September 14th, 2015
Image Courtesy : Nikhil Jain
Recently, the Maharashtra government imposed a ban on meat in view of Jain community festival, Paryushan. Earlier the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation imposed 8 days’ ban on the slaughter and sale of meat, but after public outrage, the ban was reduced to two days. Today, the Bombay High Court stayed ban on sale of meat on September 17, which was in place in accordance to a circular issued by the state government on September 7.
Many protested the ban as they didn’t want the state to dictate their eating habits but few went overboard.
To protest against the ban, On 13 September, 2015 a mob of 50 MNS party workers gathered in front of Jain community hall and roasted meat. The Jain community peacefully ignored the protest and walked away from the premises covering their mouths.
Shiv Sena on their editorial wrote “Muslims at least have the land of Pakistan to go to but if such rituals of Jains keep continuing then which land would give them shelter? If you mess with the sons of the soil, you will have to eat dirt”.
The stance taken by MNS and Shiv Sena only shows how intolerant they are.
The ban on meat during Paryushan has been since 2004. But it has not been implemented consistently as far as the ban on sale is concerned.
To try to regulate food choices of citizens is never a good idea. Instead of a ban, an appeal can be made to shut down the slaughter houses and shops. Those who wants to respect the sentiments will do and those don’t, they won’t. It should be left to citizens to decide what they want to eat based on their religion or personal choices.
Most of the political parties in India survive on politics of hatred and believe in the British policy of “Divide and Rule”. They keep stirring the issues that create divides among communities and will fetch votes from a particular section. Their only motive is to divert the attention of public from real issues. These kind of behaviors from political parties will only create an atmosphere of communal tension.
India is a land of diversity with different cultures and practices, it should be left to the citizens to decide what they want to practice and what not.