Draconian laws to dictate food habits are not acceptable

Maharashtra State Secretariat of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) demands that state government should take immediate steps to repeal all laws which arbitrarily restrict food customs of the people. The President has given assent to a law brought by earlier BJP-Shiv Sena government prohibiting consumption of beef. This one reinforces another law made during Congress rule in 1976 resulting in total ban on consumption of beef. In addition to Dalits and minorities, this ban adversely affects a large section of youth belonging to all communities who have acquired modern food habits.

Traditions, religious beliefs and parental upbringing lead to diverse food customs across communities and families. In a modern society, belief systems of certain community should not dictate the food habits of all the people. There are several caste and religious communities in our country who are vegetarian due to traditions as well as religious beliefs. To cater to their sensibilities, there are restaurants where non-vegetarian food is not served. But it would not be acceptable if meat consumption is prohibited owing to their discomfiture. This principle applies to the matter of beef consumption also.

Left to themselves, people of all communities co-exist harmoniously with all types of cultures and food habits including vegetarianism, non-vegetarian food, eating pork and consuming beef. Problems are created by communal elements who mix politics with religion. What must be prohibited is the vicious propaganda organized by some organisations around food habits to create rift between communities.

In Maharashtra we are going to have a bizarre situation in which the Police and Courts will enforce religious protocols of certain groups on the whole society and coerce the society to alter food habits. This doesn’t befit the modern republic that we claim to be. We are going to witness the tragic spectacle of fascist outfits intimidating and assaulting Dalits and minorities and progressive youth in the name of prohibiting beef consumption.

All those who believe in democracy and secularism must stand up against the draconian laws of Maharashtra which ridiculously take away citizens’ liberty to choose what to eat.

Adv.Bhagwan Bhojane, President (Ph:7588165189)
Preethy Sekhar, Secretary (Ph:9892134522)
(DYFI Maharashtra State Committee)

Last modified on Thursday, 05 March 2015 02:46

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