Eid ul Adha or Bakri Eid, a festival celebrated among Muslims (honouring the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham in Semitic faiths) to sacrifice his son, Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of obedience to God’s command) is going to be celebrated on June 29, 2023 in India. Each year, this becomes an occasion for selective debates by Hindutva outfits over the animal sacrilege performed by Muslims, a custom that they have been following for years.
Following the same pattern, a hate speech was delivered by a Bajrang Dal leader in Haridwar, where he had targeted Muslims, issuing threats to commit violence if the Muslim community commits sacrifice cattle on Eid and any blood is found in the drain.
“In whichever street or city you find blood in the drain, you tell me or any person from my organisation, and I will tell these people how Eid is celebrated here. This is Haridwar, it belongs to us. If we let them play with our religious sentiments here in the pious Haridwar, then shame on us.”
“There are so many meat shops running illegally here. These chicken centres are running in the midst of Lord Ram and Goddess Durga openly, what use performing aartis on them? These chicken centres are present on the back of our Lord Ram.”
“We want to urge the district management and the state government to close all these meat shops and liquor shops. A few years ago, these liquor shops used to be 15 km or 20 km away from Harkipodi, and as soon as the BJP government came, new liquor shops started popping up in close proximity. If the BJP government comes again, these liquor shops will be within our district. These BJP ministers are playing with our religious sentiments, these people only want our votes, and they do not want to do anything for our Hindu community.”
“One such BJP neta, who is new and upcoming, he wants a ticket for Mayorship. That same person had gone to the police to complain against cow vigilantes, how shameful is this? He said that this way he could gain the votes of the Muslims, but I just want to tell him that this way he will not gain any Muslim votes, and will rather lose the votes of the Hindus too.”
“The Hindu community will have to unite and fight this battle for our religion. We need to fight together that this is our holy Haridwar, we need to fight to protect its sanctity. Even during the British colonial times we had maintained the holiness of our land, and we shall continue to do that even now.”
The video can be viewed here:
Location: Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Bajrang Dal leader delivers hate speech targeting Muslims, threatens violence if Muslims sacrifice cattle on Eid. pic.twitter.com/u3Ou9XPzSD
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) June 21, 2023
In addition to the above-mentioned hate speech, “Say No to Halal” was also been trending with 20.7 K tweets, as reported by the India Today NE. This whole trend was set rolling by members associated with the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), a right-wing extremist Hindutva fringe outfit that has been advocating for establishing a ban on the use of Halal meat in products. And now, once again, days before the Eid-ul-Adha, the same issue has been raised by the outfit. The post tweeted by Suni Ghanwat, convenor of the HJS, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, is as follows:
After Halal Free campaign in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, now the whole country will be Halal product free. In #वैश्विक_हिंदुराष्ट्र_महोत्सव everyone opposed #HalalJihad which is an economy parrellel to country’s economy should be stopped.
Say No To Halal pic.twitter.com/hwYgXwnjjN
— Sunil Ghanwat (@SG_HJS) June 20, 2023
Post this, the said tweet got picked up by other people with far-right ideology. One of them wrote, “After Halal Free campaign in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, now the whole country will be Halal product free,” as reported by the India Today NE.
Another twitter user wrote, “Nowadays, McDonald’s burgers, Domino’s pizzas, and almost all in-flight meals are Halal. Is it constitutional to force halal food even on non-Muslims? Say No To Halal.”
The post can be viewed here:
Nowadays, McDonald’s burgers, Domino’s pizzas, and almost all in- flight meals are Halal. Is it constitutional to force halal food even on non muslims ?
Say No To Halal ✊✊😠 pic.twitter.com/AuRItyhlGl
— Savitri Gubyad (@Gubyad_Savitri) June 20, 2023
While all human acts that affect the environment, including those sanctioned by religious faith and custom need to be re-visited and questioned, the selective pin-pointing of Bakri Eid as one such needs querying. Not only are large sections of people, including in India eaters of meat, this requires slaughter too. While mass slaughter of animals like the mass felling of trees amounts to both cruelty and an assault on nature which is detrimental to climate change, the positioning of this debate against Muslims and Islam has a specific purpose. Rather than resulting in constructive discourse, the one-sided debate that is generated fuels agendas, which produces no beneficial results and instead isolates that particular community.