In the land of the holy cow DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) Symbols of India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse line the four lane highway to Jaipur out of New Delhi: a factory owned by the world’s biggest motorbike maker, glass towers housing global call centres, shopping malls for India’s burgeoning middle class. One night in August here, an angry mob ran amok, cards against humanity retailers, burning trucks and government property and forcing traffic to halt and factories to shut. The rioters were incensed over an issue arguably as old as India itself: the eating of beef, which the country’s majority Hindus have considered sacrilegious for at least a thousand years. Perhaps surprisingly in a country where so many people view cows as sacred, India could soon become the world’s biggest beef exporter, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). bottes ugg bailey button pas cher Most, though not all, of the beef India exports is buffalo, an animal less venerated than the hump backed indigenous Indian cow. But the trade, even in buffalo beef, still evokes revulsion among Hindu nationalists. The sharpest criticism comes from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition in parliament. Its candidate for prime minister in next year’s elections, Narendra Modi, has slammed what he calls the government’s « pink revolution, » (a play on the original agricultural or « green » revolution in India) and its « secret agenda . for export of beef. » India’s vegetarian traditions and the Hindu aversion to beef mean only 2.1 million tonnes of beef are consumed domestically a year. That compares with 11.5 million tonnes a year in the United States, which has just a quarter India’s population. But exports of beef from India are likely to hit close to 1.8 million tonnes in 2013, second only to Brazil, according to an April forecast by the USDA. new balance 574 That’s about one percent of India’s $300 billion annual exports last financial year. While beef is unlikely to emerge as a major issue ahead of next year’s election, Modi has made his opposition to the trade clear. In a blog on his website in 2012, he attacked the current government’s policies and called for a halt to the beef trade. « Our ancient Indian ethos and values doesn’t (sic) teach us to kill mother cow . sadly, the (government) seems unbothered about this rich ethos of our culture. It wants to make India the biggest exporter of beef! » he wrote in August last year. « Our future generation is not getting sufficient milk and this government wants to kill cows that provide us a ‘ladder for life.’ I’m sure that you will contribute your might in stopping such an insane act. » Modi has not commented on the trade in recent months, places to buy cards against humanity, perhaps because he is trying to downplay his Hindu nationalism ahead of national elections to be held by next May. adidas pas cher The BJP has won sweeping victories in local state elections this month, sending the stock market to a record high on expectations Modi, widely seen to be more business friendly than the current Congress Party led government, will lead his party to power. In India, the beef issue can even stir sectarian divisions. Beef production is dominated by Muslims, a minority in the country. Many Muslims mistrust the BJP and Modi, because he ran the state of Gujarat during anti Muslim riots there in 2002. Modi denies any role in the riots or bias against Muslims. This year’s unrest along the Delhi Jaipur highway shows how quickly beef can stir anger. Passers by reported a foul smell coming from a truck that had broken down; rumours spread that it was loaded with cow meat. nike air max 90 homme Slogan shouting youths swept through the town of Dharuhera, some 40 km (25 miles) from Delhi, ransacking the truck and tearing out its cargo of ice covered meat. By the time police calmed the riot, 74 trucks and buses had been burned. In the end, the cargo turned out to be buffalo meat, not cow. But Sailesh Soni, a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a powerful Hindu nationalist group that backs the BJP and wants stricter enforcement of a ban on cattle killing, said all Hindus should be ready to defend all cattle. This is a goshala, a shelter for cows brought there by Hindus as thanks to the gods for good fortune, or simply pulled in off the streets where they wander, disrupting traffic and feeding on rubbish. Hindus believe that Nandi, a bull, is the steed of powerful deity Lord Shiva, and that Lord Krishna was born as a cow herd. Many rural households in India, the world’s biggest producer of milk, own at least one cow or buffalo. Female buffaloes, in particular, are prized for their creamy milk, while the males are used for pulling carts and ploughs, and their dung keeps home fires burning in villages that have little or no access to power. Statistically, there are enough cows and buffalo in India for every rural household to have about two. But once cows are past their productive life, owners will often simply turn them out, unwilling to spend on fodder for no return. chaussures timberland soldes Buffaloes and cows are increasingly ending up in abattoirs mushrooming across the country, according to industry participants and officials Reuters spoke with. Buffalo makes up by far the bulk of India’s beef exports. Cow meat is banned from export, cards against humanity free download, but animal rights groups say some finds its way abroad. In all, India has half the buffaloes in the world, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and the largest number of cattle, with 327 million head, according to the USDA. The United States has around 89 million cattle. BOOMING BEEF INDUSTRY Sitting in his airy ground floor office in an abattoir about 8 km (5 miles) from the town of Aligarh, Mahendra Singh says business is booming. His production of buffalo meat has increased to 150 tonnes a day from 100 120 tonnes around a year ago. His employer, Hind Agro industries Ltd, has sought the local government’s permission to lift its daily output limit to 250 tonnes to meet rising demand. « Earlier there was only our plant but now there are more than five more units in this area alone, » Singh, the plant’s General Manager, said. One of the company’s leading suppliers is Salim Qureshi, who cuts an imposing figure dressed all in white as he strides between boot polish black buffalo at Gulaothi animal market. Men greet him warmly, addressing him as Haji Salim in respect for his three pilgrimages to Mecca, and calling him over to see their animals. Qureshi casts his eye over a large bull and weighs the beast by sight, judging it to be about 300 kg (660 lbs), words against humanity?, worth as much as $650. The beast is skin and bone compared to American steers, which can weigh more than twice as much.
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