Indian interior minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday stressed the importance of cow protection saying that 80 per cent of the genes found in a cow and a human were the same.
The minister cited a conclusion from a US Department of Agriculture meet convened to define the genetic sequence of cows where 300 scientists were invited from 25 countries. Singh was speaking during the meet where tributes were paid to those killed in the anti-cow slaughter agitation 50 years ago. A large number of religious leaders and Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders were also present at the meet.
"I believe they gave their supreme sacrifice for a big goal. I pay my tributes to them. I also laud you for remembering them even after 50 years," Singh said.
He stressed on the need to bring the states in India together on banning cow slaughter adding that the mammals were protected even during the Mughal rule.
"Cow slaughter and beef were banned since the Vedic times. Even during the Mughal rule, it was banned during the times of Bahadurshah Zafar, Akbar and Jehangir. It has even been written in the 'Babarnama' that one cannot rule over Hindustan unless you stop cow slaughter," he said at the function. "As far as cow is concerned, it is not just a cultural issue, it is an issue of faith. But besides being an issue of faith, it is also an issue which should be viewed from economic, historical and scientific perspective."
Singh said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was working towards enforcing a complete ban on smuggling of cattle to Bangladesh and had taken a number of steps in this regard, but achieved only "partial success" keeping in view the long borders, Press Trust of India reported.
Singh said that article 48 of the Indian constitution mentions that governments will work to stop cow slaughter. However, a complete ban on smuggling of cows "will take some time", the minister said.
Singh also asked for the issue to be viewed through the "angle of climate change".
"I feel that the prevailing polluted atmosphere, the angle of climate change should also be examined. Because scientists have said to produce one pound of beef, 1,800 gallons of water is used while for producing other meats 500 to 1,200 gallons of water is used. You can yourself conclude that we have to stop the fast changing climate changes that are taking place," he stressed.