Exodus of Latin American Catholics to Evangelical congregations

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Latin American CatholicsNovember 18, 2014: Increasing numbers of Catholics in Latin America are abandoning the Catholic Church in favour of Evangelical congregations or non-religious life, according to a new survey, making Pope Francis’ calls for renewed evangelisation efforts in the region ever more urgent.

The Washington CD-based Pew Research Center survey of 30,000 residents of 18 countries and Puerto Rico showed 69 per cent of respondents confirming they were Catholic, even though 84 per cent of people said they had been raised in the Church.

The Catholic population has slipped sharply over the past century, when their numbers topped 90 per cent. Evangelicals have attracted Mass-goers often by promoting what those converting would consider more attractive ways of worshipping the Lord, an emphasis on morality and solutions for their earthly afflictions – mostly poverty-related, said Andrew Chesnut, religious studies professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Some Central American countries and Uruguay now have almost as many Protestants or religiously unaffiliated people as Catholics in their populations. If the trend continues, “even Brazil, home to the largest Catholic population on earth, will no longer have a Catholic majority by 2030,” said Dr Chesnut, author of a book on Evangelicals in Brazil.

The survey underlines the urgency of the Pope’s pleas for action in Latin America, where Catholicism has been intimately associated with culture, governance and history for more than 500 years.

Pope Francis has called for Catholics to adopt a more missionary mindset and take their faith to people on the periphery of society – places where Protestants often find converts.

The Pew survey found Evangelicals showing more enthusiasm for their faith, expressed by attending church services and praying more frequently, adherence to moral teachings and the level to which religion is important in their daily lives.

The level of enthusiasm “often is more demanding in terms of personal commitment,” said Dr Chesnut, an academic consultant to the Pew survey.

Protestants now make up 19 per cent of the Latin American population, while another 8 per cent now profess no religious affiliation – a figure reaching 37 per cent in Uruguay. Roughly half these people did not grow up in their current congregations or in non-religious homes, according to the survey.

Some 65 per cent of Protestants in Latin America belong to Evangelical congregations.

“Christianity in Latin America is thoroughly ‘Pentecostalised,’ with 70 per cent of Protestants and 40 per cent of Catholics identifying as charismatic,” Dr Chesnut said. “If it weren’t for Charismatic Renewal, Catholic decline probably would have been even greater.”

In Brazil, where 60 percent of the population is Catholic, evangelical pastor Jay Bauman said the style of worship attracts people to Protestant congregations – along with the promotion of “prosperity Gospel” teachings by some Pentecostals.

Dr Chesnut said services at World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro showed more of a charismatic style, and it is being adopted by Latin American Catholics in increasing numbers.

Francis has proved popular among Catholics in Latin America, “but former Catholics are more sceptical,” with only majorities of ex-Catholics in Argentina and Uruguay expressing approval of the first Latin American pope, according to the survey.

Religious Affliliations of Latin AmericansA table from a survey published last week by the Pew Research Centre graphically illustrates the decline of Roman Catholicism in Latin America. Most dramatic is the finding that most of Central America is now only “half Catholic”, with Honduras “Less than half Catholic”. Pope Francis’ homeland Argentina just scrapes into the “Predominantly Catholic” category, whereas Brazil is on its way to becoming only “Half Catholic”. Uruguay, the least Catholic country in the region, has a secularist tradition going back to 1861. Overall, over 425 million Latin Americans identify as Catholic, or 69 per cent of the continent’s population and almost 40 per cent of the world’s Catholics. That means the number of Latin American Protestants – known as evangélicos – stands at around 117 million.

- the tablet

Three Muslim youth innocent, discharged by court in 2006 Guj railway station blast

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Blast at the Ahmedabad railway stationMumbai, November 19, 2014: In yet another setback to Gujarat’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), three Muslim youths have been discharged by a local court in Ahmadabad in an 8-year-old case pertaining to a bomb blast at the Kalupur railway station in the Gujarat capital.

The Metropolitan court on Monday discharged Afroz Pathan, Bilal Ahmed and Mustufa Saiyed in a case of February 19, 2006 blast at the Ahmedabad railway station in which at least 10 persons injured. Earlier in 2013, two other Muslim youth were similarly acquitted in separate blast related cases as the ATS could not provide evidence against them.

The latest acquittal came after Gujarat ATS filed a charge sheet in the case against Amir Shakil, Aqif Bayabani, Aslam Kashmiri and Zabiuddin Ansari under section 121 A, 120 (B) , 307 & 124 A of IPC and Sec 13 & 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). While submitting the charge sheet, the ATS filed an application u/s 169 of Criminal Code pleading discharge for other three accused as the agency could not collect any prosecutable evidences against trio.

The metropolitan court accepted the plea and discharged the three accused from the case.

Pathan, Ahmed and Saiyed were not arrested immediately after the blast but on June 12 this year from Mumbai prison, where they were already facing another trial for the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul. Gujarat ATS arrested them as their names had cropped up during the questioning of other accused, including Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal, who is also accused in the 26/11 case.

Defence lawyers’ reactions

AdvU D Pathan, lawyer of the accused, told TwoCircles.net, “We have been trying to convince the court ever since the arrest (of the trio) that ATS does not have any evidence to implicate them and that they are arresting these youth only on the basis of alleged statements of other accused recorded by it.”

“This order will help my clients in their Mumbai case also as their discharge (in this case) indicates that they have been falsely implicated in the case. I would get the certified copy of the discharge order and will soon send to the accused, who are imprisoned at Mumbai,” he said.

Boosted with the discharge order, Adv Nadeem Ansari, Maharashtra Jamiat lawyer in Mumbai, told Twocircles.net, “The accused were not aware of the order as they were not produced in Ahmedaad court. We will soon tender the certified copy of the discharge order before MCOC special court and (we believe) it will help prove their innocence in this (Aurangabad) case too.”

Two acquittals in the past

On December 12, 2013, Additional Sessions Judge B S Upadhyay had acquitted Mohammad Iliyas Abdul Memon, a resident of Paldi in Ahmedabad, and Kamlesh Bhagora, a constable with Government Railway Police, for lack of evidence against them.

Memon was accused of being in contact with Aslam Kashmiri to provide logistic support but during the trial, the ATS could neither recover a cell phone from Memon’s possession nor obtain Call Data Records (CDRs) regarding his conversation with Kashmiri.

ATS had arrested Bhagora for “concealment with criminal design” who, the agency claimed, was informed about an unattended suitcase after the train terminated at Ahmedabad but instead of informing the authorities concerned he quietly kept it hidden behind crates of cold drinks. The bomb blast occurred sometime later. During the trial, he too was acquitted for lack of evidence and the judge had admonished the police for poor investigation.

- tcn

Modi has over 25 mn followers on facebook

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Modi and Mark ZuckerbergNew Delhi, November 19, 2014: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has crossed 25 million followers on Facebook and continues to remain the second-most followed politician in the world after US President Barack Obama, the social networking website said.

With over 25 million users who have ‘liked’ Modi’s official account, the Indian prime minister is slowly catching up with Obama, who has over 43 million followers.

In April, Modi had over 12 million fans. It swelled to over 18 million by July and 21 million in September.

Facebook has over 100 million active users in India.

Meanwhile, some of the most popular pictures posted by Modi include that of the INS Vikramaditya, which got 822,613 likes followed by the Independence Day post which garnered 772,055 likes.

A photograph of Modi meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received 619,359 likes.

A recent picture of Modi meeting Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the G20 summit got 447,212 likes.

- ians

The Nanavati Commission: Another hoax

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Burning of the Godhra trainAhmedabad, November 20, 2014:  Finally, yesterday, exactly 12 years it was constituted by the Gujarat Government on March 6, 2002 to probe the burning of the Godhra train and the subsequent carnage which broke out in several parts of Gujarat, the Commission headed by G.T Nanavati (a former judge of the Supreme Court of India) submitted its report to the current Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel.

It was originally known as the K.G. Shah Commission but it was later reconstituted to include Justice Nanavati, after several civil rights groups and individuals protested over the closeness that Justice Shah had with Narendra Modi. Justice Shah died in 2008; and Justice Akshay H. Mehta (who granted bail to Babu Bajrangi in the Naroda Patiya case) was appointed on April 5, 2008 to be a member of this Commission.

The content of this more than 2000-page report has not yet been made public but if one goes by the grapevine and what seems to be “leaked out” to sections of the media, then one can very easily conclude the following: that those really responsible for the law and order in the State have been given a ‘clean chit’; that the burning of S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express on 27th February, 2002, just outside the Godhra railway station was a ‘meticulously planned act of conspiracy’ (this was already said in the Commission’s interim report in 2008); and finally the only people who seemed to be ‘responsible’ for not preventing or controlling the violence are some lower rung policemen and some apparently anti-social elements.

The Commission which has claimed to have looked into 4,160 cases of violence in Gujarat between February 27th and May 31st 2002 also states that it has gone through 46,000 affidavits submitted by over 4,000 victims of the violence that paralysed Gujarat and continues to be one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters of independent India. It was given 24 extensions (of almost six months each) before it submitted its report. Till July 2012, the Commission ran up an expenditure bill of more than five crores with an additional miscellaneous expense of Rs.1.62 crores. It has been past two and a half years since; so the final cost of this Commission (including the disguised expenditure) will surely run to a mind-boggling amount and all at the cost of the State exchequer (a Gujarati newspaper today puts a conservative cost of nine crores.

Several concerned citizens like the late Mukul Sinha of Jan Sangharsh Manch, Sanjiv Bhatt and others have tried their level best to bring the Commission – any thinking citizen will know – on track and ensure that truth prevails and that the victim-survivors are given justice. The Commission, has been full of inconsistencies, lapses and loopholes.

Sinha who cross-examined several witnesses, has consistently demanded that Modi who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at that time, had to be interrogated too. Why the Commission took the pains to deny this request from Sinha and several others does not leave much room for doubt!

Even though the Commission has submitted its report, many for the victim-survivors (and several others who have accompanied them) are the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 is not a closed chapter. The relentless pursuit for truth and justice will continue until those who presided over this carnage are brought to book. Only then, will they truly be able to sing our motto emblazoned on our national emblem “satyameva jayate” (truth alone triumphs!)

- cedric prakash

Family of slain Christians in Pakistan fear for safety

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Shehzad Masih and Shama BibiLahore, November 19, 2014: Relatives of a Christian couple that were lynched to death over allegations of blasphemy in Pakistan’s Punjab province earlier this month have called for government protection, saying they are being pressured to drop their case against the alleged killers.

Shehzad Masih and his pregnant wife Shama Bibi, bonded laborers, were attacked by a mob of 1,500 villagers and then thrown into a lit kiln after announcements were made over a mosque loudspeaker saying the couple had committed blasphemy by burning and throwing out pages of the Qur’an.

Police rounded up 43 suspects after the November 4 attack in Kasur district, including the brick kiln owner and mosque prayer leader. Four suspects were remanded in police custody, which is set to run out today.

“We are receiving threats on phone to take back our case,” Shahbaz Masih, the brother of Shehzad Masih, told a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. “We have been offered money and land as compensation in return for withdrawal of the case against the accused,” he said.

“We have informed the district police officer of Kasur about the threats,” he said.

Masih appealed to the Supreme Court to take up the case independently and order an impartial inquiry.

“We only want justice through fair investigations,” he said, adding that a judicial commission and joint investigation team should be formed to carry out the probe.

Shahbaz and his wife Parveen Bibi said that members of religious minorities should be included in the commission.

The Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), a group of clerics and rights activists promoting religious co-existence, urged harsh punishments for those involved to dissuade others from misusing religion as an excuse to settle personal feuds in the future.

“Had the perpetrators of Gojra and Joseph Colony riots case been punished, no one would have dared to burn the Christian couple now,” said PIL chairman Sajid Ishaq, referring to riots against Christians in 2009 and 2013 that saw more than a dozen killed in mob attacks.

“PIL urges the government to ensure the security of this terrified family and shift them to a safer place,” he added.

In a separate case, police said Tuesday they had arrested a Christian man in Lahore last week over blasphemy allegations.

Thirty-eight year old Qaiser Ayub, a computer science teacher, was sent to jail by court order on Monday in Talagang in Chakwal district, where he was declared an absconder in a case dating back to 2011.

“Ayub has been charged with uploading sacrilegious posts on his Facebook page against the Prophet Muhammad,” a police officer at Talagang Police Station told ucanews.com.

The charge carries either the death sentence or life imprisonment.

Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Director of Christian advocacy group Legal Evangelical Association Development, said that Ayub had been on the run for three and a half years.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive subject in Muslim-majority Pakistan, and even unproven allegations often trigger mob violence.

- ucanews

Pope condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue, urges end to violence

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-world

Jerusalem synagogue attackedVatican, November 19, 2014: Pope Francis condemned the “unacceptable episodes of violence” in Jerusalem, episodes that “do not spare even places of worship,” after an attack in a synagogue left four worshippers, a policeman and the two attackers dead.

At the end of his general audience Nov. 19, the day after the attack on the synagogue, Pope Francis said he was following “with concern the alarming increase of tensions in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land.”

The pope offered prayers for the victims of the attack carried out by two Palestinian cousins from East Jerusalem and for all those suffering the consequences of the attack.

“From the depths of my heart,” he said, “I appeal to those involved to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence and make courageous decisions in favor of reconciliation and peace.”

“Making peace is difficult,” he said, “but living without peace is a torment.”

Shortly after the early morning synagogue attack, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem called for an end to all violence in the Holy Land.

“We are praying and waiting. We are sad,” said Patriarch Twal. “We must, all people of responsibility, politicians and religious leaders, do our best in our positions to condemn this violence and avoid as much as possible the causes which lead other people to violence.”

The attack occurred in the Har Nof neighborhood of West Jerusalem, which is popular with the Anglo-Orthodox Jewish community. Three of the dead worshippers had dual Israeli-American citizenship; one had Israeli-British citizenship.

The two perpetrators of the attacks were killed at the scene by Israeli police.

“Violence leads to more violence,” Patriarch Twal told Catholic News Service. He said he sent condolences to the families of all the victims of the recent wave of violence that has rocked Jerusalem as Israel moves toward expanding Jewish settlements in the area and Palestinians fear a Jewish presence on the shared holy site of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to a tenuous and contested status quo agreement, Jews are allowed to visit the site where, according to Jewish tradition, the Biblical Jewish temple stood and, but they are not allowed to pray there. According to Muslim tradition, it is the site where Muhammad ascended into heaven.

A day prior to the synagogue attack, a Palestinian bus driver who worked for an Israeli cooperative was found hanged in his bus at the terminal. Israeli police called the death a suicide after a medical investigation, but the man’s family and the Palestinian media maintain that it was a lynching. Some have said the synagogue killings were in retaliation for his death.

“You can’t occupy and then think people (will be quiet),” Patriarch Twal said, referring to Israel occupation of Palestinian lands. “We are against any kind of violence either from a state group or private groups.”

“We are in a very bad situation and condemn the violence and assure the families who have lost loved ones of our prayers,” he added. “It is very sad.”

The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land expressed “shock and horror” at the attack, calling it “horrendous.”

“Such murderous deeds, especially in a house of worship, are the ultimate abuse of religion,” said a statement from the council, which represents Israel’s chief rabbinate, the Palestinian Authority Shariah courts, and local Christian leaders. “We call on all religious political and civic leaders to do their utmost to prevent the local political conflict from being turned into a religious war, the consequences of which will be disastrous for all.”

The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, World Council of Churches general secretary, expressed concern and sadness over the attack.

“There is a particular horror in any such attack which takes place at a place of worship. I condemn this violence unequivocally, as I do all violence between the peoples and communities of this region which has seen so much bloodshed in the name of religion,” he said. “Violence, collective punishments and communal attacks can only further damage the prospects of peace and justice for all.”

Israelis were shocked by the attack on the worshippers, killed as they took part in the daily morning prayers at the popular neighborhood synagogue.

In past weeks, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif has been sight of bloody confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinians, and synagogues and mosques have been vandalized.

Over recent weeks, several Palestinians have been killed and injured in demonstrations in East Jerusalem, and several Israelis been killed and injured in attacks by Palestinians in the Jerusalem area and Tel Aviv.

Patriarch Twal said Jerusalem is a city of peace, not violence.

He said the recent attacks have shown that the walls built as a security barrier to separate the West Bank do not protect anyone from violence as long as there is occupation and injustice.

“There is no protection with walls. Only dignity and justice for all (will bring security,)” he said. “All this violence took place within the walls. We need more justice and comprehension.”

Patriarch Twal noted that Christians in the Holy Land were preparing to celebrate Christmas and expressed concern that pilgrims would be afraid to come because of the violence.

“We hope that by Christmastime there will be no more revenge and no more killings,” he said. He asked for prayers for the peace of Jerusalem, the Holy Land and all its inhabitants, so Jerusalem could return to its vocation as the city of peace.

- cns

Recipe for a happy & successful life

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Stay away from Anger.
It hurts only you and nobody else.
If you are right, then there is no need to get angry
and if you are wrong then you don’t have any right to get angry.


Patience with family is love
Patience with others is respect
Patience with self is confidence and
Patience with GOD is faith.

Never think hard about the past, it may bring tears.
Don’t think more about the future, it may bring fears.
Trust in God & Live the present with a Smile, it will bring cheers.


Every test in our life makes us “bitter” or “better”
Every problem comes “to make us” or “break us”,
The choice is ours whether we become ‘victims’ or ‘victorious’.

Search for a beautiful heart not a beautiful face.
Beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.
Remember all that glitters is not gold.

Hand in Hand

Do you know why God created gaps between your fingers?
So that someone who is special to you comes
and fills those gaps by holding your hand forever.

Caution: Familiarity breeds contempt, so always hold them dear
For when no one else is around they’ll always be near.

Happiness keeps You Sweet, Trials keep You Strong
Success keeps You Glowing,
Only God keeps You Going!

Thank You God

When you don’t give up, you cannot fail
Trust in Jesus
Jesus never fails!
He will lead you step by step
Not all at once, but step by step…..
And if you walk by FAITH & not by sight
Each step will be a miracle!

You can do a lot by yourself
With God all things are possible
That means nothing is impossible!
With Him you can achieve much more
So walk with Him in FAITH & be blessed.
If you accept Jesus as your Lord & Savior
He has promised never to leave you or forsake you.
He’s a faithful friend


You can trust Him to the very end.

Deut 31:6. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Matt 28:18-20.   Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.”

- fwd: stanley luiz

Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in US, Canada & Australia

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Eastern Catholic churchesVatican, November 17, 2014: The Vatican has lifted a longstanding ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches.

The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allows for the ordination of married men to the priesthood. (Bishops must be unmarried, however, and once ordained, a priest cannot marry.) The Vatican has repeatedly approved this tradition, while insisting on the importance of priestly celibacy in the Latin rite.

However, in the late 19th century, with the arrival of many Byzantine Catholic immigrants in Canada, Latin-rite prelates complained that the presence of married Catholic priests could create a “grave scandal.” The Vatican eventually ruled that the Eastern churches could not ordain married men in the countries where their communities form a minority of the Catholic population. The rule has historically applied primarily to Canada, the US, and Australia.

With a decree approved by Pope Francis, and signed on June 14 by Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has now rescinded that ban. Catholic bishops of the Eastern churches serving in eparchies (dioceses) in the West are explicitly authorized to ordain married men.

The decree requires a bishop of the Eastern Catholic Church to “give prior notice, in writing, to the Latin Bishop of the candidate’s place of residence, so as to obtain his opinion and any relevant information [regarding the candidate].” An Eastern-rite bishop who ordained a married man for service in another country is directed to inform the episcopal conference of that country, and the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, of this action.

In practice, the ban on married priests had been relaxed in recent years, with the tacit acceptance of the Holy See. Some married priests from the East have been assigned to serve parishes in the West, and some men from the West have traveled to the East to be ordained before returning to serve at home. In a few cases, bishops of the Eastern churches have simply ignored the ban, ordaining married American men to serve in American parishes.

The new Vatican document allowing for the ordination of married men notes that when the ban was originally imposed, thousands of Catholics of the Ruthenian Catholic community in Canada left to join the Orthodox Church. The document also notes that when Pope Benedict XVI issued Anglicanorum Coetibus, allowing for the reception of Anglican communities into the Catholic Church, he explicitly provided for the presence of married Catholic priests. In 2012, Pope Benedict remarked that “the ministry of married priests is a component of the ancient Eastern traditions,” which he encouraged the Eastern Catholic churches to maintain.

- catholic culture

BJP: Islam will prosper if we rule Kashmir

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

BJP in kashmirSrinagar, November 19, 2014: The BJP said Wednesday it was confident Islam will prosper in Jammu and Kashmir if it got to rule the state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also said that it won’t press for the abrogation of article 370 of the constitution, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, if people of the state want it to stay.

BJP state vice president Ramesh Arora, who is also in charge of the party’s Kashmir affairs, said Kashmiris would feel more secure if the BJP was voted to power in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

“Kashmiris need to vote en masse for the BJP. This contention is wrong that the BJP is a communal party. Kashmir is a land of Sufi saints. Islam will grow better during our regime,” he said.

“The state as such has no religion but we (BJP) respect all religions and pledge religious freedom to all as guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

“Those who say the BJP would be a threat to Kashmiriyat … are wrong.

“The actual threat is to those who say so. Our party will end administrative, police, bureaucratic and political injustice in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Trying to play down the controversy over article 370, Arora said the BJP favoured a debate and discussion on the issue.

“We will take people into confidence and assess its merits and demerits to the state and proceed accordingly.”

Arora said a debate over this provision was a “serious issue and we (BJP) won’t take any vague decision.

“We will take the aspirations of all regions of Jammu and Kashmir into account while dealing with this issue.”

The BJP has traditionally opposed article 370, saying it was coming in the way of Jammu and Kashmir’s complete integration with the rest of India.

The BJP manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha election reiterated its stand on the article and said it “will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to (its) abrogation”.

- ians

New BJP states pushing for anti-calves slaughtering law

November 20, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

cow slaughter in indiaMumbai, November 2014: Fulfilling its one of the pre poll assurance to make tough laws to check cattle slaughtering, the newly elected BJP governments in Maharashtra and Haryana have started working on getting long pending bills in this connection approved from the President.

Haryana already has ‘The Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955’ that applies to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab states. But the new BJP government that took charge last month is reportedly looking into strengthening the existing law to further check the cow slaughter in the state, Haryana’s Animal Husbandry Minister Om Parkash Dhankhar said at Gurgaon on Tuesday.

The BJP government in Maharashtra has now taken up the oldest pending Bill – the Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill 1995 – which was enacted by the then BJP-Shiv Sena government but subsequently stalled by the central governments, including the NDA tenure in between – by not seeking the President’s consent for it. During its 15-year rule in Maharashtra, the Congress-led governments never responded to the BJP’s demands for taking the bill ahead.

With this bill, the BJP government in Maharashtra wishes to ban the slaughter of calves in the state. Slaughtering of cows is already forbidden under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act (MAPA), enacted in 1976. Under the provisions of this existing law, calves can be killed after acquiring the ‘Fit for Slaughter’ certificate from civic authorities.

As reported by PTI, Mahesh Phatak, secretary, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department (Maharashtra) wrote to the Central Government last Thursday regarding the new BJP government’s wish to follow up and enactment of the Bill. His letter was in response to a communication from deputy secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, seeking to know if the government was interested in pursuing the Bill, passed way back in 1995 by the state legislature.

Cattle slaughtering laws vary from state to state

The “Preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice” is Entry 15 of the ‘State List’ of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, meaning that State legislatures have exclusive powers to legislate the prevention of slaughter and preservation of cattle.

Hence, there is no uniform law regarding cattle slaughtering for all states and while cow slaughtering is completely banned in certain states, it is allowed in others. Also, those states that do have such laws, the enactment vary in great respect. Then, there are certain states where cow slaughter is not banned. These include Kerala, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and some states from the northeast India. These states allow the slaughter of cows with restrictions such as a ‘fit-for-slaughter’ certificate that is issued by the civic authority depending on factors like age and gender of cattle, continued economic viability etc.

Prohibition of cow slaughter is actually a Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Article 48 of the Constitution. It reads,

“The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”

- tcn

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