Markandey Katju
In Picture: Former supreme court judge Markandey KatjuReuters

Retired Justice Markandey Katju has asked for a law that prohibits maltreatment or killing of rats, snakes, fishes, monkeys among a few others as these animals are part of the Hindu mythology. 

"I suggest a law should be made immediately banning maltreatment or killings of these animals as that is hurting Hindu sentiments," former chairman of the Press Council of India said in his blog.

Katju's suggestion to make killing of these animals illegal came at the backdrop of outrage over cow slaughter and beef eating after a man was lynched by a mob for slaughtering a calf and storing its meat at his home in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri district.

Hindu extremists have been demanding ban on cow salughter on the pretext that killing of cows hurt the sentiments of Hindus, who worship the animal as their mother. Similarly, Katju has asked for a ban on killing of certain animals, citing these animals' religious context in Hindu religion.

Katju, in his blog that begins with "ban these too", said that as rat is Lord Ganesha's ride, it should not be killed or maltreated. Similar request was made for monkeys as Hanuman was a monkey man.

"A Rat is Lord Ganesha's ride.. everyone kills rats by poisoning them, or they are killed/used in lab testing.. no one blinks an eye-lid.. Monkeys are a roop of Hanuman.. they are mistreated in circuses and are killed in lab testing.. no one bothers..," he wrote in his blog. 

He further asked for the ban on killing of snake, fish, pigs, buffalo, owl, crow and frog, citing these animals' relevance in Hindu religion.

"The snake is revered too as it is around Shiva's neck and also there is a festival called 'Nag Panchmi'.. but snakes are killed the moment people spot them.. Pigs are killed for ham and bacon, but Varaha devta is worshipped by Hindus. Fish ( matsya ) is the first avatar of Lord Vishnu," he wrote.

"Buffalo is the sawari of Lord Yamaraj. Owl is the sawari of Lakshmi. Crow is the sawari of Shani (Saturn ), one of the navgrahs or 9 planets. Frog ( manduk ) is the name of one of our Puranas," he added.

In yet another blog post on Sunday, Katju had asked Muslims to eat pork, claiming that it was forbidden in Islam at times when "pigs ate filth". Now, pigs are reared in modern dairy farms in hygienic condition.

"Eat pork. Pork was forbidden in Islam because at that time there were no modern dairies, and pigs ate filth. But now in modern times pigs are raised in modern dairy farms, where everything is clean and hygienic," he wrote in his blog.

"So I recommend to Muslims, as I do to everyone, to start eating ham, bacon and sausages. They will enjoy it, as Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan did, and as I enjoy ham, bacon and beef steak," he added.

I eat beef, cow is not mother

Katju's suggestion on banning maltreatment or killing of these animals and his remark on pork came a day after he said he eats beef and does not consider cow as mother. 

"I eat beef and I don't consider cow as mother as it is an animal like horse and dog," he said while commenting on the Dadri incident at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, according to The Times of India report.

"I eat beef and continue to do so. If you don't have to eat I am not forcing you for it. Entire world, people in America, Europe, Africa, Arab, China and Australia eat beef then are they all bad people. People in Nagaland and Mizoram consume beef, how can you force them not to eat. Cow is an animal and I don't consider it as mother," he had said.