Halal Meat Against Hindu Religion, Says Panel of BJP-Ruled Civic Body in Delhi

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SDMC panel wants restaurants and shops to ‘mandatorily’ display whether the meat being sold or served is slaughtered using the ‘Halal’ or ‘Jhatka’ method. — Representational image

Major restaurants, meat supplier say their non-Muslim customers never raised this issue with them

Shaheen Nazar | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — While Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states are busy with legislations against fictitious ‘love jihad’, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has come up with a new way of communal polarisation.

The saffron-ruled civic body wants restaurants and shops to “mandatorily” display whether the meat being sold or served is slaughtered using the ‘Halal’ or ‘Jhatka’ method. The standing committee of the SDMC has cleared a proposal to this effect claiming that “eating ‘Halal’ meat is forbidden and against (the) religion” of Hinduism and Sikhism.

According to The Indian Express, a resolution passed by the panel says that “direction be given to restaurants and meat shops that it should be written mandatorily about the meat being sold and served by them that ‘Halal’ or ‘Jhatka’ meat is available here”.

Halal and Jhatka are two methods of slaughtering animals for consumption in two different communities. While Muslims follow the practice of Halal, the Sikh community prefers Jhatka. Hindus have no such preferences. Apparently, the resolution is aimed at raking up a new controversy, although there is no such demand from consumers of either community.

It’s common for restaurants and meat shops in Delhi and Noida, especially if owned by non-Muslims, to declare that they sell Halal food. They even display Halal certificates to satisfy their Muslim clients because the community is very particular about this. But they do it voluntarily in the interest of their business.

The term Halal, which in Arabic means ‘fit for human consumption’, follows a process that involves a swipe with a sharp blade across the animal’s neck. This process completely drains out the animal’s blood.

According to an explainer in The Times of India, health experts consider the Halal process healthier because, after slaughter, blood is drained from the animal’s arteries, rejecting most toxins because the heart continues to pump for a few seconds after the slaughter.

The term Jhatka in Hindi means swift. In this process, the animal’s head is severed in one single blow and the animal dies instantly. In Jhatka, not all the blood is drained, leaving the meat tougher and drier.

There are thousands of restaurants in 104 wards of four zones falling under SDMC. “Though meat is served in about 90 per cent of these restaurants, often it is not mentioned whether it is ‘Halal’ or ‘Jhatka’,” said the resolution passed by SDMC’s standing committee. Meat shops also do not make the distinction, it said.

Clarion India sought the opinion of two major restaurant chains having outlets in Delhi and Noida and one meat supplier based in South Delhi. They all were unanimous in their opinion that their customers, mostly non-Muslims, have never complained about meat being Halal or Jhatka.

Sheikh Muhammad Aqeel, owner of Nazeer Delicacies having outlets in Delhi and Noida, said: “We serve only Halal meat. Because of our brand name, our customers know who we are. More than 80 per cent of our customers are non-Muslims. The fact that they are patronising us means they have no problem with Halal meat.”

Karims is another popular restaurant chain which has outlets in Delhi and adjoining cities. It, too, is patronised by customers of all religions. “Overwhelming majority of our customers are non-Muslims. We never faced this question. People know that being a Muslim brand, we serve only Halal meat,” said Muhammad Ashraf, CEO of one of Karims’ outlets at Delhi’s India Islamic Centre.

A major meat supplier of South Delhi rubbished the issue as politically motivated. “We supply only Halal meat. Most of the hotels and restaurants we cater to are owned by non-Muslims. They know our Muslim identity and our product. No one ever raised with us this issue of Halal or Jhatka,” said the owner who prefers to remain anonymous.

It’s not the first time that the Halal or Jhatka issue has been raised in Delhi. According to a report in The Indian Express, in 2018, a similar proposal was passed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, stating that shop owners have to put up prominent boards, specifying if they are serving Halal or Jhatka meat.

In 2017, SDMC proposed that meat and its products were not to be displayed in the open, citing hygiene and “sentiments of people affected by the sight” of meat as main reasons behind the move.

The move was not implemented after protests from shop owners.

1 COMMENT

  1. Can anyone explain me how can the Jhatka be a humane and painless method? The knife or the sword first hits the back of the neck with the neck bone getting the first blow. Has anyone not felt how even a small hurt at the back of your neck feels?

    Secondly, Hindus are a Vegetarian religion with no scripture specifying how an animal need to be slaughtered. The whole Jhatka system started as a Sikh practice only a few centuries ago while Hindus consider their religion to be the first religion.

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