What’s your beef, Mr Naqvi?

The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi seems to have very specific views about Indians who wish to to eat beef.

His boss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, famously criticised the United Progressive Alliance government for facilitating beef exports (which he termed a “pink revolution”), and repeatedly visited this theme during his 2014 election campaign.

When accused of practicing “dog whistle politics” against religious minorities, Modi insisted that his motivation was only to prevent farmers from being deprived of valuable livestock assets, because it is as much of a sin to deprive a farmer of cattle as it is to take away his land (no really — watch the interview here).

With farmers’ very futures at stake, the Modi government must have cracked down on beef exports, right? Wrong. Indian beef exports have grown apace since the BJP came to power and show no signs of slowing (data from the Ministry of Commerce, HS codes 0201 and 0202).

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In value terms too beef exports have grown despite an overall export slowdown in 2014-15.

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The government clearly feels that if you want to eat Indian beef, you should do it outside the country.

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