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Old 01-06-2012, 06:40 PM posted to soc.culture.indian,alt.fan.jai-maharaj,alt.religion.hindu,misc.health.alternative,alt.food.vegan
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Default Nothing's sacred: the illegal trade in India's holy cows

http://www.independent.co.uk/environ...s-7808483.html

belies a stark reality. This delta region of the Ganges river is a
place of often deadly conflict that underpins an activity many in India
would rather not discuss. Every year, hundreds of thousands of cows -
considered sacred in India, with export of the beasts banned - are
illegally smuggled into Bangladesh where they are turned into shoes,
belts, bone china crockery and, of course, meat.

"There is smuggling here every day," said Umesh, a member of a
three-man Indian Border Security Force (BSF) team on duty at a
watchtower near the village of Kaharpara, just a few hundred yards from
the Bangladesh border. "The smugglers will take 50, 100 or 200 cattle
at a time. We try to create an ambush and surround the smugglers."

The story of the annual smuggling of an estimated 1.5 million cattle
says much about modern India - about the sometimes hypocritical
treatment of supposedly sacred cows, the political power of right-wing
Hinduism and the corruption that allows the M-#320m illegal trade to
flourish. But ultimately this story is about supply and demand.
Hindu-majority India has an estimated 280 million cows but killing and
eating them is legal in only a handful of states. Meanwhile,
Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where beef is eaten with relish, suffers
from a shortage of cattle. Half of the beef consumed in Bangladesh
comes from its large, western neighbour.
The story of the annual smuggling of an estimated 1.5 million cattle
says much about modern India - about the sometimes hypocritical
treatment of supposedly sacred cows, the political power of right-wing
Hinduism and the corruption that allows the M-#320m illegal trade to
flourish. But ultimately this story is about supply and demand.
Hindu-majority India has an estimated 280 million cows but killing and
eating them is legal in only a handful of states. Meanwhile,
Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where beef is eaten with relish, suffers
from a shortage of cattle. Half of the beef consumed in Bangladesh
comes from its large, western neighbour.


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