By Sushil Kutty
Mohammad All Jinnah got his wish and Pakistan was created at the expense of India, which lost territory. Jinnah won Pakistan on the back of the two-nation theory. But the trifurcation of India did not put an end to the two-nations within India. The point is, India remains two nations even 76 years after Independence and the creation of Islamic nations on its borders.
Coming to base, India is perhaps more Sharia-compliant than even the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And Bangladesh. Take, for example, triple-talaq. Pakistan did away with the offending practice long ago but India put up with it for decades despite all the abuse to Muslim women.
That was one example of Muslim-minority appeasement policy. The Hijab controversy was also Sharia compliant. So much so, lawyers arguing for or against wearing Hijab in classrooms reached out to the Quran and Hadiths for justification and the high court bench hearing the case was a willing accomplice.
So, what’s “secular” is basically allowing Sharia to prevail over the Constitution of India. The Islamic concept of ‘Halal’ and ‘Haraam’ has been made kosher for all Indians because disrespecting the food habits of Muslims is ‘haraam’, and it doesn’t matter if ‘halal’ is tantamount to disrespecting the food habits of Hindus,Jains and Sikhs.
And, mind you, it will remain the same even after Muslims become the majority in India. In fact, it can be argued that with compulsory halal certification, ground is being prepared for an economic ghazwa-e-hind. No halal certification is needed in Pakistan because Pakistan per se an Islamic Republic and, therefore, by definition automatically ‘Halal’.
On Saturday, November 18, the Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh banned halal certification with immediate effect. That the ban comes amidst assembly elections and general elections less than six months away, there is definitely a motive. Ten years of anti-incumbency is weighing heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the party is not confident if Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a third successive term in 2024.
BJP-ruled states since 2014 could have imposed a ban on halal certification any time in the last one decade of Modi-rule, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP-ruled states spent the longest of time flirting with Pasmanda appeasement for Muslim votes that they forgot there existed also Hindu and Sikh vote-banks.
But that balloon burst and Modi and Co., is now back to appeasement of its core Hindutva vote-bank. In Hindi it is called ‘Marta Kya Na Karta’. The Uttar Pradesh government’s notification banning halal certification with immediate effect is aimed at alienated Hindus, those who got fed up with Modi’s bluffs. The Yogi order claims to end the “parallel system” that has “created confusion” on the quality of food items.
For Hindu and Sikhs halal is not kosher but without the government taking action they were helpless. Halal had taken over their lives in almost all aspects and left them helpless to return to their roots. The “two nations” concept applies to India like nowhere else. Successive governments have seen to it that it remained entrenched. Sharia compliance has become essential practice in a secular country. It beats logic but then logic died a thousand deaths since 1948.
Fact is, India’s judiciary has ceded ground and power to the Ummah without perhaps even knowing it and without a murmur. India has a food safety law in place and government institutions to enforce the law, but all to naught because the charge of Islamophobia is a powerful antidote to any opposition to Sharia-compliance.
The halal certification given to food products including dairy products, bakery products, peppermint oil, ready-to-eat savouries and edible oils is over and above the certification given by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
The ‘FSSAI’ was established after the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 was promulgated. The ‘FSSAI’ is the apex body for certifying food items. It draws its powers from the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The ‘FSSAI’ has preferential power to certify the quality of food items. Private Muslim bodies that hand out halal certification are committing a crime and are liable to be prosecuted. The day after the Yogi government banned halal certified food products, ‘FSSAI’ officials raided the ‘Sahara Mall’ in Lucknow.
Earlier, on Friday, after an FIR was lodged at a police station in Lucknow, police booked Chennai-based Halal India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi-based Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust, and the Mumbai-based Halal Council of India and Jamiat Ulema under various sections of the IPC including 120B, Section 420 and Section 153A. The opposition Samajwadi Party has vowed to return halal certification to status quo once the Yogi and Modi governments become history.
One thing is for sure, the ‘Hindu-Muslim’ argument will be in full flow following this move to ban halal certification for food and other items including lipstick and talcum powder. In fact, halal certification is so pervasive that it covers even hotels and apartment buildings. The travel industry is halal certified and Air India is also lucky to be halal certified.
Come to think of it, there is even halal tourism. Imagine having halal certified babies delivered in hospitals with halal certification. Halal certification did not exist in the subcontinent during the hundreds of years of Islamic rule in various parts of today’s India including in and around Delhi during Mughal rule. Life went on without the hue and cry witnessed nowadays.
Ironically, it is democracy which gives halal certification validity and support. The Yogi Adityanath government’s ban on halal certification is clearly aimed at bifurcating Hindu from Muslim and vice versa, which raises the question: Is it an election gimmick to polarize the electorate? (IPA Service)