Pink Revolution in India – A perspective on economy, climate change and cattle wealth

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In our cattle wealthy nation, the concept of Pink Revolution was introduced by then government in the year 1996. The fact of the matter is, this was never a revolution but was divulgation of Death Warrant for India’s precious cattle wealth.

Pink Revolution refers to the modernisation of the meat and poultry processing sector. 
Modernization refers to the specialization, mechanization, and standardization of processes in the meat industry.

Reasons cited by then government was nation’s weak Balance of Payment provision, Current Account Deficit, Dwindling foreign Reserve etc. It can be speculated that this was actually a result of post-independence four decade’s financial mess-up.

Coming back to the present, here are some facts & figures that may allow us to take a holistic view on merits of necessity and promotion of Pink Revolution:

– In 1996-97 India’s external debt was to GDP ratio was 27%, now it is 23%

– India’s GDP during the year 1996-97 was 399Billion US$ is in the year 2017 whopping 2486Billion US$ (6times grown)

– India’s export during the year 1996-97 was 3000Million US$ which has jumped to 28000 million Uthe yearn year 2016. (approx 9 times increased)

– Foreign ExchangeReservee 28,000Million US$ during year 1996-97 is rocketed to 3,79,310 million US $ in year 2017 (13 times up)

– Export of Buffalo meat rise significantly between years 1999 to 2016. From Rs.700 Crore to Rs.26000Crore.

However, an objective observation of the devastating impact of Pink Revolution brings out some startling questions:

Farmers suicides have gone up rapidly, prior to 1996, less than 1000 farmers were committing suicide in a year across India, which jumped to direful 12000 Farmers per year! If Pink Revolution is farmer friendly (as claimed by GoI) why has the farmer suicide grown 12x than before? Evidently, this figure confirms an indispensable relationship between human wealth and cattle wealth.

Every day we in India slaughter approx. 1.5 lakhs animals out of which approx 70000 are slaughtered to foster foreigner‘s relish and export. Even our lawmakers Rajyasabha committee in its petition report number 151 recommended (Refer page no 14 onwards of Rajyasabha, Committee Report no 151. Tabled on 13 .2.2104 in Rajyasabha ) as cited below:

“Animal slaughter goes against the basic principles of Indian culture and philosophy, which teaches compassion for animals and is against the teachings of ‘Ahimsa’ taught by Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the nation. The Committee recommends for a more humane and compassionate approach towards preventing the slaughter of animals. The Committee also recommends that the Government should not grant permission for the functioning of any new slaughterhouse on the critical analysis by the dedicated Commission is complete. The Committee also advocates review of policy of giving subsidies to the meat exporters and recommends a total ban on the subsidies and tax benefits.

The Committee also strongly recommends that the Department of Animal Husbandry should play a more proactive role in preserving the cattle wealth of the country instead of being a mute spectator. The Committee strongly recommends that the entire Meat Export Policy is again reviewed by the Department of Commerce in a time bound manner within three months by involving all stakeholders including members of the public. The Ministry of Commerce may take into consideration the findings/ observations/ recommendations of this Committee including long-term implications of the meat export policy before finalizing the review. The Committee recommends that pending this review no new abattoirs should be registered by APEDA.”


The action to promote meat export posed a serious threat on depletion of India’s majestic native breeds which is foundation of Indi’s economic. It has a direct relationship with the availability of nutrition to citizen’s of Hindustan. It’s open secret, under the guise of weak, unproductive and unhealthy animals all young, healthy and productive majestic breeds are slaughtered. Under the guise of Buffalos, cows are slaughtered and exported unabatedly. Nobody either butcher or overseas buyer are ever interested in meat of weak, aged, unproductive animals. Abattoirs across India operate unruly. Illicit money from Meat export also fosters terrorism, insurgency and disestablishing nation. All these happens at the cost of our subsidies and Air, Water, soil and energy. Meat exporter not only takes away our precious breed which is lifeline of rural India but also eroding our soil, contaminate our rivers and ponds, emptying our water bowl, spreading poison of tones of antibiotics in our farm, pollute our environment. All these anarchies are for the meat that we export at as low as Rs.200/KG!

While our Govt. bragging on revenue from Meat Export, here are some (hidden) cost of Meat:

To produce One Kg Meet what resources we waste:

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Adding to this,  the agony is, Scholars, Environmentalists, Agriculturalists, Doctors, Economists, most prominent Institutions, and governments from across the world are issuing dietary guidelines to mitigate meat consumption drastically and advocating for stop all subsidies, instead charging additional Environment tax., India’s prestigious on line news daily reported on 20.9.2016, which is extremely disturbing and somber:

“Global Hunger Index, the report paints a reality very different from India 2020. Far from becoming a superpower, India has failed to provide its people with that most basic of rights: freedom from hunger. Thirty nine per cent of Indian children under the age of five show stunted growth while 15% are wasted – which means they are getting so little food, it increases their chances of dying significantly. The lack of food available for Indian children, amongst other factors, means that that a shocking one out of every twenty children dies before their fifth birthday.”

This looks like a case of misplaced priorities. The country’s choice of getting revenue from meat export over providing affordable priced milk, nutritional food, clean water and healthy air, is proving to be destructive to the society and environment.

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Final Word

Does India really need revenue from Meat export today? As we have seen in the beginning of article, Pink Revolution was commenced under than Govt. of India’s distress and worrisome financial mess-ups. But now, besides comparative figures stated in the beginning of this article are self explanatory. Our nation fortunately earned Additional windfall, unpredicted profit from falling prices of Brent Crude Oil in international market. As stated in Crisil Research report (Crisil Budget Analysis – 2016 Book), which reads:

Lower oil prices to aid revenues: Oil prices are expected to continue their downward journey. After Brent crude prices almost halved from an average $86 per barrel to an estimated $48 per barrel in fiscal 2016, we expect oil prices to fall further to around $39 per barrel in fiscal 2017. The decline has reduced the government’s oil subsidy burden, and allowed it to ramp up revenues stream by hiking excise duty on petrol and diesel. At current rate of excise hikes – of Rs 7.07 per liter for diesel and Rs 4.02 per litre for petrol which the government undertook between November 2015 and February 2016 – the government stands to earn extra revenue of Rs 179 billion and Rs 405 billion in fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017, respectively. At the same time, the government’s fuel subsidy bill is budgeted to drop from Rs 300 billion in fiscal 2016 to Rs 270 billion in fiscal 2017. However, we expect the fuel subsidy bill in fiscal 2017 to be lower than this. (Source:

Cattle is our wealth (asset), by exporting logically, we are selling our wealth. The title of no. 1 meat exporter in the world, in all probability will  also attract the title of no. 1 Polluter in the world.  And as eternal law of nature Polluter Pays, we are under serious threat of Global warming, Climate change, food insecurity and water scarcity which no currency however volumetric, can compensate.

It’s time to revisit this policy. It’s time for Govt. to recognise Pink Revolution as curse on the glory of India, and the planet.

We are carrying series of informative articles on cows and the entire ecosystem around them, just in time when cows have been made a political bait. You could also join us at National Conference on The Glorious Indian Cow being held at Bombay Stock Exchange on 18th June. Details for which can be found by registering here.

Note: Holy Cow! is a campaign sponsored by VHS, an independent organization that works with grassroots communities to promote sustainability. This post represents views of the contributor. Chaaipani has full editorial discretion on the content and has no political association.

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Kamlesh Shah

The author of Meatonomics on pink revolution and Plunder of India.

About the Author

Kamlesh Shah

The author of Meatonomics on pink revolution and Plunder of India.

Read more from Kamlesh