To counter the alleged ‘hate campaign politics’ of the Sangh Parivar against Muslim-owned Halal hotels, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) conducted a ‘Food Street’ protest on Wednesday. The DYFI is the youth cadre of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and though the protest was to take place all over Bharat, things did not pan out as planned. It fizzled out even in their strongholds in Kerala.
The tagline was to protest against the Sangh politics of ‘mixing halal food and religion’. Ironically, Halal in itself is associated with Islam. Only that meat which is butchered by a Muslim while calling out “In the name of Allah” (Bismillah), using a painful method in which the animal’s blood slowly drains out, is considered halal. Even vegetarian food products and other items like cosmetics, are now being certified Halal, i.e. free of any substance considered prohibited in Islam.
Radical Muslim bodies like the Deobandi organisation Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind rake in crores every year for handing out these Halal certficiates. Halal has also become a tool to economically exclude and impoverish Hindu and Sikh communities who were traditionally involved in the meat business.
Non-Muslim meat eaters in Bharat have traditionally consumed Jhataka meat, in which the animal is slaughtered instantaneously with one swift blow. For many Dharmic communities, it is as much of a religious imperative to consume only Jhataka, as consuming only Halal is for Muslims. For others, Jhataka is preferred as it is torture-free. Sadly, due to pre-eminence of Halal and apathy of our secular state, the discriminatory and monopolistic Halal economy has taken root.
Kerala is currently being rocked by scenes of Muslim clerics spitting/ blowing into food to make it halal. More Islamists jumped in to defend the practice and openly admitted that it is a common practice and some even asserted that it is the real secret behind ‘tasty’ meals!
This has not gone down well with some sections of the society and they are shunning hotel food, especially the ones with halal boards. This unexpected jolt is being felt across the food industry and many are on the verge of shutting down. Nightfall sees a number of them removing their halal boards but business remains dull.
A few relevant questions did arise. Those who insist on serving Halal-only food are ‘secular’ but the ones who are demanding freedom of choice are not? Demanding only halal (as per the Quran) is natural, but those who reject it are ‘bigots’? Aren’t those displaying halal boards the ones actually associating food with faith?
Such questions forced the DYFI to remove the ‘halal’ word from their announcements, but the damage had been done. Another issue that propped up was the issue of beef and pork. Hindus consider consuming beef a fundamental sin, and Muslims consider pork as ‘dirty’ and as haram.
DYFI decided to cook both anyway and this led to a huge drop in attendance at the food street, conducted in all districts of the state. Moreover, the pork was missing in Muslim-dominated Malabar (the northern districts of Kerala). But beef was served everywhere, including in Hindu-dominated areas!
Other than a few prominent local leaders and a dozen workers, only the media crews attended. Those who did visit were mainly Christians (who consume both forms of meat) and a few Hindus in name only, i.e. HINOs. There was a marked absence of communists from the Muslim community and naturally, the program flopped.
AA Rahim, the DYFI ‘All India President’ was present but other leaders like tourism minister and former DYFI president Mohammed Riyas were nowhere to be seen. They are smart players who cleverly twisted the criticism against their religious exclusivism and intolerance into a CPM-RSS fight. Rahim served beef but the pork was missing. The communist-Muslim leaders were not seen consuming pork, unlike past beef festivals where multiple leaders were seen gulping down food.
Both the CPM and the Popular Front of India (PFI) cadre become companions at night, while appearing to fight it out against each other during the day. Both are of the opinion that they should take out the RSS from the equation of things before indulging in the hidden agenda of eliminating each other, but things have changed. The supply of pork has created internal rifts between their cadre.
The DYFI facebook page bore the brunt of this costly experiment. All their social media pages are being trolled. Except for a few lal salaams (red salutes) and the commonly used anti-Hindu rants, the communists are left with no logical explanation.
Halal is a huge industry and is one where other religious denominations are paying for their own downfall. Halal benefits just one community and it is even alleged to ultimately fund terrorism. It showed that in their urge to score a few brownie points using the anti-halal movement, the DYFI themselves were promoting their cadre to feed on food with dubious ingredients such as saliva.
Recent social activities of the DYFI show that they have no ideology of their own left. This month saw the whitewashing of radical Islamist sponsored Malabar genocides, backing for the imaginary Tripura violence against Muslims and mosques, support for Fathima Latheef who committed suicide at the Chennai IIT and their all-time favorite, oil price rise. Even as states across the country, including some ruled by Congress, have brought down petrol and diesel prices, the communist regime in Kerala still sells at Rs. 105 plus.
Another issue that the DYFI is trying to prop up is the freedom of expression. Incidentally, this is the same regime that does not allow the release of a film called TP 51 based on the life of rebel leftist leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, who was hacked to death by the CPM cadre in 2012. The movie remains boxed since 2015.