In a country where cattle are considered sacred, they’re also paradoxically becoming a lucrative export. Cow slaughtering is a huge issue in India these days. Narendra Modi’s BJP had made it a part of its election manifesto during the 2014 election campaign. Since Modi’s government has taken control, there is a massive rise in India’s export business from cows.
Largest Exporter: India
India is projected to be the largest exporter of beef in the world in 2015 followed by Australia & Brazil. Beef exports in India include carabeef. Not to forget, Muslims are not allowed to eat cow meat but still India is the largest exported. The assumptions seem quite complex but it is just a monopoly of Indian PM Narendra Singh Modi to reduce consumption in own country and increase the exports, to earn more money.
Most states ban the slaughter of cows, which is considered a sacred animal by India’s majority Hindu community. However, the killing and consumption of buffaloes is largely allowed, and the meat is very similar to beef.
India’s rapidly growing beef industry is a political issue, especially during elections when the country is divided along cultural, religious, and political lines: Muslims and Hindus, left versus right, beef-eating Hindus versus non-beef eating Hindus. “Politicians take a stand on the issue just as they take a stand on any issue of public concern,” says Joshipura. “A politician’s position on the matter would determine how much support he or she would get and from whom.”
To give Modi credit, putting the brakes on India’s beef industry isn’t as easy as it sounds. The lack of a comprehensive, uniform law regarding cow slaughter makes it easier for people to find ways to kill cows if they want to. It is estimated that almost two million cows are smuggled across a 2,400-mile poorly-patrolled border from India into Bangladesh every year.
The politics on cow slaughter, beef consumption and the talk about the rise in its exports is complex. You cannot separate one from the other, especially at a time when the right-wing BJP is leading the country.