Some Hindutva organisations have begun a campaign against state-owned Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, Air India and others for offering halal-certified products, reported PTI on Friday.
A list shared by Hindutva group Hindu Janajagruti Samiti Karnataka spokesperson Mohan Gowda also includes the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation with other organisations that offer halal-certified chicken products, soft drinks, flour and chocolate brands.
Halal is the Arabic word for “permissible”. Halal-certified products make it permissible for Muslims to consume the items. One of such products, the halal meat, which is sanctified by Islamic law, involves killing an animal by cutting the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.
The Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi has been campaigning to ban halal-certified products, including meat, in Karnataka. It had said that animals are killed by offering them to Allah in this process, and it would be offensive for Hindus to offer the meat to their gods.
These organisations have said that they will campaign till these brands stop halal certification.
“We are going to take legal recourse against halal certification,” Gowda told PTI. “The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has not authorised anyone to issue halal certificates but still, the companies approach six bodies which issue the certificate.”
The Hindutva organisations are also calling on Hindus to eat jhatka meat, which they claim is less cruel than killing animals through the halal method. In the jhatka method, the animals are killed in one strike.
On Friday, Munegowda, the founder of Hindavi Mutton Stall, said that he would help Hindus if they wanted to open mutton stalls, reported The Times of India. Munegowda is among the people who want a ban on halal meat. They argue that the meat business has become a monopoly of Muslims.
“We will train and provide assistance to willing Hindus,” said Munegowda. “We need to end the monopoly of Muslims in the meat business. So, we are offering help to Hindus.”
Earlier on March 29, Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary CT Ravi had claimed that halal meat was part of “economic jihad” by Muslims.
Ravi had alleged that the concept of halal has been put in place so that Muslims do not do business with others. He had claimed that Muslims refuse to buy meat from Hindus and asked why Hindus should buy meat from them.
Campaigns against Muslims in Karnataka
For months now, Karnataka has been on the boil as Hindutva groups have launched campaign after campaign against the state’s minorities.
In January, the groups had mobilised against wearing hijab in some colleges. Some Hindu male students had started a coordinated campaign to wear saffron scarves to class in order to force colleges to ban the hijab.
The Karnataka government had then on February 5 banned clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order” in educational institutions. On March 15, the Karnataka High Court had upheld the government order and ruled that wearing hijab was not essential to Islam.
In March, several temples in Karnataka had also banned Muslim traders from opening stalls at annual fairs.
Muslims have reportedly been running stalls at these fairs for many years. However, Hindutva organisations had objected to their participation after many Muslims closed their shops to protest the Karnataka High Court verdict upholding the state’s ban on wearing hijab at schools and colleges.
Hindutva groups are also demanding a ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques, saying they lead to noise pollution. A Hindutva group, the Shri Ram Sene, had threatened to protest if the government fails to act in the matter.
Earlier this week, the Bengaluru Police had said they have started seizing microphones from places of worship where noise levels have crossed the threshold set by the Supreme Court.