Hindu sensitisation against the menace of certifying not only food but also companies has increased phenomenally in Karnataka since the statement by Himalaya Drug Company calling itself halal-certified went viral on social media, as the form was set up in Bengaluru in 1930 by a Muslim entrepreneur called Mohammed Manal. Now several leaders of the BJP, Bajrang Dal and Pramod Muthalik-led Sri Rama Sene have extended their support to the ongoing Hindu movement.
While people by and large have the impression that halal is all about slaughtering animals the Islamic way, a certificate of halal can be applied to things beyond meat and even beyond food. A company that employs a threshold percentage of Muslims in its workforce can be certified as halal. Thus, the awakened Hindu population is realising, halal can be a means to capture the economy by pushing Muslim workers into more and more employment destinations.
BJP joins Hindu cause
The day before yesterday, BJP general secretary CT Ravi had said that the halal meat business was a kind of “economic jihad”. “The halal meat business is a kind of ‘economic jihad’. The concept of Halal meat means that they can do business among themselves and consume Halal meat only among their people. What is wrong in pointing it as wrong,” Ravi said.
“Muslims buy meat only from their community and halal is a certification for them. It is designed in such a way that the products should be purchased only from Muslims. If Muslims refuse to buy meat from Hindus, what stops us from saying that meat should be bought only from Hindus?” said Ravi, a former Karnataka minister.
Then, the BJP-led Karnataka government took note of the calls to boycott halal meat but has said that it cannot do much unless the law-and-order situation is affected. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said he would look into “serious objections” against halal meat.
“It (halal issue) has just now started,” Bommai told the media. “We have to study it in its entirety because it has nothing to do with any rules. It is a practice that has been going on. Now, serious objections have been raised about it. After all these incidents, the law-and-order situation in the state has remained intact. Various organisations will be doing their campaigns, we know what to respond to do and what not to. Where it is required, we will respond. We don’t (respond) when it is not required.”
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra also joined the bandwagon on March 31 and asked why the BJP was being blamed by some for the anti-Halal campaign, which is related to faith and sentiments and individual choices of certain religious groups.
“Secularism flows in our blood. They (intellectuals) should teach those who do not respect the Indian Constitution and say that the court verdict is not applicable to them. Such people (violators) have to be told that you should not function this way in this country, this we say, sincerely. Nobody hates you and we have to live like brothers only,” he said
The minister said the government has a limited role to play on the issue pertaining to halal, which is left to the wisdom of people. Jnanendra said the ‘Boycott halal food’ campaign is not a law and order situation but something related to faith and sentiments.
Sangh Parivar adds heft to Hindu movement
The Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and various Hindu outfits have been running a door-to-door campaign asking people not to use Halal meat. They have been distributing leaflets as well besides making appeals through videos and campaigns on social media.
Sensitised to the threat from more and more business units taking to halal certification, a group of Bajrang Dal workers in Bhadravathi in District Shivamogga, Karnataka, demanding an end to the halal business, barged into a hotel the day before yesterday and assaulted a worker. The yesterday, a hotelier in the city was abused for using halal products and a customer was attacked when he tried to intervene, Superintendent of Police BM Laxmi Prasad said on Friday, adding that five Bajrang Dal members had been arrested.
A campaign by several Sangh-affiliated organisations and others is going on in Karnataka to boycott purchase of meat from Muslim traders in the state. Several BJP leaders, including top ministers too have tacitly endorsed this.
Support from outside Sangh Parivar
Non-Sangh Hindu organisations have pitched in too. Sri Rama Sene founder Pramod Muthalik has alleged that the money earned from selling halal products is being used to fund the bail of jailed terrorists.
For the past week, eight Hindu organisations have called for the removal of halal certification from the signboards of shops selling meat. They have also urged Hindus not to buy meat which is halal cut. Instead they have advised Hindus to buy meat which is cut as per the Hindu traditional method called jhatka.
In a statement issued on 31 March, a federation of Hindu organisations intensified their call to boycott buying halal meat during the post-Ugadi ‘Hosa Tadaku’ festival in the state. “Islamic organisations are trying to make a parallel financial system in the country. It is dangerous for the security of the country. When there are government certifying agencies like FSSAI and FDA for food certification, where is the need for certification based on religion? Halal certification is against the precepts of secularism and gross injustice to the traditional butchers and meat traders,” they said.
They alleged, “This is a conspiracy by the Muslim community to take control over the financial assets of the country. Hindus are requested to use jhatka meat instead of halal meat for the post Ugadi celebration (Hosatodaku).”
Earlier this week, Hindu Jagruthi Samithi members pulled down sign boards that said “halal cut available” from three shops in Vijayanagar of Bengaluru. At Nelamangala on the outskirts of Bengaluru, they put up banners urging people to eat only at Hindu restaurants.
Mohan Gowda, the secretary of Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, alleged, “Money from halal certification is used for anti-national activities. Hindus should be careful and boycott products having halal certification. The Union government should ban halal certification. This is a conspiracy by Islamic organisations. Islamic groups like the Jamiat Ulama-I Hind Halal Trust collects Rs 50,000 annually through halal certification and then use the money for anti-national activities.”
Why now? Reason other than the Himalaya statement
The halal boycott calls come ahead of the Kannada New Year festival of Ugadi, which will be celebrated on 2 April. The day after, which is known as “varshadodaku”, many Hindus eat meat. Meat traders say that day their sales go up and they expect to make a turnover of around Rs 2 lakh.
Ugadi is the beginning of the new Hindu lunar calendar and is celebrated across Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Traditionally, Hindu families host a feast a day after Ugadi where meat is consumed. Muslims, as per Islamic practices, can only consume halal meat. But as explained by Sirf News again and again, halal is not about meat alone; it is not even just about food. It is about the whole economy.
As though unaware of the Islamic strategy to capture the world economy, a representative of an organisation representing butchers said they were not worried about the Hindu right-wing campaign. “We are not bothered about this fake propaganda run by a few individuals. Any person at the end of the day wants to eat good and healthy meat. If someone provides them with this, then the customers will go to them,” said Khasim Shoaibur Rahaman Qureshi, the president of the All India Jamaithul Qureshi of Karnataka that represents butchers.