After the South Delhi Municipal Corporation made it mandatory for the restaurants in the region to inform their customers about whether they are serving Halal or Jhatka meat, the restaurant owners have banded together to protest against this decision.
In order to force the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to reverse its order, restaurant owners are preparing to send representations to the Municipal body as they feel that the fact that they now have to mandatorily mention whether they are serving Jhatka or Halal meat will prove to be counterproductive as according to them, their patrons hardly care about this aspect.
“Not more than 10% of our patrons care if the meat being served to them is halal or jhatka, what they care about is whether it has been procured through hygienic places. Those who care ask us, and we always tell them so they can make an informed choice,” said Priyank Sukhija, founder of First Fiddle F&B Pvt Ltd, which owns restaurants brands like Lord Of The Drinks, Warehouse Cafe, Dragonfly and Lazeez Affaire.
Questioning the timing of the order, Sukhina said, “We are just trying to look up after the pandemic and lockdown-related setbacks. Only last week, we were arguing with the SDMC over the poultry ban issue, which they eventually took back. And now, this crops up.”
Pointing out how they are planning to force the SDMC to reverse its order, he said, He added, “At a time when the Delhi government is supporting us by formulating a more liberal excise policy, SDMC is trying to enforce more stringent rules. This kind of order is going to hamper our business. Through NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India), we are going to send a representation to the SDMC to take back this order before it comes into effect.”
The SDMC through its order will take appropriate action against those who are not duly informing their patrons about the type of meat served at the restaurants. “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% of restaurants but it is not mentioned whether the meat being served by the restaurants is ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’,” read the resolution passed by the SDMC house.
By no means, is the SDMC attempting to force the restaurants to sell Jhatka meat over Halal, and being a democratic country, every person should must have the right to know which type of meat they are being served and accordingly make an informed decision.
“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,”
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 prefer jhatka meat only because halal meat is forbidden according to their religious scriptures. However they are generally not as assertive. 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.