State of Cattle in Kashmir

With so much at stake amidst uproar in the Kashmir valley, a lot has been spoken about a fake encounter that has upset all Kashmiris. The issue has done its rounds in the media and has caused more than just a dent to the ruling congress government’s image per se.  Why don’t we stop talking about how so many people are striving for a livelihood amidst the chaos and fighting and start thinking about the state of the cattle in Kashmir. As per the last 17th livestock census in the country conducted in 2003, Jammu and Kashmir had a population of 10.01 million people. That makes it home to about 1 percent of India’s population. On the other hand, the state is home to 9900 cattle amounting to 1.67 percent of cattle in India. With a better percentage in livestock, it is not a bad idea to talk about how the buffaloes and sheep are stuck amidst the nasty situation in the state.

In March 2009, the Endangered Kashmir stag census showed some good signs to cheer about. Indian Kashmir’s wildlife population has seen a dramatic increase after two decades of fighting scared off poachers and hunters from the region, according to a wildlife report in 2009. For fear of being caught in exchanges of fire between militants and the security forces, no one dared to venture deep into the forests in the past 20 years. A    s a result very less instances of poaching have been reported in Kashmir since the early days of border dispute in that region. In 1990, Indian authorities disarmed the local population, ordering residents to deposit their hunting rifles with the police as part of efforts to quell the revolt. Could these bizarre moves be a reason for the same? Possibly.

To quote yet another statistic, Kashmir recorded a 9 percent increase in livestock between 1997 and 2003 (the inter census hiatus). So with lives of people in really bad shape, state of cattle looks greener. With people busy, taking on the army and the army taking on the terrorists, the sheep, pigs and buffaloes are enjoying an undisturbed stay out there.

We live in an age wherein life has much more value than what it used to have during the monarchy-dominated medieval eras and the war-dominated 20th century. In such an age, animals, especially pets are valued highly by humans. Still, ironically, we fight about so many issues and inflicted deaths are banal.  Kashmir being a war stricken province, is the epitome of cruelty and massacre. But hurrah! cattle in Kashmir aren’t having any reckless existence unlike people out there. Let us cheer about their peaceful existence rather than mourning about the state of the failed “democrazy” in the state. One has to look at positives for some sanguineness. The Kashmir dispute is not going to have any solution for generations to come. So let us stop the mourning about the “cattle class” in Kashmir and start cheering the eerie lives of cattle there, instead. Long live cattle in Kashmir.

Pradeep Sekhar

Image Source:[]