Campaign seeking boycott of halal meat has little impact on varshathodaku in Karnataka

Most Muslim meat traders in Bengaluru reported normal business, without any dip

Published - April 03, 2022 09:29 pm IST - Bengaluru

People buying meat in Bengaluru on Sunday.

People buying meat in Bengaluru on Sunday. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Amidst a campaign by Hindutva organisations calling upon Hindus not to buy halal meat sold by Muslims, meat traders belonging to the community in Bengaluru reported normal business, without any dip, on Sunday. 

With Sunday being varshathodaku or hosadodaku [the day after Ugadi when many communities have a non-vegetarian feast] and also it being the first day of Ramzan, almost every meat shop in the city, many of them belonging to Muslims, saw long queues.

“The campaign against halal meat seems to have had no impact on our business. People came in large numbers as usual and bought meat,” said trader M. Ali Qureshi. 

“We have always bought meat from a shop near my house, which is incidentally run by a Muslim. We have never had any issues with that and this year too, we bought meat from the same shop. Open calls for the economic boycott of a community, which the Karnataka Government did not intervene to stop, is dangerous,” said Prasanna L., a techie from the city. 

In the light of the campaign by Hindutva organisations, the police had organised a heavy bandobast in the city, especially near meat shops and communally-sensitive areas from 4 a.m. itself.

“There has been no untoward incident in the city. Both varshathodaku and the first day of Ramzan passed peacefully,” said City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant. 

Advocate and activist Vinay Sreenivasa, from Campaign Against Hate Speech, said the campaign against halal meat was disproportionately given space by Kannada television, creating a false impression that there was considerable support for it in the larger society. 

However, more meat shops, run by Hindus, this time sported the tag of “Hindavi Cut” or “Jhatka Cut”, which Hindutva organisations claimed was the “Hindu way of cutting meat”, which was “less cruel” to animals.

“We have never heard of such ways of cutting meat before, which has now come into vogue among a small section of meat traders this year, owing to the campaign. They also did a brisk business today. We need to see if this new label sticks and gains traction among meat consumers,” said a meat trader. 

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