Monday January 22, 2018

Turin’s Mayor pledges to turn it into the First ‘Vegetarian City’ in Italy

Turin is one such city of Italy that serves great traditional meat like bollito misto, stew made of beef, sausages and other sorts of poultry

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  • Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin, is on a quest to turn Turin as the first vegetarian city of Italy
  • After a long span of 23 years of only left wing politicians turning mayors, Chiara Appendino won the mayor elections with 55% of total votes in June 2016
  • Established in 2009, the Five Star Movement was started by comedian-activist Beppe Grillot which promotes vegetarianism

Italy is a country which is rich in culture and offers the best of fashion- the Milan Fashion Week, heritage- the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and of course cuisine. Not only has Italy given the world its favourite pizza and olives, but also various dishes like lasagna, pasta and riso. With a country that offers some of the best cuisines in the world, it is next to impossible to imagine Italy turning vegetarian.

Turin is one such city of Italy that serves great traditional meat like bollito misto, stew made of beef, sausages and other sorts of poultry. It is a popular destination among Italians during winters due to its vicinity to the Alps.

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Mayor Chiara Appendino. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Chiara Appendino. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

But Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin, is on a quest to turn Turin as the first vegetarian city of Italy. Turin now has more than thirty restaurants that serve vegan food. As an initiative to “protect the environment, health, and animals”, Appendino encourages vegetarianism and vegan diets in her manifesto, reported independent.co.uk.

After a long span of 23 years of only left wing politicians turning mayors, Chiara Appendino won the mayor elections with 55% of total votes in June 2016.

Not only has Ms. Appendino working towards vegetarianism, but various movements have been carried out to promote the same. Established in 2009, the Five Star Movement was started by comedian-activist Beppe Grillot which promotes vegetarianism. This movement was started as an initiative against corruption and for the planet’s environmental issues, but it also has an ambiguous take on immigrants. It is reported that the Five Star Movement would include educating schools students on animal welfare.

Demonstration in support of vegetarianism. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Demonstration in support of vegetarianism.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Apart from Italy, there are many countries and faiths that work on extreme vegetarianism. All religions have stringent commitments to their values about dealing with violence and non-violence. Same goes for vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism.

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  • Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma, for example, is a faith that constitutes the maximum number of vegetarians in the world. Brahmins, who are usually temple priests in and out of India, are strict vegetarians. Not only does Hinduism promote vegetarianism and have vegan food as ‘prasaad’ but is also strictly against beef eating.
  •  While Buddhism is another faith that preaches the concept of ahimsa, Gautam Buddha asked his disciples to accept any food that gets offered to them. It is conflicting to know that Dalai Lama is himself a non-vegetarian. Buddhist schools of thought indeed teach vegetarianism, but Buddha’s act of consuming meat is debatable even today. Traditions interpret that Buddha died of eating pork, while some believe he ate a poisonous mushroom.
  • Another faith that practices vegetarianism is Jainism. With its inception 6,000 years ago, Jains believe that every creature in this world is here to help another. They believe in non-harmed peaceful coexistence and consider all living beings sacred. It must also be noted that Jains also wear masks to avoid killing the smallest of insects and walk carefully as to never kill an insect lying on their way.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani of NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Will prohibiting Burqa result in freedom from under house arrest or religious bias?

According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face.

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Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons
Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election. Wikimedia Commons

In recent years there have been several incidents involving the Burqa. In 2009, a state college in Karnataka told a student she was not allowed to attend classes wearing a Burqa. It was later reported that the young girl reached a “compromise arrangement” with the college but did not continue in the same college. Days later, violent protests sparked in Hyderabad after a college principal allegedly told students not to wear a Burqa.

But opposite episodes have also occurred. In July 2010, a teacher at Kolkata’s Aliah University, which has a focus on Islamic studies, was not allowed to teach without a Burqa. The report followed an official notice released in April 2010, in which the university dismissed suggestions it enforced a dress code, mentioning specifically the use of the Burqa within its campus.

There is steep rise in the cases related to crime against burqa clad women. Wikimedia Commons
There is a steep rise in the cases related to crime against Burqa-clad women. Wikimedia Commons

At some point imposing a ban on Burqa will be beneficial…
Point 1:
According to Islam, it is not necessary to cover the face. Hands and face can be uncovered. So banning won’t conflict freedom of practicing religion. And it will not be against any religion.
Point 2:
There are security issues. Imagine man/women under burqa leaves a bag in a public place which later blasts. Now, what do police have? CCTV cameras, forget face they cannot determine if is it male or female due to Burqa. It is the biggest security Loophole.
Point 3:
Many Muslim women do not have a bank account because they are not allowed to cover their face in bank premises. If you didn’t know then yes you cannot cover your face with bank premises and ATM.
Point 4:
It’s easy to have multiple voters ID. Due to Burqa women can go and vote multiple times. This increases corruption in the election.
Point 5:
Crimes under Burqa are on the rise. Murder, kidnapping, robbery are been carried out using Burqa. It’s the biggest advantage for criminals.

What Noorjehan Safia says…
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, a founding member of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a movement which works to improve the status of Muslim women in India, said security concerns have not been a major issue when it comes to dressing. “Muslim women in India comply with all the laws. They are active participants when it comes to elections and has their photos on their passports. So identification and security have never been an issue as such,” she said.
Discrimination, however, has sometimes caused problems, said Ms. Niaz. “There are cases when women are not considered for a particular job because they wear a Burqa. In such cases, women have negotiated. They do not wear Burqa while at work but before and after it they put it on.” Overall, Ms. Niaz said that women themselves – not the law – should decide what to wear. “Let each woman decide what she wants to wear. Neither can you enforce a ban on Burqa nor can you force women to wear it.”