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Upendra Bharati | HENB | Vigyan Bhawan – New Delhi | May 16, 2016:: A National Seminar on Govans (Cow progeny) and Gaushala (Cow-shelters) at Vigyan Bhawan to discuss about government schemes to protect cows turned embarrassing for the government after Union Minister for Agriculture Radhamohan Singh and Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar were hooted and booed by some groups of Gau Rakshaks came mainly from Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. Rajasthan and Haryana both states run by BJP sent most of the delegates for the seminar.
The much highlighted day-long programme was being organised in Vigyan Bhawan on the welfare of cows today on the second anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) victory in the Lok Sabha elections. However, Home minister Rajnath Singh, who was scheduled to be the Chief Guest, did not find his time for the seminar, perhaps for a guilty feelings as BSF under Home ministry’s control is the actual offender for the cross border cow-smuggling through the eastern borders.
When Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh said the government had released Rs 582 crore for cow protection, many in the audience stood up to ask: Where is the money? The protesters added that ministers were only interested in playing politics over cow and much less bothered about protecting the animals in crisis. The protesters also raised the issue of selling grazing land and inter state cow-transport towards slaughter houses, saying that any scheme meant to protect cows will be of little use if there is grazing fields are sold and slaughter houses not be stopped.
The conference saw participation of NGOs, religious organization and owners of gaushals from across the country. The agenda was to discuss management of cows after productive phase, provisions of feed and fodder and increasing milk productivity.
Participants kept on obstructing the conference for different issues ranging from speakers talking in English to use of picture of imported cow (jersey) in place of indigenous cow on kit provided to them.
“The BJP in its manifesto during Lok Sabha election has talked about protecting cows and checking cow slaughtering but in last two years nothing has moved. In fact grazing land for cow has been taken over by government for construction works,” said Satyanarayan Bhadariya, who runs a gaushala in Ajmer, Rajasthan.
The Union Minister later told the audience that while he agreed and sympathised with their grievances, he will ensure that work was done in this regard.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also has to stop his speech in the middle as participants claimed that NDA government has failed to check illegal cow trafficking and slaughtering. Most of them demanded that why the government can’t bring a bill banning cow slaughtering in the country.
Javadekar had to spend few minutes to pacify the crowd saying the conference was meant to find solutions to these issues and the central government and his ministry will go through the suggestions and recommendations that are made after the conclusion of the day-long meeting which also included scientists and dairy research professionals.
In more trouble for the speakers at the event, the protesters also stopped K P Ramesha, Principal Scientist, National Dairy Research Institute, from delivering his speech in English. He was asked to speak in Hindi. Rest of the speakers spoke in Hindi and some like Dr Vinod Bhatt, Director, Central Frozen Semen Production & Training Institute, Hessarghatta, Bangalore apologized to the gathering for not knowing Hindi well.
However, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh managed to say that his ministry had recently approved a proposal to set up exclusive dairy plants for “desi” cows, also called A-2, in Odisha and Karnataka while plans were afoot to create the same facility in Haryana’s Karnal by the month-end.
The Agriculture Minister said the Modi government, in the last two years of it being in power, had allocated Rs 582 crore for the National Gokul Mission as compared to the Rs 45 crore allocated for cow wealth conservation and development by the previous governments in their tenures.
Forest Minister Javadekar, while addressing participants from across the country, said, “My ministry is working on a plan to ensure that the “gauchar bhoomi” (grazing land for cows) is protected and government programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme be utilised to produce healthy grass for cows which can be subsequently given free to farmers and people who have such livestock.”
All these speeches could not satisfy at all the grassroots level farmers, cow-saving activists and Gaushala owers present in the seminar in anyway any manner.
While a seriousness from the participants from western, north and central India was found in the seminar, some participants from eastern and southern India came to seminar for getting a first hand knowledge about the matter as they were not connected with any Gaushala at all. They actually came to a visit in the capital of India.