'Eid sacrifice meant to appease God, but has become commercial' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Eid sacrifice meant to appease God, but has become commercial'

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2011 01:54 IST
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Every year Raza Hussain Mehta, 23, celebrates Bakri Eid with his family without sacrificing a goat. "The sacrifice is meant to appease God, but nowadays it has become very commercial," said the fashion photographer.

This year the average cost for a goat for the occasion of Eid ranged between Rs 15,000 and Rs 2 lakh. "The high cost makes it impossible for those from the poorer sections of society to afford a goat, but they aspire to buy one nonetheless. Seeing that it is so expensive, every family need not sacrifice one goat and instead have a community sacrifice," he said.

The Mehtas, a Bohri Muslim family, celebrated Eid on Sunday by preparing traditional meat dishes, from the meat they bought from their regular vendor. "The meaning of the festival has changed and has become subjective over the years. While the goat sacrifice is often taken literally, it has a greater symbolic value, which is, learning to sacrifice something that one is attached to," said Mehta's mother, who did not wish to named.

Shia and Sunni families celebrated Eid on Monday. Like the Mehtas, Shabnam Lilani's family also did not sacrifice a goat. Instead, they donated money to an organisation, which bought a goat and donated it to the needy. "Every family sacrificing a goat leads to a lot of wastage. We get our meat from either our relatives or a meat vendor," said the production assistant. "It is compulsory for those who have gone on Haj to do a sacrifice, but that can also be done as part of a community sacrifice."

For others, the festival simply represents a time to bring families together. "Eid is a great occasion to meet our extended family as most people have a busy year round schedule and only make time for Eid. I do not fancy the idea of a sacrifice and my family has also never done it, but my mother contributes to our masjid on the occasion," said Romana Shaikh, 23, a Dhobi Talao resident.