Indian Opposition Lawmakers Condemn Delhi's Meat Ban During Hindu Religious Festival

© Sputnik / Aleksandr Yurev / Go to the mediabankFinished product in the slaughter and primary processing shop of the Miratorg Agrarian Holding, Bryansk Region
Finished product in the slaughter and primary processing shop of the Miratorg Agrarian Holding, Bryansk Region - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2022
The nine-day Hindu festival of 'Navaratri', dedicated to the Goddess Durga, is marked bi-annually with big fanfare, especially in northern India. The devout fast, and many others prefer to avoid eating meat or drinking alcohol, as per tradition. However, perhaps for the first time Delhi civic agencies are banning selling meat. 
Several opposition parliamentarians have criticised a decision made by Delhi's civic agency, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to shut down meat shops in the capital city to avoid hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus in view of their ongoing Navaratri festival.
Since Tuesday, many meat shops have remained closed in Delhi. However, a few shopkeepers selling meat closed their doors after South Delhi Municipal Corporation's Mayor Mukkesh Suryan appealed to the shopkeepers to close their doors between 2 April and 11 April.
In a letter, Suryan said: "People visit temples to worship and pay their respects to the Goddess Durga and observe a fast. They forgo even the use of onion and garlic, and the sight of meat being sold in the open or near temples could make them uncomfortable..."
"...Their religious sentiments are also affected when they come across meat shops or when they have to tolerate the foul smell of meat on their way to offer daily prayers to the goddess," the letter added.
Soon after Suryan's letter, East Delhi Municipal Corporation's Mayor Shyam Sundar Agarwal made a similar request, saying that "closing meat shops will make us happy during this festival".
Though the authorities have not issued any official letter, meat shops in many parts of Delhi were closed as the owners feared protests by Hindu groups.
Meanwhile, a BJP parliamentarian from West Delhi suggested that such a decision should be implemented across India.
However, many opposition politicians have condemned the decision.
Former Jammu and Kashmir State Chief Omar Abdullah called out "majoritarianism".
© Photo : TwitterOmar Abdullah On Meat Ban
Omar Abdullah On Meat Ban - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2022
Omar Abdullah On Meat Ban
Although many Hindus fast and avoid eating meat during the Navaratri festival, there are others who don't comply.
Hindus from other parts of the country — West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand state do not follow such rules and eat non-vegetarian food, especially fish, during the festival.
Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Mahua Moitra, a fiery critic of the BJP, said that the Indian constitution allows her to eat meat when she likes and the shopkeepers the freedom to run their trade.
© Photo : TwitterMohua Moitra On Meat Ban
Mohua Moitra On Meat Ban - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2022
Mohua Moitra On Meat Ban
This year, the Navaratri festival is being observed during the Islamic month of Ramadan, which happens at a different time every year because the Muslim calendar is only 355 days long.
Congress politician Salman Nizami criticised the BJP for being hypocritical on the matter.
"They have a problem with meat shops in South Delhi but promise quality beef in North East and Goa," Nizami wrote in a series of tweets. "Hypocrisy, thy name is BJP!"
© Photo : TwitterSalman Nizami On Meat Ban
Salman Nizami On Meat Ban - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2022
Salman Nizami On Meat Ban
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