ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Lenin and Revolution

August 2, 1969 Finally, Raj puts forward an amazing argument purported to demonstrate that religious sentiment does not have much effect on the size and composition of the livestock held in India, He observes that "it is in the Indo- Gangetic valley where Hindu orthodoxy is deeply entrenched and the sentiment against the killing of cows is strongest, that the pressure of human and bovine population on resources makes it most necessary to get rid of cows in preference for bulls for traction purposes and she-buffaloes for milk". He asks: "How does the table get turned so dramatically against the cows in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh?"; and answers: "Obviously, killing must be taking place, but perhaps the main technique adopted for getting rid of the cows is infanticide and deliberate, starvation". Apparently, this does not concern Raj as an economist. Does he suggest that infanticide and starvation are exact substitutes for slaughter and result in exactly the same size and ages- ex composition of the cattle population? Even supposing that they do, does he suggest that infanticide and starvation are economic substitutes for slaughter? Does he not recognise that the choice between infanticide-starvation and selective slaughter affects materially the relevant production functions in the livestock economy?

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