On Monday, RSS leader Indresh Kumar’s appearance at the Iftar celebration organised by the Muslim wing of the right-wing organisation at the Jamia Milia University caused a stir. What made it really controversial was when his appeal to Muslims at the event to give up eating meat.

Kumar also launched into his RSS dogma and averred that the prophet Mohammad did not eat beef either. He said: “Meat is a disease. Milk is the cure and treatment...According to their advice, those who sacrifice animals, slaughter it and eat it, in a way are eating poison, are eating diseases.”

Kumar later appeared on NDTV (video above) to elaborate on his views. On being asked about people across the country for whom eating beef has long been a part of personal and social culture, Kumar said that 90% of the world drank milk and no cow was sacrificed in the Vatican and Mecca.

He went on to equate beef-eating with smoking, alcohol, swearing, rape and even poison, to justify why it should be banned by the government. “If someone has a bad habit, shouldn’t we rectify it?” he asked.