Newly sworn-in Union Minister ‘KJ Alphons’ has kicked off a controversy by saying that foreign tourists were free to eat beef in their own countries and then come to India.
The Union Minister made these remarks after he was asked how cow vigilantism and restrictions on beef consumption in several states had affected India’s hospitality sector. In response to a query whether beef ban in several states would dissuade foreign tourists from coming to India, Alphons said that restriction on beef consumption impacting tourists in a cock and bull story. “They (foreign tourists) can consume beef in their respective countries and then come here”, he said.
The statement comes as an embarrassment to the BJP, which has vehemently opposed beef consumption. The minister’s remarks came barely three days after he took over as Minister of States for tourism. He also said, “The BJP does not mandate that beef cannot be eaten. We don’t dictate food habits in any place. It is for the people to decide.”
Defending his statement, he said, “People do not come to India to eat beef, do they? The answer is No. So, what’s the big deal?”
Contrary to this, the newly sworn-in minister had earlier said that beef would continue to be consumed in Kerala if a state like Goa which was ruled by BJP could eat beef.
Alphons Kannanthanan is a bureaucrat-turned politician, and was appointed as the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent charge) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new team.
Cow slaughter is banned in as many as 21 states in India. Consumption of beef has also been barred in some of these states, including Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It is also banned in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Historically, beef eating in India was initiated by the Britishers and not by the Mughals as widely misinformed. Other than the fact that it is cow meat, it is also not suitable for human gut and it also creates many physiological changes in the body which adversely affect health.
However, the move of Modi government on 26th May 2017 to impose a ban on the sale of cow and buffaloes for slaughter at animals markets across the nation is superficially a populist move aimed Hindu majority appeasement. However, if you see the intricacies of this ban, you will find that it is a financial move to appease BJP’s sponsoring Industrialists.
But, now with this statement coming from a central minister, it has added a new chapter in “cownomics”!