This comes as meat sales in the state treble on the occasion of “varshadodaku” — the day after the Kannada New Year holiday of Ugadi on April 2, when people organise a non-vegetarian feast.
A few right-wing groups have launched boycott campaigns against halal meat, claiming that Muslims perform Islamic rites before slaughtering animals for halal meat, which is then consumed by Hindus.
Despite the boycott appeal, meat sellers believe that it will have little effect on sales. According to Khasim Shoaibur Rahaman Qureshi, president of the All India Jamaithul Qureshi of Karnataka, a butchers’ organisation in the state, “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 anyone is able to provide this, the customers will go to them.”
During “varshadodaku,” a meat shop is likely to sell 250-300 kg of mutton. A kilogramme of mutton currently costs around Rs 700. As a result, a trader’s daily turnover would be roughly Rs 2 lakh. “People buy meat from the same shop through generations because they trust the vendor. Most of those who breed goats and sheep are Hindus. Even if a Hindu sells meat, he would choose to use the Halal method because it is universally accepted,” Quresh added.
The controversy began when the Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti, the Srirama Sene, the Bajrang Dal, and a few other right-wing organisations demanded that halal certification be removed from meat shop signboards. One of the campaign’s leaders, Sirama Sene founder Pramod Muthalik, stated that the proceeds from halal items are used to support the bail of convicted criminals from terrorist organisations.
CT Ravi, the BJP’s national secretary, has also stated that the sale of halal meat constitutes economic Jihad. “The 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 doing the same,” Ravi added.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that he will investigate the “serious objections.” “It (halal issue) has started just now. We have to study in entirety, because it has nothing to do with any rules. It is a practice which is going on. Now, serious objections have been raised regarding it. After all these incidents, the law and order in the state have remained intact. Various organisations will be doing their own 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,” the CM added.