchers and this was done in almost every slaughterhouse they opened. And this slowly pushed the Muslims into believing that beef eating was their religious right.

What the Mughal Empire had banned was now turned into a practice by the British Empire. What Babur and Akbar termed as a crime was converted into a norm by Robert Clive. And today the soil of India is filled with artificial fertilizers and pesticides while the holy Cow cries in the slaughterhouses. While there were over 70 breeds of cows in the country at the time of independence, today we have only 33 and even among them many breeds are facing extinction.

You can support saving Cows by saying no to cow meat and many products that come from killing cows. It is a crucial step in saving environment and agriculture in our country. Moreover, it isn’t about saving cows merely but about saving ourselves. Save Cows Save Humanity.

Contributed by – Manish Goyal(MBA)

References:

1. Discourses of Baba Ramdev

2. The foundations of the composite culture in India – Malika Mohammada

3. http://eng.gougram.org/cow-slaughtering/

4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clive,_1st_Baron_Clive

Source: HitXP – Origin and History of Cow Slaughter and Beef Eating in India – by Gurudev

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