Beef Ban in Muslim Majority State Stirs Debate

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Nayeem, Asiya call for slaughter of bovines as mark of protest

SRINAGAR: The Jammu High Court’s ruling to ban beef in the state has elicited adverse commentary and reaction from both the political spectrum of the state and a cross section of society including netizens. These include, leaders from mainstream politics, socio-religious organizations, pro-freedom camps and civil society. All have evinced displeasure over the court order. The theme that cuts across the articulation of displeasure is the question how some religious fanatics can impose their will over the vast population of the Jammu and Kashmir? And that the implementation of this order will have adverse political consequences especially in Kashmir valley.

From a socio religious perspective, the Amir Jamat-e-Islami, Ghulam Muhammad Bhat said that it is the responsibility of the state government to know the views about the majority community. “The court order will have serious ramifications and dangerous consequences. If the government implements the court order, it will put Kashmir on boil, besides it is the direct interference in our religion as Holy Quarn allows us to consume beef freely,” he said.

Karwan-i-Islami patron Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami said that India has no right to offend the sentiments of Muslim population. “Who are they to dictate us. The court has given directions on the behest of RSS lobby and it is our responsibility to raise our voice against this unjustified direction,” he said and added nobody in Kashmir has power to stop Muslims from consuming, slaughtering and selling beef. He added that they will file review application seeking review of the order passed by the same bench or will move to Supreme Court to file special leave petition before Apex court.  “This order has offended the religious sentiments of majority community in State,” he said.

Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson Dr Mehboob Beigh said that nobody has a right to dictate people what they should eat and what they should avoid. “The ban on the sale of beef in Kashmir was in vogue during Maharaja’s time. It is irony that despite being the Muslim majority state, this ban was in place. The current court order is not new but only reiteration and it is debatable,” Beigh said.

Civil Society member Shakeel Qalandar said that the ruling of the court will not stand firm in Muslim majority state. “The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir gives freedom to the people and nobody can suggest or dictate them what what they should wear or eat,” adding that  that the ban will be ineffective.

People’s Democratic Front Chairman Hakim Muhammad Yasin termed the court order as direction intervention into religious affairs. “We enjoy religious freedom here and our religion has been permitting us to consume beef. It will have serious ramifications if ban is imposed and it will also divide the society on communal lines,” he said. 

Similar reactions abounded on social media with netizens articulating their angst and displeasure over the beef ban.

“It is a breach of our fundamental rights, and the government has been interfering too much in our lives and religion,” said a netizen Muzafar Ahmed while responding to a post about the ban of the sale of beef in Jammu and Kahsmir on facebook.

“Now RSS run government in Jammu and Kashmir will direct you what to eat, what to wear, what to talk and when to bore kids. This is absolutely rubbish and we are not going to accept it,” wrote a netizen Irfan Ahmed.

The facebook users openly reacted over the court decision, terming the direction ‘motivated’ and irrelevant. “This is Kashmir and no government on earth can stop us from consuming beef. Go and ban the sale of liquor which is the source of crime and waywardness,” Toufeeq Ahmed writes. In response to his comment another user wrote that he fails to understand why court reacted so swiftly over the PIL against the consumption of beef while there are so many PIL’s lying in the court that stand for the blanket ban on sale and consumption of liquor. “Why no ban on liquor which is hazardous and proscribed by all the religions and why ban on beef that is permitted by our religion,” Inayit Ahmed wrote on facebook.

Meanwhile, the separatist spectrum of the state’s political firmament have also articulated their displeasure and resolve to protest against the ban.

Strongly reacting to the beef ban order of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik called for a valley-wide shutdown on Saturday. Geelani also appealed people to stage post-Friday prayers’ protests.

In a statement, the octogenarian pro-freedom leader termed the Court decision as “politically motivated”. He said that the Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim Majority state and the court has not taken the “consequences” of its decision into consideration. The veteran leader said that the “aim behind the decision is to ignite communal riots and defame the resistance movement of Kashmir”.

Calling on people to register their protest against the imposition of ban on beef, Geelani called for protests tomorrow after Friday prayers and a complete valley-wide shutdown on Saturday. He said that the “fascist” thinking of RSS and BJP could be behind the decision.

Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement while terming the High Court order for banning beef in Jammu and Kashmir as unacceptable and direct interference in the religious matters has called for complete shutdown on Saturday. 

Mirwaiz termed the High Court decision as direct and undue interference in the religious matters of Muslims who form the majority in the state, which will not be tolerated. 

Meanwhile, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik appealed people to observe strike on Saturday and termed the decision as politically motivated. “Ban imposed on beef by Jammu high court is direct interference in religious affairs of Muslims. These kinds of orders will harm religious harmony in Jammu Kashmir. These new kind of issues are carved only to harm Kashmir issue and implement RSS agenda on Kashmir. Muslims of Jammu Kashmir will never accept these politically motivated orders and a stiff resistance will be given to all such acts,” he said.

Malik further said that India and its “stooges” should bear in mind that Kashmiris will safeguard their religious sentiments and norms and also keep striving for their freedom at any cost and these kinds of acts and orders cannot turn us away from our goal.

Holding the beef ban to be provocative and  Muslim League headed by incarcerated Masarat Aalam  expressed anguish over the ban on sale of beef in the state and urged people to sacrifice bovine on Eid-ul-Azha.  

The Muslim League leader urged people to sacrifice bovine animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha to earn “double reward”. “One is that you are sacrificing a bovine on Eid and another is that you are defying man-made law,” he said.

The chairman of National Front and Hurriyat (G) leader Nayeem Khan also urged people to sacrifice bovine on the occasion of Eid and condemned the order of ban on beef.  

Matching words and rhetoric with action, the  chairperson of Dukhataran-e-Millat (DeM) Asiya Andrabi after  reacting sharply to the High Court order of ban on the sale and consumption of beef and terming  the decision as “unjustified” called on the separatist leadership to take strong notice of the ban  and should devise a strategy beforehand “so that the order is made to fail”.

Asiya Slaughters Bovine

Asiya Andrabi along with her activists and some masked youth slaughtered a bovine at an undisclosed location in city here, a video posted by the DeM on Facebook and whatsapp showed here. Confirming the veracity of the video, Asiya said  that the slaughter was carried out in city but declined to provide further information.

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