In a first step to ending the monopoly of the Muslim community over meat business, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has made it mandatory for the restaurants to let their customers know whether the meat they serve is halal or jhatka. “Everyone has the right to know what he is eating. Also in Hindu and Sikh religion, there are some prescribed rules or conventions about diet,” said Naresh Chawla, leader of the house in South MCD.
It is pertinent to note that while Muslims have a very strict preference for halal food, the Hindu and Sikh community are okay with either of them. They prefer jhatka meat only because halal meat is forbidden according to their religious scriptures. Over the years this has led to the monopolisation of the meat business by the Muslim community. As a result of this, now meat in India by default means halal meat.
This is one of the first steps by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to break the monopoly because if the restaurants clearly mention whether they are serving jhatka or halal meat to their customers, the Hindu and Sikh community would prefer jhatka meat. “There are thousands of restaurants in 104 wards of four zones falling under South Delhi Municipal Corporation. Out of these, meat is served in about 90 per cent of restaurants but it is not mentioned whether the meat being served by the restaurants is ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’,” said the resolution passed by the SDMC house.
“According to Hinduism and Sikhism, eating ‘halal’ meat is forbidden and against religion. Therefore, the committee resolves that this direction be given to restaurants and meat shops that it should be written mandatorily about the meat being sold and served by them that ‘’halal’ or ‘jhatka’ meat is available here,” reads the resolution.
Previously Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the apex body for the promotion of agricultural export, had removed the word ‘Halal’ from its Red Meat Manual.
Religious certification of food products is becoming a big issue in India, as extremist Muslims have monopolised the regulation of non-vegetarian, as well as, vegetarian food through the halal certification. Even companies like Patanjali are forced to take halal certification from various Muslims certification bodies, which charge them heftily ranging from 500 rupees to 5,000 rupees.
The halal meat industry is ‘of the Muslims, by the Muslims but for everyone’. In countries around the world including the United States, the United Kingdom, and India, the tiny Muslims minority has forced the majority community to adhere to their practices and standards.
The Muslim community has already monopolised the non-vegetarian food industry and forced lower caste and class of Hindus to go unemployed. Even vegetarian food units are being asked to get the halal certification if they want a smooth run without a boycott from Muslims, even though all vegetarian food is halal (pure) as per the Quran. In a country where a majority of consumers are non-Muslims, Halal food is being forced down their throats, thanks to cartelisation, fundamentalism, and unity of Muslims and these are the baby steps to end the monopoly which needs to be applauded.