The BJP MLA from Loni in Ghaziabad has sparked a controversy, saying that his supporters would not allow the sacrifice of animals in his constituency during the Muslim festival of Bakrid, and added that if someone has to give sacrifice then they should instead sacrifice their children.
Nand Kishor Gurjar maintained that animal sacrifice was being stopped to “check the spread of coronavirus in the area”.
“Humare log iska dhyan rakhenge ki Loni ke andar bilkul corona na aaye. Ishliye puri tarah qurbani di gayi toh (wey) jimmedar honge, aur hum hone nahi denge..” (We will ensure that there is no spread of coronavirus in Loni, and if animal sacrifice is performed then those people will be responsible and we will not let allow that to happen).”
He also said that in Hindu sanatan dharma there was a provision for “bali” or animal sacrifice earlier, which has now been done away with. “Just like in sanatan dharma, there was a provision earlier of bali, but now it has been replaced by breaking of a coconut. In a similar manner, it is my request to those following Islam to not sacrifice animals… Agar jyada koi kehta hai ki qurbani deni hai to apne bache ki de (If someone says, they have to sacrifice animals, then they can sacrifice their own children),” Gurjar said.
“If someone kills and eats a helpless animal, then in next life they would become a goat and people would eat them,” the BJP MLA added.
The BJP, meanwhile, condemned its MLA’s remark, saying statements regarding the personal choice of any religion that can hurt people’s sentiments should not be given.
BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava said, “While it is true that earlier there was a provision of bali in Hindu religion that has been replaced with breaking of coconuts, but every religion has its own customs. It is their personal choice. Thus any such statements that too by a public representative should not be given and are condemnable,” Srivastava said.
Over animal sacrifice during Bakrid, the BJP spokesperson said that the government has already issued guidelines urging people to mark Bakrid in their homes to stop the spread of coronavirus disease.
Condemning the BJP MLA’s remarks, the Samajwadi Party said such statements were “unconstitutional and should not be made”. “The government has issued guidelines for animal sacrifice and we appeal everyone to follow them while making sacrifices to stop the spread of the disease like coronavirus, but it should be done with communal harmony,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines