Grade(s): Undergraduate classes CADIndia (website link)
Subject(s): Constitutional Law (BCI); Constitution of India,
Professional Ethics and Human Rights (VTU)
Chapter(s): Directive Principles of State Policy
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Several Indian states including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana have made state laws banning cow slaughter. Certain organizations have called for a national law banning cow slaughter citing grounds of utility, compassion and the constitutional mandate under Article 48. However, critics claim that the ban on slaughter infringes key fundamental rights including the right to freedom of trade and occupation, right to equality and right to life (i.e. right to eat food of choice).
This worksheet revisits the constitutional history behind Article 48 of the Constitution of India, 1950:
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.
What were the debates among the framers of the Indian Constitution on the ban of cow slaughter?