In a befitting testimony to fascist tendencies in the country, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed ban of sale of meat in Mumbai during a Jain festival saying, “These are issues which cannot be forced down somebody’s throat.”
The apex court advised state governments that “There has to be the spirit of tolerance and anything should not be thrust on a particular class.”
The state government counsel argued that non-violence and compassion towards animals have been a part of good teachings and observing two days ban on the sale of meat is not going to harm anybody. But “Compassion towards animals does not have to be observed on festival days only,” said the Supreme Court.
The bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Kurian Joseph, however, allowed petitioner Shree Tapagachiya Atma Kamal Labhdisuriswarji Gyanmandir Trust of Jains to approach the Bombay high court with its grievances.
Mumbai has unilaterally imposed the ban in the wake of Jain community’s ‘Paryushan’ festival.
The issue has become political with the BJP demanding for the ban and opposition parties like the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena opposing the decision. However, not relenting, the BJP said it would request the civic administration to reduce the ban to only two days.
Taking a cue from Mumbai, other BJP-ruled state governments and Bangalore’s Brihut Bangalore Municipal Corporation have imposed ban, raising the question of religious tolerance, which is a subtle issue in the country’s integrity and unity.