Gujarat civic bodies ban ‘public display’ of non-veg food items
The municipal corporations of Vadodara and Rajkot, both ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have ordered shopkeepers and hawkers to cover non-vegetarian food, including eggs, saying an open display of the food could hurt religious sentiments.
The order issued by the two bodies said that non-vegetarian food on streets hurt religious sentiments of Hindus. It added that smoke emanating from such spots was a health hazard.
Rajkot mayor Pradip Dav passed instructions and launched a drive on Tuesday. Two days later, Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) standing committee chairman Hitendra Patel on Thursday issued oral directives to the civic body to remove within 15 days all roadside non-vegetarian food stalls if they didn’t properly cover their food items. “The public display of meat, fish, eggs hurts religious sentiments. It should not be visible,” Patel said on Friday, adding that the practice might have continued for decades but now it was time to put a stop to it.
The VMC’s directive was inspired by a similar instruction by Dav on November 9. “It hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus on seeing non-vegetarian food hanging when they pass by the road,” he said.
The RMC staff has removed non-vegetarian food stalls and kiosks in Fulchhab Chowk, Limbda Chowk and Shastri Maidan in Rajkot. “We are only removing encroachments from main roads. They cause nuisance, traffic snarls and offend religious sentiments of Hindus,” said Dav.
Revenue minister Rajendra Trivedi welcomed the move, saying: “The smoke and smell emanating from these non-vegetarian stalls is a health hazard for passers-by.”
Leader of Opposition in the VMC, Ami Rawat, said, “No political party or government can decide who should eat what and where...”