Meat and potatoes of BJP
Primepost News Desk
Any BJP government, whether it is at the centre or in states, hogs the headlines for all wrong reasons. If Congress governments are synonymous, with scams and scandals, the saffron party is with a three-letter word, ‘ban.’
After the centre’s recent porn ban which was withdrawn after a hue and cry, the Maharashtra government’s four-day meat prohibitory order during the Jain festival of Paryushan has set meat lovers’ tempers boiling. While the Bombay Mutton Dealers’ Association challenged the ban imposed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the Bombay High Court, the ruling BJP’s ally Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) distributed meat packs in various localities of the metropolis in protest on the first day of the ban on Thursday.
The reason given for the ban is not to hurt the sentiments and feelings of Jains during their ritual days of fast and festival. The BMC had issued a notice a few days ago directing all slaughterhouses and meat shops to remain closed on September 10, 13, 17 and 18. While the ban on September 10 and 17 is said to be as per the state government’s directive, the BMC had added two more days (September 13 and 18).
Though officials had said that slaughter of animals would not be allowed in the city’s abattoirs and meat, poultry shops and fish markets would be closed on those four days, many poultry shops were kept open on September 10, the first day of the ban, apparently with the blessings of Shiv Sena and MNS which opposed the government move.
Ironically, none has raised the issue of bringing in meat from other areas and selling it in Mumbai. Similarly, why did the two-day government ban was extended by another two days by BMC? Meat-eaters, meanwhile, have to wait until today (Friday) to hear what the Bombay High Court has to say on the four-day ban when the case comes up for hearing.
Amidst the uproar in Mumbai, Rajasthan on Thursday announced a ban on sale of meat and fish for three days on September 17, 18 and 27 during the Jain festival.
In March this year, the Maharashtra government had courted controversy by passing the Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning the slaughter, sale and import of beef and making possession and consumption of beef a criminal offence. The law has been challenged in court.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, on Wednesday, ordered the state government to ban beef sale in the state after hearing a Public Interest Litigation which sought implementation of an order issued by Dogra Maharaj of the state in 1862.
If we leave aside legal, political and health issues of eating meat, the million dollar question is why the saffron party is getting paranoid about the eating habits of people in a country that is largely vegetarian?