April 11, 1979, Forty Years Ago: Kerala rejects ban

Front page of The Indian Express on April 17, 1979

The Kerala chief minister, P K Vasudevan Nair, said in Trivandrum that his government would not agree to the demand for a total ban on cow slaughter. Nair then left for Bombay on his way to Paunar ashram to meet Acharya Vinoba Bhave and try to persuade him to give up his proposed fast: Referring to the demand that the Constitution should be amended to include protection of the cow in the concurrent list, the chief minister said there was no question of agreeing to the demand. Prime Minister Morarji Desai is also of the view that there is no point in bringing this into the concurrent list because implementation has to be done by the states alone.

Bengal follows suit

The prospects of an agreed decision on cow slaughter between West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu and Acharya Vinoba Bhave are frightfully dim. While Basu will try to persuade the Acharya to appreciate the peculiar position in West Bengal and give up his projected fast, he will, certainly not agree to ban cow slaughter. In Basu's view, a total ban is impractical.

Indo-Bangla supplies

India will supply Bangladesh 1,50,000 tonnes of rice and 50,000 tonnes of wheat, either on deferred payment or as barter, as a result of an understanding reached here between Prime Minister Morarji Desai and the Bangladesh president Ziaur Rahman. The request was made by Bangladesh to overcome its current food shortage. After the final round of talks in Dhaka this morning, decisions were taken to either speed up existing agreements or to set into motion new ideas for cooperation.

Mob violence averted

Thirty-year-old Sarfuddin risked his life in preventing a mob from setting fire to the godown of Amarnath Chhabra at Jugsalai on April 12, the second day of the rioting in Jamshedpur. The godown had stocks of imported microwave gadgets which were valued at Rs 10 crore and belonged to the government.