Renowned industrialist Adi Godrej has become the first prominent face from India Inc to criticise the central the BJP’s controversial policy on beef ban.
Speaking to Indian Express, Godrej praised Narendra Modi government but said that the beef ban was hurting the Indian economy.
He said, “Ease of doing business really helps. We have also benefited from low commodity prices. India will remain the fastest growing economy in the world… India will gradually emerge as a strong developed country.”
Godrej, who is the chairman of the $4.1-billion Godrej Group, with diverse interests in fast moving consumer goods, real estate, consumer durables and furniture, added, “Some of the things are affecting growth, for example, the ban on beef in some states. (This) is clearly affecting agriculture, affecting rural growth. Because what do you do with all these extra cows? It is also affecting business, because this was a good source of income for many farmers. So that’s a negative.”
He said that in Vedic times Indians were beef-eaters.
“There is nothing against beef in our religion. It is a practice that evolved over years of drought, and the elders said don’t slaughter cows, preserve them for milk for children. That has turned into a religious belief. This is ridiculous. Vedic Indians were beef-eaters,” Godrej said.
Godrej also said that the Bombay High Court had given a good judgement on the raging issue of beef ban. Bombay HC, in its latest judgement, had decriminalised the possession of beef in the state.
He said, “Now the Bombay High Court has said that alright you can stop the slaughter of cows, but you can’t stop consumption. It’s silly to say that possession of meat, which is eaten all over the world, is a crime.
“There are certain things. Like, prohibition. In order to win elections and get women’s votes, some states are doing that. Bihar has brought prohibition. Kerala has brought prohibition. Prohibition is bad for the economy. It’s bad for social structure, for drinking doesn’t reduce. It gives rise to bad liquor, and then mafia. All over the world it has been unsuccessful. In America, it has been unsuccessful. In India, we tried prohibition, but we were unsuccessful.”
God felt that prohibitions on beef or liquor for political gains had potential to affect the economy adversely.