SDMC’s recent direction that all hotels, restaurants and meat shops have to specify as to what meat they are selling–halal or jhatka–is making a buzz. What is more, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of the Government of India has removed the word halal from the red meat manual. Now, according to the countries importing meat from India, the animal will be slotted by halal or jhatka process. The reasons being: The meat market share of jhatka meat has shrunk to a large extent owing to halal certification. As a result of this a large number of Hindus and Sikhs have been deprived of employment, who were in this sector. In the name of halal meat, halal tax board is raising crores of rupees per annum and this board is run by Islamic institutions, some of whom are involved in terror funding. What is more, railways, airlines, almost all hotels and restaurants serve halal meat without informing their consumers about it, hence playing with their beliefs. Besides, halal tax is charged on such products as manufactured by Nationalist companies like Patanjali, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s, Haldiram, etc. Now it has become fashionable to certify bhujia, cement, cosmetics and other food items as halal such as lentils, flour, maida, gram flour etc. It includes big brands. It is okay as they have to send their products to Islamic countries and sell them there. They can do their packaging separately. We do not mind. But in India, it does not make sense to certify a packet of bhujia as halal or to certify soap as halal. In the meat trade, jhatka meat traders have no place. Halal meat traders have taken over all the trade, while a large number of Sikhs and Hindus want to eat only jhatka meat. Hence, it is apt to demand that there should be an equal share when the certificate of jhatka along with halal is given. Statistics show that during the 2019-2020 financial year, about 23 thousand crores of red meat, i.e. buffalo meat was exported from India. Most of this was exported to Vietnam. In addition, buffalo meat was exported to Malaysia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Myanmar and the UAE. Here, even if the Islamic countries are left out, meat was exported up to about 7,600 crore rupees to Vietnam alone. The meat that was sent to Vietnam and Hong Kong is not required to be halal, because all this meat goes from there to China, where halal meat does not make any sense.
Halal and jhatka, both of these methods have a sharp-edged weapon and an animal’s neck. In both ways, the neck of the animal is cut, the animal dies, and the person gets meat. The difference between these two methods has now reached the extent of dispute instead of being a difference. The first difference is religious. In any case, Muslims eat halal meat while Sikhs and Hindus prefer jhatka meat. Before performing halal, there is a belief of reading kalma and turning the knife three times on the neck of the animal. According to Islamic law, animals should not faint at the time of halal. According to a research, halal is the traditional method of slaughtering animals. In the 20th century, the Sikhs glorified jhatka just for preaching a different method, and said that it makes it less painful to kill the animal. Overall, the beliefs on both sides became stronger with time and now meat shopkeepers have prepared their customer base. But owing to halal certification, jhatka meat shops have declined to a considerable extent. Against this backdrop, it is pertinent to ask: What is halal doing in a secular country like India? This is a form of imposed discrimination on a secular society. The food we eat does not require any particular religious colouring. Halal and all such discriminatory practises must not be encouraged in a secular democracy like India. The so-called secular brigade is maintaining a studied silence on our society being attacked by Islamic tricks and strategies. The Muslims have halal food, halal job certificates, halal certified shops and restaurants, and now flights and night clubs. But the moment someone does anything Hindu, the secular brigade will jump and throw arguments. It has become a matter of imposing the ideology of a religion. We are not challenging the rights of those who eat halal, but why is it being imposed on those who do not want to eat halal? India is a secular nation and everyone should get equal rights to eat and do business according to one’s wishes.
By Deepak Kumar Rath