The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) decision to ban sale of meat for four days in Mumbai this month in view of the Jain festival Paryushan has outraged the city's residents, who are angry with the civic body for imposing a ban on their fundamental rights.
The Deonar abattoir, a slaughterhouse in the city's eastern suburb, said on Monday that slaughterhouses in the city will remain closed on 10, 13, 17 and 18 September as Jains will be celebrating Paryushan between 10 and 17 September. There will also be a ban on sale of meat during these days.
Jains observe fast for eight days as part of their festival.
The ban comes in the wake of a request made by Ahimsa Sangh, Vishwamaitri Trust, The Indian Express reported.
"Jainism is based on the principle of non-violence. There are not only a lot of Jains in Mumbai but a lot of Jain monks will also be visiting the city during the period...we request you to cooperate during the rituals," the Ahimsa Sangh had said in its letter.
The move has riled the opposition parties, including the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Congress, who have slammed the BJP for practising caste politics in the city.
"The BJP cannot decide when and what kind of food we can eat. During our fasting period or an auspicious month like Shravan, we do not ask for a ban on meat across the city. Why is a particular community being favoured?" Hindustan Times quoted MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande as saying.
"Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city where vegetarians and meat-eating citizens reside. Since many years, all communities have been living together despite several religious festivals. Why is one political party favouring a community now and banning others from eating meat?" said Devendra Amberkar, who is the Opposition (Congress) leader in the BMC.
"The BJP is trying to please a section of people by meeting such demands. It cannot interfere with the eating habits of citizens. We condemn this move," said Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party corporator.
A similar ban was imposed in Mumbai last year when Jains celebrated Paryushan. However, this year's decision has accentuated the matter as it comes after the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra banned beef in the state early this year.
Angry netizens took to Twitter to lash out at the BMC for banning meat in Mumbai, targeting the BJP, since the BMC is controlled by the Shiv Sena-BJP combine.
While Maharashtra was quick to #meatban, wonder what happened to this speed when taking action on dying farmers required?
— Ekta (@NumeroUnity) September 8, 2015
Bihar and UP waale ban,Govt k against bolna ban,Beef ban and now #meatban .Now,Should we ban "banning" things?
— Nishant Gaurav (@nishantmad) September 8, 2015
"We don't care about hospitals, toilets, good roads, railways or safety. We are interested in what you watch and eat." — BJP. #meatban
— Entrepreneur BaBa © (@amankartikeya) September 8, 2015
Now the Mumbai BMC does #meatban for four days, it Modi effect ' i wont eat, will not allow others to eat
— rajennair (@rajennair) September 8, 2015
— Sudeepसुदीपسدیپ (@sudeepbose) September 8, 2015
Respecting sentiments of one religious community doesn't mean snatching away other communities' freedom (to eat what they want to) #meatban
— Salman Syed (@salmansyeds09) September 8, 2015
— Arshia Syed (@ArshiaSyed) September 8, 2015
#meatban and no offence but dude jains don't eat meat that doesn't mean others don't eat meat!! Will you make meat compulsory during Eid??
— kartikeya garg (@kartikeyagarg1) September 8, 2015
meat is banned for few days for jain fasting now, next wud be #meatban for full month of Shravan when hindus fast.. file a petition
— Jassodababe (@iJasoda) September 8, 2015