Three weeks back, local leaders of Kerala based right wing hindutva outfit threatened to remove a sticker stating that halal products were available at the bakery in Kerala's Kurumassery, Ernakulam. Recently the word 'halal' was removed from the manual of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products and Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Union Ministry of Commerce. These are one of the few examples of how the Sangh Parivar's hate campaign works in the society.
It has been a few months now, that the Sangh Parivar and some extremist Christian groups have been launching 'anti-halal campaigns' on social media and elsewhere. Throughout history, the Sangh Parivar has made dangerous moves to ignite communal and racial ambitions by igniting hatred and mistrust among the various sections of the people of the country.
The argument that the Babri Masjid existed on Ram Janmabhoomi which subsequently led to the demolition of the Masjid and the validation of court rulings should also be seen as a massive expression of the Sangh Parivar's racist agenda. They have no qualms about the detrimental effect of such moves on the people of the country.
The Sangh Parivar is preparing for war against halal in the country. This aims deeper divisions among the people. Babri Masjid, as a place of worship for Muslims, did not call into questioning their daily life, beliefs, or their logic.
But, through the halal hate campaign,the goal of the Sangh Parivar is to portray a normal Muslim life to be dangerous.
Those who have not been affected by communal cataracts will realize that only market logic is behind the establishment or labeling of the board as halal.
This is a unique situation in which the marketing tactics of globalization guide and control people and nations.
It is no exaggeration to say that the market reminds people of religious and national celebrations. For example, Onam being the celebration of flowers, 'Poopoli' and Sadya came to Onam Markets and Onam Mega Sales. Presenting 'Akshaya Tritiya' as gold trading is also a great example of marketing strategies.
What is Halal and Haram?
It is a strict precept of Islam to consider halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden) in life. Accordingly, regardless of nationality Muslims have been practicing it for centuries. Its primary condition is that one should use / do only what is permissible. The halal and haram system compels the individual to abstain from all things that harms the individual and society.
Halal, as a whole is the sanctity of life, honesty and sense of justice of a Muslim personality. Halal frees him from selfishness.
Not just food, but everything one owns, such as savings and clothing, must be halal.
Hence, halal is the name given to vigilance against violence and injustice. Halal is the opposite of what society calls anti-social. The thought of halal is truth, justice and virtue, Ensuring a person where he is not noticed by society, power or the judiciary is not a small matter. So halal is not an anti-social attitude. Halal creates a beautiful, peaceful and non-violent social atmosphere.
Halal references, stickers and halal billboards hanging outside the products are part of the market adopting strategy in approaching the faith community and the countries in which they live. These should not be seen as a sign of extremist faith, but as a sign that the market growing and expanding towards more strategies and tactics.Therefore, those who ask where an unprecedented halal now came from, are pretending not to see the market strategies and the diversification that is taking place on a daily basis. In the past, when Onam came, children used to go to the fields in groups and pick flowers and prepare pookalam from Atham.
However, in recent times, when Onam comes, flower shops have sprung up along the roadsides and in the streets. Going to the fields, are just stories for children nowadays. They are not going to pluck flowers, they are going to buy flowers. But no one has questioned why there is an unprecedented Onam and flower sale today. It happens as a part of market intervention. The stores that are rampant on the roadside during the Sabarimala season cannot be linked to any beliefs, growth or disability other than the marketing strategy that can be traded using those believers. Stationery and book shops near schools and Aadhaar offices near village offices are business strategies that are in line with the needs of the beneficiaries. Who is not convinced of the futility of insisting on the need for meat stalls near schools and extensive clothing shops near village offices!
Specialization is one of the most widely used strategies in the market today. We, who recognize specialization in education, employment and healthcare, need to recognize that the market can also use it in many different ways. Nowadays, we open restaurants only for putt(a kerala dish) cakes, etc,and is gaining market success.
So for those who go to 'De Putti' in Kozhikode or Dubai and asked for a good sambar and rice and argued that it was against his freedom to eat any food if he didn't get it, nothing is going to happen, but to sit there and argue. Remember that, market success is achieved not only by beliefs but also by superstitions like Thrithaya Akshaya.
The double standard of Sangh Parivar
The Sangh Parivar leaders allege in various channel discussions that the requirement for Muslims to slaughter halal meat will alienate non-Muslims from the workforce in India and consequently strengthen unemployment! But who said that there should be control over this area of work? No one argues that only Muslims should slaughter animals or distribute meat. This work can be done by anyone anywhere and anytime considering other legal aspects.
The market is not small either, as there are more people in this world who do not apply halal and haram considerations. The paradox is that those who use their power to legislate for a ban on cow slaughter and kill those who work on slaughterhouses are the ones talking about job losses in slaughterhouses. Moreover, as a result of mob attacks by Sangh Parivar organizations, many people are leaving the cattle sale and slaughter sector in different parts of the country on a daily basis. Muslims,as far as their are concerned, their savings should also be halal. But would extremist Hindutva spokespersons working in the Gulf countries be willing to say that we do not accept halal salaries?
Loss of the country.
Many American and European countries are moving forward with legislation and amendments for the halal market. Canada amended the law in 2006 to address the potential for abuse in this area.
However, our country is making moves that will destroy this market.
During 2019-20, beef exports from India stood at Rs 22668.48 crore. Muslim countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE depend on the Indian meat market.Statistics show that these exports are increasing every year. India will be the third largest beef exporter in 2020. Brazil and Australia are next. India will account for 13.14 per cent of the world's beef exports in 2020. Experts say low demand and halal certification are the main reasons for the increase in demand for Indian beef in Muslim countries in Asia and Africa.
However, the word "halal" has been dropped from the manual of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products and Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce following a halal campaign by Sangh Parivar organizations. The manual used to say 'The animals are slaughtered strictly according to the Halal method to meet the requirement of Islamic countries', but now it says: 'the animals have been slaughtered to the requirement of importing country / importer'.
This will deeply affect the market. The false propaganda of the Sangh Parivar and the consequent state action will only weaken India's vital export sector. Undoubtedly, the omission of the reference to halal will not be sufficiently accepted in Muslim countries. Ultimately it will not adversely affect Muslims, but the revenue revenue of this country.