Bommai refuses to clarify govt’s stand on ban calls given against Muslims
In recent days, rightwing groups have called for a ban on Muslim small businesspersons setting up shops in and around Hindu temples and taking part in Hindu religious fairs.
Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the state government will look into the “serious objections” raised various groups against “halal” meat, even as he refused to clarify his government’s stand on various types of ban calls given against Muslims.
In recent days, rightwing groups have called for a ban on Muslim small businesspersons setting up shops in and around Hindu temples and taking part in Hindu religious fairs. There has also been a call to ban “halal” meat, a form of culling.
“It is just content now and we have to study the intent because there is nothing to do with some rules. It (halal) is a practice which is going on. Now, serious objections have been raised regarding that. We will look into that,” Bommai said at a press conference in Bengaluru.
The statements come at a time when right-wing organisations have intensified their activities which revolve around minorities after the hijab row which has since manifested itself into other ugly developments like the ban on Muslim businesses, calls made to the larger Hindu community members not to purchase halal meat as it was part of an “economic jihad”.
Some rightwing groups have given a call to boycott halal meat, ahead of ‘varshadodaku’, the day after Ugadi when many communities in the state have a non-vegetarian feast.
Several people have been assaulted or accosted using these bans which so far have no government sanction but neither has the authorities stepped in to intervene.
BJP national general secretary CT Ravi on Tuesday stirred a controversy by linking halal food to “economic jihad”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has refused to intervene and stop saffron organisations forcefully shutting shops and vandalising name boards across several regions in the state. With assembly election just a year away, the BJP has been accused of fanning communal sentiments by trying to consolidate the fragmented Hindu vote and return to power by polarising the population.
Members of Bajarang Dal, a right-wing organsation, were seen patrolling the market in Nelamangala, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, trying to tell street side vendors not to buy meat from Muslims in the upcoming Ugadi festival, which is considered the new year for Kannadigas.
Bommai said “despite so much happening”, there was no impact on law and order. “As far as my government is concerned there are only wings of growth, there is no right wing or left wing. We are interested and the central idea is peace development and security for the common man,” the chief minister responded to a specific question on some organisations taking law into their own hands.
“We will inform our government’s stand on this later,” he said. “Several organisations will keep banning things, so we know what to respond to and what not to respond to. Whichever subject requires a response, we will respond and where it is not required, we will not give one,” he said.