‘Misplaced priorities’: Social media slams Indian state’s decision to develop beef ‘detection kits’
The kits will be able to detect a type of meat in 30 minutes, so police won’t have to wait days for the results. Officers won’t have to transport suspicious meat or the vehicles selling it either, as it could be checked on the spot with the use of the kits.
Maharashtra’s forensic laboratory is to develop the kits, Deputy Director K. Y. Kulkarni of the premier Forensics Science Laboratory (FSL) in Mumbai said, as cited by the Hindustan Times newspaper.
“If preliminary tests reveal that the meat is that of a cow, we will collect samples and conduct a DNA test in the FSL. We will then draw up a final report,” said Kulkarni.
Some 45 forensic vehicles will receive these beef ‘detection kits’ in August of this year. A single kit costing Rs8,000 ($123) can check up to 100 meat samples, the HT cited senior officials as saying.
DNA testing costs Rs750 ($11) to check a single sample, and the FSL gets thousands of samples, which would be more costly to check than developing the new kits.
DNA testing is already available in Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai, and the cities of Nagpur and Pune. Two more cities in Maharashtra, Aurangabad and Nashik, will get the system in a few days, Indian media reported.
Cows are revered as holy by India’s Hindu population, who make up 80 percent of the country’s population of 1.3 billion people.
The Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976, which was updated in March of 2015, forbids the killing of all cows, calves, bulls, and bullocks.
“Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or any usage or custom to the contrary, no person shall slaughter cause to be slaughtered or offer for slaughter any cow, [bull or bullock] in any place in the State of Maharashtra,” the ban states.
Following the ban, the country saw a rise in so-called ‘cow vigilantes’, who attack farmers and violently prevent cattle from being slaughtered.
The idea of ‘progressive’ beef detection kits has sparked angry comments on social media, with some saying the authorities have more serious issues to deal with.
“Awful case of misplaced priorities. We have nothing more important to spend state resources on? Beef detection kits!” MP Shashi Tharoor, who once served as an India’s foreign minister, wrote on Twitter.
Awful case of misplaced priorities. We have nothing more important to spend state resources on?Beef detection kits! https://t.co/PzLpITgCra— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 7, 2017
India’s poor water conditions, unemployment, and malnourishment are not priorities for the government, some have suggested.
what are going ?? Now we misplaced priorities like job ,price hike ,water and road .we disuse on beef ,religion .Now gov decide life style ?— Er M.A.Tarique 🇮🇳 (@ETarique) July 7, 2017
Stagnant water and potholes on the streets, unemployment, malnourishment are not a priorities for state govts— Karan (@karan_math) July 7, 2017
Twitter users went on to suggest other types of kits that Indian people need more than beef detection devices, for example, a kit detecting serious diseases.
How about rape kits, diagnostic kits, 1st aid kits, disaster survival kits, emergency kits, ELISA test kits, CNG kits, refugee welcome kits— swapna sundar (@swapna682) July 7, 2017
can we get dengue kit to detect dengue with in 5 mints in every hospital without any cost.. vote fr cow. policy making ll be like tht.. :/— Maroof (@maroofk5) July 7, 2017
Black money detection kits!— swapna sundar (@swapna682) July 7, 2017
The government will probably develop other ‘necessary’ kits, like one that detects cheating wives, one user sarcastically wrote.
Soon another kit will come to detect hidden killer,wife cheaters.— shuva ranjan dash (@shuvaranjandash) July 7, 2017
Others simply wondered why the government was paying so much attention to beef detection.
It speaks much about India's direction as a nation when we can't stop people from jumping lights but are inventing beef detection kits.— Atulya Mahajan (@amreekandesi) July 8, 2017
#beef We don't have arms detectors in many public places, govt don't have fund to install streets lights in many villages.What is our vision— msharief (@mahmood750) July 8, 2017
What the hell is a beef detection kit? They make it sound as if beef is a radioactive thing that's going to beep into a Geiger counter.— Jyoti Singh (@synchronise1857) July 7, 2017