The Bharatiya Janata Party-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation has cleared a proposal that makes it mandatory for restaurants and meat shops in its jurisdiction to prominently display whether the meat they are serving is halal or jhatka, The Indian Express reported on Saturday.
Halal food is meat and poultry killed in accordance with Quranic guidelines derived from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, while jhatka is the meat from an animal slaughtered in one go.
The proposal was cleared by the standing committee on Thursday, and will now be sent to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation House for final approval, where the BJP has a majority.
It stated that consuming halal food was “forbidden and against the religion” in Sikhism and Hinduism. “Therefore, the committee resolves that this direction be given to restaurants and meat shops that it should be written mandatorily about the meat being sold and served by them that ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’ meat is available here,” the resolution said.
There are thousands of restaurants in 104 wards of four zones under the South Delhi civic body. “Though meat is served in about 90% of these restaurants, often it is not mentioned whether it is ‘halal’ or ‘jhatka’,” the resolution added. “Meat shops also do not make the distinction.”
Standing committee chief Rajdutt Gehlot said, “Suppose a person wants jhatka meat but gets halal, then he will feel offended. So the idea is just to mention whether it is jhatka or halal.”
The order would also keep a check on violations of licenses, Gehlot added. “Right now, we have a situation in which a licence has been issued for one type of meat while something else is being sold,” he told The Times of India.
Chhattarpur councillor Anita Tanwar claimed the intent behind the order was not to stop anyone from eating one form of meat. “The change is to respect religious sentiments,” she told the newspaper. “Hindus do not like to eat halal meat. If we put up a board at each restaurant, people will know what kind of meat is being served to them.”
A similar proposal was earlier passed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2018. The civic body’s then standing committee chairperson Satyapal had justified it claiming that there were several Hindus who do not eat halal meat.