Open Letter: Dear Mr CM, focus on vikaas, not my dinner table

Dear Mr Fadnavis,

Your leader, Mr Narendra Modi, promised us ‘vikaas’. He told us the BJP would follow the maxim of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’. He shared a dream of an India with less red tape, more jobs and high socio-economic indicators.

He promised that the government would not interfere in issues of religion and personal choices. He has repeatedly asserted that the ‘Constitution is my only religion’, even in the hallowed halls of Parliament. Mr Fadnavis, you were voted into power on the promise that a BJP government at the Centre and in the state would help Maharashtra enjoy the benefits of national growth and development.

Yet, today, we read that your government has decided to ban the slaughter, possession, and sale of beef in Maharashtra. I do not think you have understood the complexities of this issue. In India, meat production is largely a by-product of livestock production, i.e. utilising animals at the end of their life for meat.

Even in Gujarat, which was very ably led by Modiji, there was an increase in the slaughter and export of beef products during his tenure. You may not be aware, but beef is an important part of the diet of many poor Maharashtrians. It is not only a major source of protein, but also a highly affordable one.

Why, Chief Minister, is your government, which promised to follow Modiji’s maxim of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’, infringing on the personal choices of its people? Why is your government intruding on my dinner table?

Why is your government busy enacting laws that are not only tough to implement, but will only create an illegal economy of animal slaughtering? This would harm the economy and also give rise to slaughtering methods that are unhygienic.

As a Mumbaikar and a loyal Maharashtrian, I wish you the very best in delivering good governance to the people of our state. I hope you do not slip on the banana peels being placed in your way by reactionary conservative forces. Do not listen to them, sir. They will only prevent you from following Modiji’s dream of vikaas.

- Berges Y Malu

The writer is a public policy consultant who would like to ensure his favourite good old-fashioned steak does not become ‘rare’

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