- There is a rising voice in Karnataka for banning Halal-certified meat on the occasion of Ugadi
- Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has assured that he will go into the depth of the issue and then take further actions
- The way Basavaraj Bommai refused to kowtow to Islamists in the past, now it looks as if he is planning to ban Halal meat in the state
The Karnataka government headed by BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai is on a spree. Firstly, to curtail the growing menace of love-Jihad, the Bommai government passed the anti-conversion law in the state. The Bommai administration then stood firm on its stand in the Hijab row, which was later vindicated by Karnataka High Court. Now, the government looks all set to take decisive action against Halal Meat in the state.
The Ugadi-An occasion for rejecting Halal Meat
On April 2nd of this year’s Gregorian calendar, the beginning of the new Hindu lunar calendar will be celebrated across the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This is termed as Ugadi in Karnataka. Traditionally, on the next day of Ugadi, Hindu families in the region organize a meat feast.
This year’s Ugadi has become an occasion for Hindus to reject the Halal meat being forced onto them without providing other alternatives like Jhatka meat. Hindu organizations have appealed to not consume Halal meat. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, a group working for Hindus, has requested people to not even visit restaurants where Halal meat is provided as an option on Menu.
Appeal to reject Halal meat garners support from BJP
In a video appeal on Twitter, Mohan Gowda, spokesperson of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti said “We urge all Hindus to boycott halal meat, Halal products and use the Jhatka meat which employs the Hindu way of slaughtering. Let us participate in the economic boycott of such anti-national activities,”
Hindu Jana Jagruti has called for boycott of #Halal meat. They are running national campaign demanding ban on #Halal products. And has urged #Hindus not buy meat from #Muslim shop owners. : #MohanGowda of #HinduJanaJagruti#Karnataka #BoycottOfMuslimTraders #HijabMovement pic.twitter.com/SbrLLawau8
— Safa 🇮🇳 (@safaperaje) March 28, 2022
Meanwhile, Gowda’s sentiments have been echoed by CT Ravi, BJP’s National General Secretary. He called ‘Halal Food’ a part of Economic Jihad by Islamists. According to Ravi, Halal is designed in such a way that only Muslim meat-shop owners will benefit from it. Ravi also opined that Halal meat may be favourable to Muslims, but for Hindus, it is somebody’s leftover.
As per the definition of Halal Certification Services India Pvt Ltd (HCS), a state-run agency providing halal certification, ‘only the animals slaughtered in the name of Allah are halal’. The slaughterman must be ‘Muslim’ and Bismillah Allahu-Akbar needs to be recited before slaughtering the animal.
Asking for equality for all religions, Ravi said, “If Muslims agree to eat non-Halal meat, then these people (Hindus) will also use Halal meat,”
Chief Minister of Karnataka looking into the issue
It was a matter of time before the issue got highlighted in the National media, which prompted the state chief minister Basavaraj Bommai to respond to queries. Unlike so-called secular leaders, who would have denied any possibility of banning Halal meat, Bommai assured that he will go into depth on the issue. The Chief Minister informed that the Halal consumption has escaped any scrutiny in the past as no one came forward to object to it.
Refusing to pass on any prediction, Bommai said, “We will make our stand known later. Various organizations will be doing their campaigns, we know what to respond to and what not to. Where it is required, we will respond. We don’t (respond) when it is not required,”
Karnataka Chief Minister assured the citizens that the law and order scenario will not be affected due to controversy. Bommai also did not allow the media to capitalize on letters sent to him by 61 eminent individuals in the state.
Castigating any effort to accuse his government of any biases, “Bommai said, ” As far as my government is concerned, there are only wings of growth. There is no right-wing or left-wing…our central idea is peace, development and security for the common man.“
Double standards concerning Halal and Jhatka
Eating Halal or Jhatka is a personal choice. However, Hindus are objecting to the institutionalized support for Halal. It’s common knowledge that Halal is staple meat for Muslims, while bereft of any option Hindus have also been eating it. The problem starts when eateries start to provide special Halal certified meats to Muslims, while there is rarely such an option of ‘Jhatka certified meat’ provided to Hindus.
Effectively, restaurants are saying that they care about their Muslim customers but they do not have an iota of respect for the choices of their Hindu customers.
Halal meat lovers are not for equality
It is not that the issue has never been raised. The Modi government has been quick to respond to objections as well. In January 2021, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the apex body for the promotion of agricultural export, removed the word ‘Halal’ from its Red Meat Manual.
In the same month, South Delhi Municipal Corporation ordered restaurants to indicate whether the meat they serve is Halal or Jhatka. These developments led to an increase in the sale of Jhatka meat across the country.
But, the supporters of Halal have not been able to digest the principle of equality for all religions. In Communist-ruled Kerala, a woman was badly beaten for running a non-Halal restaurant. To add insult to injury, the Pinarayi Vijayan administration arrested the innocent lady.
The issue of banning Halal meat would have been disappeared if the Karnataka CM had not put forward his opinion. The way Basavaraj Bommai has shown his steely resolve against Islamists in the wake of the anti-conversion law and Hijab row indicates that Halal meat ban may be on its way in Karnataka.