Nearly five months after BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh Meghraj Jain raised objection to the minority status given to Jains on the ground that it puts the vegetarian community on a par with Muslims, “who slaughter goats and cows, and eat meat daily’’, a Parliamentary standing committee has asked him to explain his remarks.
On Saturday, Jain told The Sunday Express that the ethics committee of Rajya Sabha, headed by Dr Karan Singh, has sought his explanation and he will go to Delhi on Monday to give his reply. The BJP leader had made the contentious remarks in April. Addressing the media in Ratlam, MP, he had said, “The minority status to Jains was a conspiracy by the Congress…. We are not a minority community. We have our own place, our beliefs, status in the society. We are pure vegetarian. We can’t even kill ants, and if they do get killed we make atonement. Such a community was put on par with an very violent (ghor hinsak) community.”
In a way, he said, “it’s an insult to the Jain community.” Asked which community he was referring to, Jain said, “I am talking about Muslims…. They kill goat…kill cow…they eat meat daily…we were made to sit with them.’’
Attaching newspaper clippings and a CD of the press conference, Shahid Modi, a Congress leader from Dewas, petitioned the President to suspend Jain from the House for making a statement — made “deliberately for social, religious and political polarisation” in the state — not in national interest.
On September 21, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs forwarded the petition to the President for appropriate action and sent a copy of the office memorandum to Shahid Modi by post.
Maintaining that what he had said is not wrong, Jain, who once headed the MP cow protection board, said on Saturday, “They (Muslims) do kill chicken, even cows, but we atone for killing even ants. It was a conspiracy (giving minority status to Jains) to differentiate us from Hindus. We are Hindus. Did they ask Jains about their opinion? Was a survey done?”
Modi said Jain’s comments calling Muslims violent amounted to insulting them. He said, “Many non-Muslims also eat meat but by singling out Muslims the BJP leader was being unfair to Muslims for their food habits.”