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Archives for : July2017

UP’s brave female police officer’s reply to Yogi Adityanath after transfer

Uttar Pradesh’s brave lady police officer, Shreshtha Thakur, has taken to Facebook to respond to her sudden transfer by Yogi Adityanath government after she sent five BJP leaders to jail for intimidation.

Her Facebook post said, “Wherever it goes, it distributes light. A flame doesn’t have a house of its own. Got transfer to Bahraich, it’s Nepal border, don’t worry my friends I am happy ..I accept it as a reward for my good work. .u all are invited to bahraich (sic).”

up's brave police officers reply

In an another act of blatant mockery of law and order, the Uttar Pradesh’s BJP government had transferred an upright woman police officer after she sent 5 BJP workers to jail for creating obstacles in discharging government duties.

The video of Shreshtha Thakur standing up to BJP leaders and giving them a public dressing down had gone viral. These BJP leaders had accused Thakur of only targetting the BJP workers.

To which Thakur had asked them to obtain a letter from the chief minister stating that BJP workers must not be bothered even when they break laws.

It seems the BJP leaders took her words seriously and indeed approached Yogi Adityanath for an action against the honest police officer. According to a report by Hindustan Times, a delegation of the party’s 11 MLAs and MP met Adityanath and demanded action against her.

Also Read:  Saharanpur: 4 arrested for damaging Ambedkar statue

They reportedly told Adityanath that it was an issue of the pride for them and the police officer needed to be taught a lesson. The chief minister, it appears, readily accepted their demands and ordered Thakur’s transfer from Bulandshahr to Bahraich.

Mukesh Bhardwaj, the party city president, confessed that Thakur’s transfer was indeed to keeping intact the pride of party workers and leaders.

Also Read:  Taj Mahal not Indian, says UP’s chief minister Adityanath

On 22 June in Syana area, Thakur and her team were on duty when they stopped a person riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. She slapped him with a fine of Rs 200. This enraged the local BJP leaders, who arrived in a big group and demanded revocation of fine.

Thakur did not budge and instead sent five BJP workers for intimidating police officials. The video of Thakur’s bravery had gone viral.

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PAN won’t be invalidated without Aadhaar link from 1 July

A number of queries and doubts has risen on the issue of Aadhaar-PAN linking in the wake of the government making it clear that Aadhaar will be a ‘must’ for filing ITRs and obtaining a new PAN from 1 July. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

According to a senior income tax official, people who are not able to link PAN with Aadhaar by 1 July will have the option to mention the Aadhaar number in e-ITR

A number of queries and doubts has risen on the issue of Aadhaar-PAN linking in the wake of the government making it clear that Aadhaar will be a ‘must’ for filing ITRs and obtaining a new PAN from 1 July. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: Taxpayers without Aadhaar number or its enrolment ID will not be able to electronically file their income tax returns (ITRs) from 1 July even as the tax department has said that in no case any PAN will be invalidated.

A senior income tax (I-T) department official clarified that people who are not able to link their Aadhaar and permanent account number (PAN) by 1 July, will have the option to mention the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)-provided number in the e-ITR and this will be considered a valid linking of the two unique numbers.
A number of queries and doubts has risen on the issue of Aadhaar-PAN linking in the wake of the government making it clear that Aadhaar will be a “must” for filing ITRs and obtaining a new PAN from 1 July.

The senior tax official addressed the two major concerns of taxpayers in this context: “It has been made abundantly clear that no PAN, which is not linked to Aadhaar, will be cancelled from 1 July. However, any person who wants to e-file their ITRs will either have to have an Aadhaar number or the enrolment ID to be mentioned in their ITR or prior link it over the e-filing portal of the department.

“If Aadhaar credentials are not linked with PAN or mentioned in the ITR, then such a person will not be able to e-file,” the official said.

E-filing of ITR is mandatory for all individuals except whose income is less than Rs5 lakh per annum and those who are above 80 years of age.

The Supreme Court had in early June upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a constitutional bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.

The central board of direct taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body for the I-T department, had said on 10 June that the apex court’s order had only given a “partial relief” to those who do not have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, “will not cancel” the PAN of such individuals.

Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from 1 July.

The department, till now, has linked over 2.16 crore Aadhaar numbers with its PAN database.

While Aadhaar is issued by the UIDAI to a resident of India, PAN is a ten-digit alphanumeric number alloted in the by the I-T department to a person, firm or entity.

There are over 25 crore PAN numbers allotted, while Aadhaar has been alloted to about 115 crore people.

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Jharkhand meat trader lynching: BJP leader arrested

A local Bharatiya Janata Party leader was among two persons arrested while another person surrendered in court in connection with the lynching of a meat trader in Ramgarh district recently, police said.


Nityanand Mahato, the local BJP leader, and Santosh Singh were arrested in the case. Another accused Chhotu Rana surrendered in Ramgarh court, Superintendent of Police Kishore Kaushal said on Sunday.

Police has also taken a man into custody for interrogation.

A 40-year-old meat trader, a resident of village Manua in Hazaribagh district, was beaten to death by a mob on Thursday on suspicion that he was carrying beef in his vehicle.

The mob also set the vehicle on fire. The incident took place at Bazaartand locality of Ramgarh town.

The district administration had deployed additional security forces and imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure in view of the tension on Friday last. Though the situation in Ramgarh limped back to normal, security forces are still present all 33 sensitive joints of the district.

The incident in Ramgarh took place just a couple of days after a mob attacked and injured a man in Giridih district on suspicion that he had slaughtered a cow.

IMAGE: Members of a community torch a vehicle during a protest against lynching of a meat trader in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand. Photograph: PTI Photo

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Fourth Acid Attack On Uttar Pradesh Gang-Rape Survivor. She Had Full-Time Security #Vaw


In March this year, acid was poured down the throat of the UP gang-rape survivor while she was travelling by train to Lucknow.

A gang-rape survivor in UP was attacked with acid for the third time in Lucknow, outside her hostel.
Acid thrown at the woman when she stepped out of her hostel in Lucknow
In March, two men poured acid down her throat on a train
The woman was allegedly gang-raped in her village in 2008
A 35-year-old gang-rape survivor in Uttar Pradesh has been attacked with acid for the fourth time in Lucknow last evening. She has been admitted to a hospital after the latest attack.

Acid was thrown at the woman sometime between 8 pm and 9 pm yesterday when she stepped out of her hostel to fill water from a hand-pump in Lucknow’s Aliganj area. The attack took place despite a round-the-clock police presence for her security and an armed guard inside the hostel.

The woman is undergoing treatment at the trauma centre in Lucknow’s King George’s Medical University. Police said there are injuries on her face after the latest attack. “She was outside her hostel when someone came and threw acid on her. There are injuries to the right side of her face. The woman is in trauma. We will take strict action,” Abhay Kumar Prasad, Additional Director General of Police, Lucknow.

Police said a formal complaint has not been registered as the family is yet to give a complaint. UP Women Welfare minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “We have given them a lot of protection, there is a guard, a vehicle, have connected them with employment.” “The investigation is on, let’s see what comes out.”

The woman works a Lucknow cafe managed by acid attack survivors.
In March this year, two men attacked her and poured acid down her throat on a train while she was returning to Lucknow from her village in Rae Bareli. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited her in hospital in March and given compensation. Hours later, the two accused, named by the woman, were arrested.

Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh slammed the Yogi Adityanath government after Saturday’s attack. “The law and order has completed broken down in UP. Everyday there are instances of harassment, rapes, murders, and exploitation etc,” said Juhi Singh of Samajwadi Party. “In the last 100 days, the BJP government has disappointed the people. They have to think about this goondaraj,” said Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Sudhindra Bhadoria.

The mother of two was allegedly gang-raped in her village in 2008. Two people were arrested and the trial is going on. Three years later, in 2011, she was attacked with acid. In 2013, she had to face a similar ordeal again after she was attacked with acid.

The woman and her family allege the acid attacks are being orchestrated by people known to the gang-rape accused

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Madhya Pradesh – Narmada Oustees protested imposition of National Security Act

It is  violation of their democratic rights

Image result for national security india

Badwani | 28th June: The Sardar Sarovar Affected people from Dhar and Badwani districts representing about 70 villages reached Dhar in large number, yesterday (i.e. on 27.06.2017).

Around 700 women and men, took out a rally from Dhar Lake to Collector’s office holding chowk meetings on the way. Oustees-Swapna Kanera, Devram Bhai and others addressed the people of Dhar, informing them about the undemocratic brutal eviction of big and small villages planned with the intention of using force to evacuate villages while the government officials and GRA are not ready to implement the SC order on Rehabilitation aspects such as payment of the New package of 60/15 lakhs or completing the work on R&R sites.

The Madhya Pradesh government has directed all district collectors to impose the National Security Act (NSA) to make preventive detentions to ensure smooth roll out of the GST from July 1.The collectors have been authorised to impose the NSA from July 1 to September 30.
In its notification, the state home department has said that the government had reports that suggested that some people were planning to disrupt communal harmony and supply of essential commodities.The Opposition Congress party has slammed the government for the decision saying what is the need for imposition of such a stringent act if the GST was such a nice thing.
“What does the government want. It is killing farmers in police firing and threatening traders with the National Security Act. Traders can’t even protest if they feel that right to livelihood is being snatched. If this is not moving towards emergency then what is?” Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said while speaking to India Today.

The protesters gave a letter to the collector asking the true intention of the government and questioning the contempt of the court. They even burnt the copy of notification under the National Security Act that gives the freedom to the police to detain anyone raising their voice against the injustices on the basis of trying to maintain peace in the region. The dates of the notification are exactly those of the time when water will start gushing into the villages. The SDM received the letter because the collector had gone to Bhopal and gave it in written that the collector will give a written answer to all their questions in 3 days.

The villagers told about their plight to the SDM. They ended the rally with singing motivational songs to stay strong in such difficult times

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Politics of Death: Lawyers join battle over land in Chhattisgarh


Image result for sudha bhardwaj

A top police official recently said that lawyers defending the rights of indigenous people should be crushed on the highway for going against the state to protect villagers

By Rina Chandran

BILASPUR, India, June 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For Shalini Gera, a rights lawyer in India’s Chhattisgarh state, it was the searing testimony of tribal activist Soni Sori that drew her attention to atrocities in the mineral-rich state.

Sori, who was arrested in 2011 on charges of aiding Maoist rebels in the state, accused the police of torturing and sexually assaulting her while in prison. The crime?

Defending the right of indigenous people to live in an area rich in minerals in what is one of India’s poorest states.

Police officials, who have since been moved to other locations, deny any mistreatment.

Stirred by Sori’s call for justice, Gera and a couple of other lawyers left Delhi to set up office in the state’s restive Bastar region in 2013. It wasn’t long before they were targets.

The lawyers said they were followed, had objects thrown into their home, and accused of helping Maoist rebels. They say they were harassed for defending villagers and indigenous people.

They were finally evicted by a fearful landlord last year, and relocated to Bilaspur about 400 km (250 miles) away, where they continued to pursue their cases.


The lawyers have angered plenty of people in high places.

A top police official recently said they should be crushed on the highway for going against the state to protect villagers.

“Parts of Chhattisgarh are like a war zone,” said Sudha Bharadwaj, a lawyer in Bilaspur who backed Gera and set up a legal aid group, Janhit, for farmers and indigenous people.

“There is violence against people who insist on their rights and we are perceived as anti-development for helping them,” said Bharadwaj, 55, who took up law aged 40 to help local people.

One of India’s least developed states, Chhattisgarh sits atop some of India’s biggest reserves of coal, iron ore, bauxite, dolomite, limestone, tin and gold, and accounts for nearly a fifth of the total value of minerals produced in India.

At least 25 conflicts are raging in the state – over coal and iron ore, power projects and steel plants – and they affect 70,000 people, according to research firm Land Conflict Watch.

The race for resources to spur India’s economic growth has pitted some of its most vulnerable people against the state, stalling industrial projects worth billions of dollars.

There are at least 332 land conflicts nationwide, affecting more than 3.5 million people, according to Land Conflict Watch.

Nowhere are these conflicts more violent and bloody than in Chhattisgarh, part of the “Red Corridor” stretching across eastern and central India that has witnessed a Maoist rebellion for more than three decades.

The rebels, who say they are fighting for the land rights and empowerment of indigenous people, accuse the government of plundering mineral resources while ignoring the villagers.

Adivasis, or “original dwellers”, and lower-caste Dalits make up more than 40 percent of the state’s 28 million population and traditionally lived in its forests and hills.

After the opening of the economy in the early 1990s, tracts of forest land were handed to companies including Adani Group, Jindal Power, Essar and Tata Steel for mines and power plants.

Backed by the state, an anti-insurgency militia called Salwa Judum – meaning ‘Peace March’ or ‘Purification March’ – began cracking down on the Maoist rebels from 2005 to free up land.

A pitched battle ensued, in which hundreds were killed and tens of thousands displaced amid accusations of mass rape, illegal detentions, torture and extra-judicial killings.

Activists are caught “between two sets of guns” in the conflict between Maoist combatants and government security forces, Human Rights Watch said in a 2012 report.

“The original inhabitants are seen as road blocks that they have to get out of the way to do more mining, build more plants, more industry,” said Bharadwaj.


The fight for land and the environment is “a new battleground for human rights”, according to British-based watchdog Global Witness, with India chalking up at least six deaths in 2015 related to land conflicts.

In Chhattisgarh, villagers spoke of giving up land at gunpoint while activists faced charges from murder to treason.

Lingaram Kodopi, a tribal activist, fled to Delhi after being shot in the leg in 2011.

Binayak Sen, a physician, was convicted of treason and sedition in 2010 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ramesh Agrawal, who received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2014 for leading a protest that shut down a proposed coal mine, was wounded by masked gunmen in 2012.

Sori was attacked again last year with chemicals.

Delhi University professor Nandini Sundar was among those charged last year in the killing of an indigenous man in Bastar shortly after she published a book on the conflict.

“People opposing the state are not treated as citizens. The state sees it fit to tackle them only through the military,” said Gera, a co-founder of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group.

“Would there be less violence if there were no resources? Perhaps.”


Laws that protect the rights of farmers and indigenous people – including a 1996 law on tribal areas and the 2006 Forest Rights Act giving traditional forest dwellers access to forest resources – are poorly implemented, activists say.

Meanwhile state officials say resource-based industries are needed to spur growth and generate jobs for the state.

“We have settled forest rights where requested. If there is any complaint of rights violation, we look into it,” said Subodh Kumar Singh, a senior official in the mines department.

“There may be a few displacements, but the people are resettled. The industries are bringing good development.”

The Supreme Court in 2011 called Salwa Judum “illegal” and ordered its disbandment. The top court said it was dismayed the only option for the state was “to rule with an iron fist”.

But a battle is still raging.

Among the cases that Bharadwaj is handling is that of Janki Sidar, who is fighting the unauthorised takeover of her land. The case is 14 years old. Bharadwaj is her 10th lawyer.

“It is necessary for us – doctors, lawyers, journalists – to be involved,” said Bharadwaj.

“We have to help them confront the power of the state and industry. We have to become their amplifiers to carry their voices to the outside world.”

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From child bride to medical college, Rupa cracks NEET to script her own success story #Goodnews


Rupa Yadav achieved her childhood dream of becoming a doctor by securing 603 marks along with AIR 2,612 in recently declared NEET -2017 results

Jaipur: From a child bride to medical college. The story of Rupa Yadav reads like a script of Hindi soap opera.

Notwithstanding her early marriage and poor economic background, Rupa achieved her childhood dream of becoming a doctor by securing 603 marks along with AIR 2,612 in recently declared NEET -2017 results.

Daughter of a poor farmer of Kareri village of Chomu, near Jaipur, Rupa was married at the tender age of eight to Shankar Lal aged 12 in 1996.

However, she was sent to husband’s house after appearing for 10th examination. What turned the tide in Rupa’s favour was securing 84 per cent marks in the 10th class.

Appreciating her performance, the villagers urged her husband and in-laws to let her continue her studies.

Determined to write her own destiny, Rupa while attending to daily chores passed 11th and 12th exams with flying colours.

Owing to weak economic background of her family and in-laws, Rupa enrolled in B.Sc but simultaneously appeared for AIPMT and scored 415 marks with AIR 2,3000.

“Although I did not qualify for a good government college for MBBS, the marks of AIPMT encouraged my husband and brother-in-law to send me to Kota to prepare for medical entrance test,” Rupa said. In 2015, Rupa joined Allen Career Institute for the coaching.

To meet the expenses of coaching and accommodation in Kota, her husband Shankar Lal and brother-in-law Babu Lal, besides farming, did extra job of driving auto in their area.

In 2016, Rupa scored 506 but missed the admission to a reputable medical college by a whisker. Undeterred Rupa decided to give it another try.

This time Allen Career Institute recognising her talent and zeal waived off 75% fee as scholarship and finally Rupa proved that if one really wants to achieve anything in life none of social and economic barriers can stop you.

“Studying in Kota made me confident and positive which paved my way to achieve my dream”, Rupa said.

Appreciating Rupa’s efforts, Naveen Maheshwari, director of Allen Career Institute, announced that the institute has decided to offer her scholarship for next four years for MBBS studies.


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#SundayReading – The unsuitable boy of India’s cattle economy

The problem of male cattle in India, the world’s largest milk-producing country, remains in limbo even as farmers grapple with latest government regulations that severely restrict cattle trade and culling

The use of bullocks for farming is decreasing in India. (Photo by Mallika Viegas)

The use of bullocks for farming is decreasing in India. (Photo by Mallika Viegas)

Alpesh Patel, a small farmer in Mogari village of Anand district in Gujarat, owns three crossbreed female cattle and earns supplemental income by selling milk to the nearest dairy co-operative. He strives to keep his herd efficient for milk production by keeping only female cattle.

On being asked about this selective rearing, he said, “The survival rate of newborn male calves is very low and two out every four newborn male calves naturally die within six months. If they survive, they are sold to the local vaghri community for Rs 500-600 each, as these male calves have no economic utility when they grow up as adults.”

However, he says that female cattle have high survival rate vis-a-vis the males and almost all of them achieve adulthood. It is highly possible that what Alpesh claims as natural death could be selective weeding out of young male stock in order to keep his herd efficient for milk production. Is he the only farmer with such rationale? Livestock data from two decades unveil some interesting insights on this female bias of bovine-keepers in India.

Redundant males

Till the advent of Green Revolution in India, bullocks were an indispensable component of the nation’s agrarian society. They were revered by farmers and commanded higher priority over female cattle because of draught power. Things, however, changed after the Green Revolution, when the male started getting replaced by mechanized power — tractors, power tillers and diesel and electric pumps — in the agricultural fields.

The opportunity cost of rearing a male cattle became low as they have to be fed entire year for 60 days of traction services. They offered no additional benefits compared with the efficient and timesaving tractors, which led farmers to think of their disposal. Also, milk production gained importance over the years, which made farmers get rid of male cattle so that large share of feed and fodder resources remained concentrated on the milch cows.

Bovine-keepers dispose male cattle in several ways — through neglect, abandoning them so that they become strays and selling them off in the cattle market because there is demand for their meat, hide, bones and other by-products.

Looking at the quinquennial Livestock Censuses data, cattle population of the country grew by 10% between 1956 and 1961. Interestingly, it took another 30 years (1961-1992) for cattle to clock 15% population growth. However, the cattle population started to decline after 1992 and recorded 7% negative growth in between 1992-2012, which was entirely attributed to male cattle population. Between 1992-2012, male cattle population recorded a net loss of 33 million heads, which is unlikely due to only natural reasons or starvation.

One-third of this net loss — about 10 million male heads —has occurred alone in the Hindu heartland of Uttar Pradesh. The composition of crossbred cattle population, where males comprise only 10% of total 40 million, clearly shows the selective and differential treatment of bovine-keepers towards bullocks. Economic rationality guides the decisions of dairy farmers in determining the size and sexes of their cattle herds.

Maintaining unproductive male cattle imposes an additional financial burden on the farmer. (Photo by Rahul Rathod)

Maintaining unproductive male cattle imposes an additional financial burden on the farmer. (Photo by Rahul Rathod)

Sacred cow

However, in the recent years, the issue of sacred cow has gained currency nationally, which has started to interfere with the established system of disposal of unproductive cattle. Incidents of violence and murder in the name of cattle vigilantism are on an all-time high. State machineries have also caught up to this rising frenzy. The Gujarat government recently passed a law that made cattle slaughter an offence punishable with a life term. The central government has recently made an amendment to the rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCAA) Act, 1960, which bans the trading of cattle for slaughter in animal markets across the country.

For Vipulbhai Patel, a commercial dairy farmer based in Bhetashi village of Anand district in Gujarat, disposal of male cattle has become extremely difficult in current circumstances. “Forty four out of 80 female cattle in the herd are expected to give calves this year,” he told “If 50% of the forthcoming newborns are male, how would I get rid of these as there are no buyers in the market?”

If we take a close look at the Vipulbhai’s situation, the addition of around 10 male cattle in his herd — assuming that half of the male calves die within six months due to neglect — would have fetched him Rs 6,000-7,000 by selling it to the vaghri community. At present, the established disposal facilities of unwanted cattle has been disrupted in his village, as people from the vaghri community aren’t doing the cattle trade anymore because of the high risks involved, which leaves him with no other choice but to abandon these unproductive male cattle on streets to save the recurring maintenance cost, which could be around Rs 7,500 every month at the rate of Rs 25 per cattle on a daily basis.

Future for bullocks

With the market size of tractor growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 9%, it would not be surprising to see 44 million draught bullocks, as per the 2012 Livestock Census, completely out of agriculture in the near future. An addition of about 6 million tractors can completely replace these 44 million bullocks, assuming that one tractor-day is equivalent to eight bullock-days to cultivate one hectare of land.

Even if the tractor industry grows at a modest growth rate of 6%, India will have another 6 million tractors by the end of 2025. It means male cattle will have negligible use in farms by end of the next decade. In the future, farmers will have to be more selective to maintain an efficient cattle herd for milk production, as they will have to lay off more numbers of surplus males.

However, the recent restrictive rules on cattle trade are crimping farmers’ choices to efficiently manage their stock, which can turn the cattle into liability. Recent amendments in PCAA have the potential to severely disrupting the bullock market, which are mainly sought by buyers for meat and other by-products. With few buyers and excess supply, resale value of bullock is likely to plunge.

Rise of the male cattle

In the scenario of an effective nationwide ban on cow slaughter, the number of male cattle heads will double to about 140-143 million in a span of 10 years. This estimate is arrived at by taking the 2012 cattle population as the base year and assuming that 25% of the female cattle population gives birth every year and 7% of the cattle population goes out of the herd annually.

It is uncertain on who will take care of these 140 million heads of redundant creatures. If the farmers are expected to care for them, the feeding cost of these cattle will put an extra financial burden on millions of rural households owning cattle. It also has the potential to derail India’s thriving dairy industry because the cost of milk production of cattle owners will increase, as farmers have to feed a larger herd.

Eventually milk production from cows could become economically unviable and there will be no alternative to buffalo milk. In these circumstances, farmers will have only two choices — either they will desert them on streets or stop rearing them and switch to buffaloes, which will be a more lucrative option as no social taboos are attached to their slaughter.

Cost of not culling

In case of the government taking the responsibility to safeguard the lives of 140 million male cattle from slaughter, it has to spend Rs 8,400 million daily on feeding alone, at the rate Rs 60 per cattle. This level of spending is unrealistic. Even if the supposed benefits of the dung-urine economics is added to the equation, rearing this large stock of male cattle doesn’t stand on economic grounds.

The yearly requirement of manure in the country can’t exceed 280-300 million tons in the future, assuming application of one ton of manure per hectare of cultivated area. This amount can be conveniently supplied with half of the female cattle stock — 100-120 million cows — which can bring additional income to the farmers besides milk.

It is thus important to understand that the growing cattle protection movement — both by stringent legislation and private vigilantes — is against the elementary principles of livestock management. It would deprive farmers from weeding out unproductive animals. It will increase the cattle population in the country but halt overall livestock development. Although this might sound exaggerated at this point of time, there is a real possibility that the number of holy cows will decrease in India.

Abhishek Rajan is a researcher at the IWMI-Tata Program.

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Haryana – An eye injury almost led to blindness from using cow urine treatment

¨A 24-year-old male presented with complaints of pain, difficulty in opening and blurred vision in both eyes for the last 48 hours. The symptoms had started right after instillation of some eye drops by a village quack. These eye drops were proposed by the village quack to be a cure for refractive error (blurred vision) ¨- Kandhuja et al. 2017

Eye injuries are extremely common from chemicals that are either too acidic or too alkaline. This is a true ocular emergency and requires immediate medical attention to avoid potential blinding and if not treated right, can irreversibly damage the eye surface and its anterior segment leading to visual deficits and disfigurement.

In a village in Haryana, a fake doctor (quack) administered eye drops made from sedimented cow urine which was then boiled and mixed with soot (Surma) and applied using metal rod leading to pain and visual deficits. His ordeal lasted for 2 days before he decided to visit the Rohtak city ophthalmologist to avoid permanent loss of vision.

Recently, due to the increased politicised bovine discussions occurring in reference to religion and food choices in India, bovine products such as milk and excretory urine and dung has attained a newly found value. This year, scientists in AIIMS, Delhi have received funding from the Indian Government to conduct research on the medicinal value of a bovine concoction called the Panchgaavya: a mixture of five substances the cow directly or indirectly produces, two of those being urine and faeces.

In most serious public health departments, this category of research could be a part of parallel health study which is considered ‘complementary’ a’kin to homeopathy and acupuncture. Ideally, bearing in mind that the patient’s health isn’t at risk or presented symptoms are not worsened due to any given therapeutic approach, such as Allopathic, Ayurvedic, or Homeopathic:

  1. This complimentary treatment doesn’t constitute the only treatment the patient will receive and/or
  2. The patient will only receive if specific consent is taken in regards to which therapy is to be included, in addition to the mainstream medical treatment.

Since the government has openly shown support and funded some of these programs as a part of its mainstream scientific research, increasing number of people and practitioners of non-evidence based medicine are drawn towards these practices. Instead of investing in scholarships for undergraduate medical courses, a charity in Kolkatta has introduced training programs for quacks that teaches them basic diagnosis. Their most common errors, says Dr Saibal Majumdar, who is in charge of the training centre, are using injections to induce labour; using IVF fluids unnecessarily; over-prescribing antibiotics; giving antibiotics for viruses; and lack of awareness about which drugs should not be given to pregnant women.

In a case titled Poonam Verma vs Aswin Patel (AIR 1996, SC 2111), the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has given a definition of quack as “ a person who does not have knowledge of a particular system of medicine but practices in that system is a quack and a mere pretender to medical knowledge” .

In another decision by the Supreme Court of India in 2002, it was held that “a professional may be held liable for negligence on the ground that he did not possessed of the requisite skill which he professes to have”. Indian Medical Council act of 1956 provides that no person other than a medical practitioner enrolled on State Medical Register shall practice scientific medicine in any state of India.

The form of rigorous research, as it exists in the major medical research labs, was not followed by people who documented ancient medical practices; Thus the perceived notion about cow products like urine and dung about them being completely harmless, since they are considered organic and natural, may be completely wrong. However, bearing in mind that many potent psychedelic drugs that contain dimethyltryptamine are made from natural products such as tree barks.

Urinalysis shows that bovine urine, similar to its human counterpart, contains a large water component (91-96% varies on the hydration state of the body) and:

  1. Nitrogenous wastes like urea, uric acid and creatinine,
  2. Sodium and other organic salts
  3. Organic compounds, including proteins, hormones, and different metabolites
  4. If consumed, drug metabolites
  5. In diseased states, blood cells
  6. In some infections, pathogens like E.coli bacteria
  7. Excessive consumption of foods like beetroot may cause urine to contain the dye from the food

Even if it is assumed that the bovine urine collected from the ‘gaushala’ is free of infectious diseases, ammonia on its own is considerably harmful. Pure ammonia is not advisable to be inhaled, let alone consumed or topically applied on skin or worse come in contact with skin mucosa like eyes, nose or the lining of the mouth. For chemists, it is no secret that ammonia is a strong alkaline and can erode skin surface. Hence, parts of it is converted to some of the lesser harmful substances like the urea and uric acids for a comparatively longer storage in the mammalian bladder.

Although, science is in support of mammalian wastes for agricultural industries but the extensive effort to validate traditional medicine as shown in the studies below not only justifies the mainstream argument of cow related politics and the recent tragedies but places everyone else seeking medical treatment at great risk.

Mohanty, Ipsita, Manas Ranjan Senapati, Deepika Jena, and Santwana Palai. “Diversified uses of cow urine.” Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 6, no. 3 (2014): 20-2.

Sandeep, Garud, Chaudhary Anubha, and Kotecha Mita. “GO-MUTRA: BOON TO HUMAN BEINGS.” International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research 4, no. 9 (2016).

From the work of Pathak and Kumar published in 2003, there are two chief methods of cow urine formulation described in Ayurveda (Pathak ML, Kumar A. Gomutra-descriptive study. Sachit Ayurveda. 2003;7:81–84):

  1. Gaumutrasava: In this method cow urine is boiled in glass vessel to remove ammonia
  2. and then mixed with jaggery in ratio of 5:1. Gaumutra arka: This is the second method in which the vapors of cow urine are collected in a vessel as in distillation process.

However in the above distillation process:

  1. Boiling urine to eliminate ammonia would do the reverse and concentrate ammonia unless the temperature is increased to the boiling point of ammonia, i.e. -33°C, (not obtained in ordinary conditions unless you live in the Himalayas, especially in ancient India).
  2. There is also no mention of other nitrogenous wastes mainly, urea and uric acid which has separate melting (132.7º C) and boiling (300 °C) points respectively. Urea, a colourless crystal (solid) decomposes before boiling and the latter, uric acid is a white crystalline structure.

Clearly, these scientific facts, only known in the 19th century would be hard to take into consideration during the distillation process of urine in the ancient India a thousand years ago or more. Distillation on the other hand, was first discussed by Aristotle and later by the Greek chemists in the 1st century AD (Bryan H. Bunch; Alexander Hellemans (2004). The History of Science and Technology. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 88). However, it was not until the 3rdcentury when evidence in the form of sketches was found in the Greek manuscript of Byzantine Egypt called Parisinus graces (

According to the analysis of Dr. Kandhuja and his colleagues, ‘it is possible that the retained ammonia in the urine could have caused ocular surface injury. Ammonia gas when dissolved in water forms an alkali ammonium hydroxide, which when in contact with the ocular surface leads to saponification and damage the corneal epithelium.’

Fortunately for the patient, upon worsening of his symptoms, he visited Dr. Sumeet Khanduja on time who is a faculty at the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Rohtak, Haryana and was prescribed with oral analgesics (pain killers) and, topical moxifloxacin 0.5% (antibiotic), homatropine 2% (mydriatic: to dilate the pupil) and preservative free lubricating eye drops (to recover from dry, itchy eyes).

A review of the case report by Khanduja et al. (2017) can be found here

Khanduja, Sumeet, Prachi Jain, Sumit Sachdeva, and Jitender Phogat. “Cow Urine Keratopathy: A Case Report.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR 11, no. 4 (2017): ND03.

An eye injury in Haryana that almost led to blindness from using cow urine treatment

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Did you know? Tax rate in India highest in the world

As per the new system India will have four tax slabs: 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% which now, makes it the country with highest GST rate going past Argentina that levies 27% tax on goods and services.

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PM Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee during the GST rollout. (Source: PTI)

The Goods and Services Tax or GST rollout took place at a grand midnight event in the Central Hall of the Indian Parliament on June 30. The event was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. All the political leaders hailed GST as a positive move for the Indian economy but only a few people would know that GST rates in India are highest in the world among the 140 countries that have implemented it so far, according to a report by Business Today.

As per the new system India will have four tax slabs: 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% which now, makes it the country with highest GST rate going past Argentina that levies 27% tax on goods and services. The reason why some European countries have one rate of GST is that they don’t have worry about a large population poor like India. Also, a majority of Indian population still stays in rural areas and is not economically stable.

France was the first country to introduce this type of tax regime and since then 140 countries have implemented it, with some of them following the dual-GST model, for example, Brazil and Canada. India to followed the footsteps of Canada and introduced a structure where both Centre and states have the powers to levy and collect taxes. Also, goods have been divided into four tax slabs in the country.


However, some countries are still struggling to rationalise an adopted rate structure. Some countries had to increase the rates while others had no other option but decrease it. For example, Canada reduced the GST rates multiple times.

Here are the GST rates levied by other countries as per the report:

Canada – 13 to 15%

France – 20%

UK – 20%

New Zealand – 15%

Malaysia – 6%

Singapore – 7%

France was the first country to implement GST to reduce tax-evasion. Since then, more than 140 countries have implemented GST with some countries having Dual-GST, for example, Brazil and Canada. India has chosen the Canadian model of dual GST as it has a federal structure where the Centre and states have the powers to levy and collect taxes.

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