A resolution passed by the meeting of National Secretariat of Popular Front of India has condemned the increasing atrocities in the name of cow protection and called for withdrawal of the new moves by Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat state governments against majority of the people who consume and trade beef. The meeting reminded that it is the primary duty of the governments to allow people to eat what they like and give protection to those who are working at cattle related jobs.
Marauding gangs are lynching and beating up people. Restaurants are being ransacked. Cow protection gangs are indulging in violence without reason as seen in the murder of Pehlu Khan who was a dairy farmer, not a slaughterer. Use of cow-protection for political campaigns by BJP has played vital role in turning the issue deadly to millions of poor people across the country. The crackdown on slaughter houses, marking them as illegal by Adithyanath government in UP is an assault on the livelihood of a large number of people in the state. The newly amended Gujarat law on cow protection gives added powers to authorities to harass innocent people belonging to Dalit and minority communities. BJP’s opportunistic stands in various states on the same issue show that it is nothing but political hypocrisy. In north eastern states and even in Kerala, BJP offer the availability of quality beef if they are voted to power. The meeting welcomed the observation of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that food, food habits and vending of food are linked to right to life and must not be curbed by the state.
Support farmers’ demand to write of loans
In other resolution, the Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front expressed its support to the demand being raised by the farmers hit by severe draught across the country to write off loans. Now farmers from Tamil Nadu have brought the agitations to the national capital as well. The stands of successive governments have been that of sheer negligence on the plight of the farmers. The government is doing nothing to address the sinister phenomenon of farmers’ suicide while the number remains alarmingly high. They are victims of the neo-liberal policies. While the rich can get away with any financial fraud however massive they are, poor farmers are compelled to end their lives unable to settle their debts. Popular Front demanded to write off the debts of the farmers because that is the minimum the banks and the governments should do to put an end their plight and save their lives.
EVM fraud complaints serious
In another resolution, the Central Secretariat observed that the complaints raised against Electronic Voting Machine were serious and Election Commission should take urgent measures to clear the suspicion from the minds of people. Not only people, but leaders like Mayavati and Arvind Kejariwal have also cast doubt about manipulation in EVMs in recent election results. A team of Election Commission officers said that the Electronic Voting Machine used in a demonstration in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, was faulty and that it was among the 300 that were sent from Kanpur after the recent Uttar Pradesh elections.
When not only shadow of doubt, but even proof is being mounted on the most important activity of our democratic process, it cannot simply be dismissed. Popular Front has repeated its request to the Election Commission to re-establish the transparency of election process by replacing the Electronic Voting machines with the old system of ballot papers.