Why Mumbai will be denied mutton, chicken for 4 days

The temporary meat ban, which has been in place since 1964 as a mark of respect to a Jain festival, has now pitted Marathi parties against the ruling BJP.

Written by Tanushree Venkatraman | Updated: September 9, 2015 9:07 am
meat ban, Mumbai meat ban, Jain festival meat ban, Maharashtra meat ban, Mumbai news, maharashtra news, india news, nation news, indian express The Deonar slaughterhouse in Chembur, Mumbai will be shut for four days on account of the Paryushan festival.

Why will the sale of meat be banned for four days in Mumbai?

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will suspend the sale of meat in its markets and shut down its slaughter house in Deonar, suburban Mumbai, on September 10, 13, 17 and 18 as these dates fall within the eight-day Jain festival of Paryushan, during which the community shuns all root vegetables.

The ban covers mutton and chicken, and excludes fish and eggs. It also extends to private businesses selling raw meat.

Is it a new ban?

No. It has been in force since 1964, when the BMC passed a resolution directing a two-day prohibition on sale of meat in deference to the demands by Jains, a powerful community which holds many stakes in business and industry in Mumbai.

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In 2004, the Congress-NCP government passed another resolution endorsing the two-day ban. Since then, the ban has been extended to four days across Mumbai every September. “Two days are according to the 1964 BMC resolution and two on account of the state’s 2004 resolution,” said a senior BMC official.

The ban comes close on the heels of the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation passing a resolution to ban sale of meat in the satellite town’s civic markets for the entire eight-day Paryushan period.

What is the stand of Mumbai’s political parties?

Senior BJP leaders are seeking an eight-day meat ban in Mumbai. Manoj Kotak, BJP leader in the BMC, said, “Lord Mahavir is an avatar of Vishnu. If the Jain community feels that harming animals will hurt the community’s sentiments during Paryushan, then what is wrong in demanding a ban? When people refrain from drinking liquor on October 2, do politicians question their decision?”

Regional parties like the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) are opposing the ban because it “attacks Marathi eating habits”. Leader of the BMC House and senior Sena leader Trushna Vishwasrao said, “We respect Jain sentiments and asked slaughterhouses to remain shut but banning the sale of meat is extreme. They are directly attacking our meals. Jains are a minority community in the city. Why should we risk the interests of other communities for them?” MNS corporators in the BMC called BJP the “Bharatiya Jain Party”. “This is cultural terrorism. Today, they have banned the sale for four days, will they ask us to stop eating meat,” said MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande.

The Congress has done a U-turn. Having passed the state government resolution supporting the two-day ban in 2004, it is now opposing it. Sanjay Nirupam, president of the Mumbai unit of the Congress, has termed the BMC’s ban “undemocratic”. “Though religious sentiments should not be hurt, other communities should not be deprived of their daily meals. We condemn this decision,” he said.

Why the brouhaha now if it has been an annual affair for 41 years?

Simply because this year, it comes just six months after the Maharashtra government’s controversial decision to ban the sale of beef in the state. While the slaughter of cows was previously prohibited in the state under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976, the implementation of the ban means that bulls and bullocks cannot be slaughtered for meat either. Anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.

In the light of the controversial beef ban, the 41-year-old seasonal ban on mutton and chicken is also raising eyebrows.

Meanwhile, butchers in the city say the four-day ban would affect their business for 15 days.

“The ban will affect the transport of livestock and cause suffering to daily wage labourers,” said Shahnawaz Chand, a butcher who has shops in Crawford Market, Chowpatty and Grant Road. “Catholics fast during Lent, Hindus during the month of Shravan, but they never demand any ban. It is only Jains who seek a ban every year,” he said.

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  1. G
    Gulafroz Sayyed
    Aug 29, 2016 at 9:19 am
    I am muslim but still not a week I can stay without eating a month any non-veg but please all jains help me that how should I explain my pet cats about your religion rules, how should I explain them that till 8 days what they will eat they are not Persian cats they are wild cats some are adopted and some are stray cats,i have 10-11 cats what do I feed them I m worried for them have u ever thought of these animals what they will eat before banning meat, not only my cat but every where there lot of animals cats n dogs will have to suffer because your meat banned I want an answer from those people that what should I feed my cats.
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    1. D
      Drifter
      Sep 9, 2015 at 7:41 am
      Why this bias towards one community...I don't see restaurants in the city closed during holy fasting month of ramzan
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      1. M
        maitreymehta
        Sep 9, 2015 at 6:00 am
        BJP has clear majority in Parliament. BJP don't need to oblige "Shiv-Sena", which claims to be Hindu outfit if they don't honor other Hindu's sentiments. W Eight days of "Parushan" should be observed no meat day.
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        1. T
          Thumrus
          Sep 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm
          Non veg. Citizens will not forget this ban. Nor will they forgive the ban imposers. They will be taught a lesson the next time they come begging for votes.
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          1. A
            Aasim
            Sep 9, 2015 at 6:59 am
            Good question.... Lol :-D
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