Friday December 15, 2017
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To ban or not to ban, is the ‘religious question’

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By Kanika Rangray

Though India’s celebration of Bakra Eid or Eid al-Adha amidst the political circus going on about beef /meat ban depicts ‘unity in diversity’ in religion in India, the presence of secularism in the country is a debatable topic.

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Adhering to the tenets of our constitution, India is a secular state, which means that the country accepts all religions with their traditions. And sacrificing, or what the Muslim community calls the halal of lamb is an important tradition in the festival of Bakra Eid. So, why all the ruckus doing rounds on beef ban? Is this not equivalent to politicising the religions and traditions of our secular country?

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the two religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. In this festival Muslims sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (a cow, goat or sheep) to honor Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his own son as an act of submission to God’s will, before God intervened to let him know that his sacrifice was already accepted.

After the sacrifice, the meat is divided into thirds—one-third goes to the family, another is given to relatives, friends and neighbours, and one-third is distributed among the needy and the poor.

This festival holds as much importance to the Muslim community, as festivals like Diwali, Dusshera, and such as are valued by the Hindu community.

But ignoring the importance of this festival celebrated by one of the minority communities of India, the Mumbai High Court refused to lift this ban even temporarily in answer to demands made by the influential and rigorously vegetarian Jain community. But is it the Jain community or the political representatives of the community who demand this ban?

Literally, the implementation of this ban violates three fundamental rights of the citizens of India—one is Article 25 which offers freedom of religion, second is Article 26 which offers freedom to manage religious affairs, and third is Article 29 which offers protection of minority interests.

Secular groups sent a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking to ‘Unban the ban – a threat to secular India’.

Counterpoint

(By Ajeet Bharti)

However, what is absurd, and appears to be a case of selective secularism, is when posts related to ‘humanitarian’ concerns are scattered all over social media when Nepal has a festival where buffaloes are sacrificed in the name of religion. The same hue and cry was made when China celebrated the ‘Yulin Dog Meat Festival’ this year. The festival is celebrated for around ten days where around 10,000 to 15,000 dogs are consumed.

We can also look upon the Christian festivals of Thanksgiving and Christmas during which fancy dishes made of turkey and beef are consumed. Where does the entire concept of humanity go then? Why is it so difficult to respect an individual’s choice of what to eat and what not to eat?

The point is: if you support anything, or oppose it, you need to be honest and objective irrespective of what religion, region, caste or class you belong to. If you yell about the Yulin festival for the death of dogs, you should also show your concern for the goats, cows and buffaloes being killed during various religious festivals. At the same time, when you show your concerns for the religious freedom over the bans, you should be able to take a stand for all such bans, all the time.

Most of the time, these bans have some political agenda, and people seldom care about these hashtags trending on Facebook and Twitter. India is mostly a secular state where people have been living with each other and celebrating each other’s festivals.

So, all we can hope to do is let the political circus juggle the numerous bans while we let people celebrate Eid as it should be and has been for years. Eid Mubarak!

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Shiv Sena Worker To Force Shut Over 500 Meat Seller Shops On Navratri

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Shiv Sena Meat Ban
Source: Wikimedia Common

Gurgaon, September 22, 2017: Shiv Sena workers allegedly close down over 500 chicken and meat shops on September 21 on account of Navratri festival.

Reportedly, Ritu Raj, general secretary and spokesperson of Shiv Sena Gurgaon said a notice has been served to meat seller in the area and a strict action will be taken if one denies following the instruction. He also stated that no restrictions have been imposed on the big franchise like KFC, McDonald’s which are not operating in open areas.

There has been a raid of force shutdown of meat sellers shop in the areas like Surat Nagar, Palam Vihar, Ashok Vihar, Pataudi Chowk, Jacobpura, Sadar Bazar, Sector 5 and 9,  Khandsa Anaj Mandi, bus stand, DLF area, Sohna and Sector 14 market.

ALSO READ: Meat ban: Muslims say aye, Hindus say nay.

Raj also stated that a memorandum has been served to the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon Vinay Pratap Singh commanding to shut down the raw meat shops for the next 9 days but the district administration did not put a proper response to that.

The matter is been looked upon and any hindrance to the law will not be entertained. In case if Shiv Sena workers forcefully Shut down the meat shops, a severe action will be drawn against them if any grievance is registered in this regards.

– prepared by Abhishek Biswas Twitter: @Writing_desire

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Five most controversial bans imposed by Government in 2015

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nirapadnews

By Harshmeet Singh

The year 2015 will be remembered for many things. From PM Modi’s frequent foreign visits and the Dadri lynching incident to the astounding victory of Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and quashing of the NJAC by the SC, 2015 saw a number of controversial stories.

But few things turned out to be more controversial than the series of bans imposed by the Government on various things, each of which drew contrasting reactions from the society. To refresh your memory, NewsGram brings to you the five most controversial bans imposed by the Government in 2015.

  1. No more Maggi Maggi Maagi! (at least for a while!)

No ban turned out to be as controversial as the ban on the country’s favorite instant noodles, Maggi. It all began when the FSDA (Food Safety and Drug Administration) Lucknow reported that some packets of the Maggi noodles have been found to contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead beyond the permissible limits.

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Nestle denied all these allegations while the states across the country started to ban the product one by one, beginning with Delhi on 3 June.

To the relief of Maggi lovers, the countrywide ban was lifted by the Bombay High Court in August.

  1. Maharashtra Government bans beef

beef

‘Beef’ has probably been one of the most controversial words in the country in 2015. It all started with Maharashtra government’s decision to ban eating, selling or processing of red meat. Though the bill was passed by the state government in 1995 itself, it was given the green signal by the central government and president’s assent only this year.

  1. Porn ban

The Internet users in the country were in for a shock in August when they came to know about the government’s decision to ban porn websites across the country. This decision by the government came after the SC criticized the government for not doing enough to keep a check on child pornography, which is illegal. But after a massive outcry, the government was forced to retract its decision within a few days.

  1. Ban on ‘India’s daughter’

nirbhaya case protest

‘India’s daughter’, a BBC documentary based on the Nirbhaya gang rape case, was banned by the government. The documentary contained an interview of one of the accused, Mukesh Singh, who showed no remorse and instead blamed the girl, forcing the government to take this step. Though BBC didn’t air the documentary in India, it was released internationally.

  1. Ban on NGOs for alleged illegal foreign funding

The central government suspended 4,470 NGOs in the country on allegations of receiving foreign funds in an illegal manner. It started with the Government freezing the accounts of Greenpeace International and trying to stop Priya Pillai, an activist associated with the NGO, from travelling abroad.

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According to the government, the licenses were cancelled for a variety of reasons, including failure to file returns and violation of the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act).

 

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Not responsible for Dadri lynching, growing intolerance: RSS

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Ranchi: Under pressure from public intellectuals to clear the air over its role in growing intolerance in the country, the Rashtriya Swayamswevak Sangh or RSS said on Sunday it was being needlessly blamed for the mob-lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and similar incidents of violence.

“We are in social life for 90 years. No one has raised such questions on intolerance. Whatever has happened we condemn that. Such incidents are not good for the society. But we need go deeper into such incidents. The truth must come out,” RSS General Secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi said.

“When the Sangh was linked to several such incidents, and we investigated deeper, they have proven to be false. There has been no truth to the allegations. It is a conspiracy to unnecessarily blame the Sangh for such incidents,” Joshi said.

52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched on September 28 in Dadri following rumours that he and his family had eaten beef and slaughtered a calf, triggering a wave of protest from the civil society.

People related to a local BJP leader were allegedly involved in the Dadri lynching incident, leading to attacks on the RSS.

In Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, two persons were similarly beaten to death after being accused of cow slaughter by mobs comprising suspected Hindu militants.

Scores of writers, filmmakers, and scientists have returned their awards to register their protest against the growing intolerance and violence in the country. 

Moreover, in a bid to express their anguish and protest about the “highly vitiated atmosphere” prevailing in India, 53 historians on Thursday issued a joint statement lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his stoic silence over growing intolerance in the country.

Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib were among the eminent historians who, in the joint statement, decried the climate in which “differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. Arguments are met not with counter-arguments but with bullets.”

They also warned the Bhartiya Janata Party government against distorting history.

“What the regime seems to want is a kind of legislated history, a manufactured image of the past, glorifying certain aspects of it and denigrating others, without any regard for chronology, sources or methods of enquiry that are the building blocks of the edifice of history,” the historians wrote.

“It is easy to trample them down, but it is important to remember that it will take too long and will be beyond the capacity of those who are currently at the helm of affairs, to rebuild it once it is destroyed.”