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Many brands in India are favoring the Halal stamp on their products. From the likes of Haldiram's, Bikano, Amul to Patanjali, big brands are paying high prices to gain confidence of their Muslim consumer base. According to the belief of Sharia, a Muslim should only consume food which is permissible under Halal.
What is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word meaning allowed or permitted. In Islam there are several ground rules regarding halal. The do's come under halal and the don'ts fall under 'Haram' category. Haram means unlawful, essentially following halal guarantees pure Islamic practice.
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The religious practice of halal, does not always encompass sophisticated mannerisms. One such practice which may be deemed inhumane is the slaughtering of animals fit for eating. According to the Muslim Halal method the animal has to be placed in the direction of Mecca and must be awake during the time of butchery. A Muslim butcher would make a deep incision in the animal's throat while saying "Bismillah"(in the name of god). The slaughtered animal would be left to bleed till its death. It is important to note that the non-religious methods are comparatively sympathetic in the method of killing the animal. The animals are not conscious when the deed is done, thus feeling no pain.
What is halal certification?
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust, an organization in India which claims itself to be a 'non-profit', issues certification for food products, restaurants, airlines and hospitals which is accepted in several countries. The certification ensures that the concerned food items, restaurants, hotels, airlines and hospitals are complying with the halal practices. If it is a food item, it means it is fit for consumption as per the Sharia law. The religious practice may seem noble for religious purposes but it has more than one contribution to the Islamic community.
Map depicting Muslim majority countriesWikimedia
The supposed not-for-profit organization gains approximately 4 crores in a year from over 250 traders in India. The organization markets the Halal trademark as the sole key to "penetrating Muslim countries" and the ones who do not have it "would lose a large segment of potential consumers from around the world". It claims the Halal market to be worth $600 billions' worth. As an NGO the Halal Trust is provided tax exemptions on its funds. Not only does it have a profit-based business in the country but it gains from abroad in crores. 'Jamiat Ulma Hind UK' is its top foreign contributor, with a contribution of over 6 crores in the last 4 years.
Though the Jamiat's origin has roots in the Khilafat movement of 1919, the current running has nothing to do with it. Jamiat aims to 'enroll 20,000 fresh members' in the Jamiat Youth Club in 2021 and 12.5 million youth to be prepared in the next 10 years. With details of expansion of the club and promotion in the youth, Jamiat focuses on propagation of Islamic practices and upliftment of madrasas.
The question arises, in a country which claims itself to be secular, what place do such organizations hold? Do they enjoy special status in the name of minority or is it a general bias running throughout the world?
Key Words: Halal, Halal Certificate, Islam
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods