Ban Halal certified products in Bihar, Giriraj tells Nitish
The BJP leader and union minister urged the Bihar CM to take a leaf out of the book of the Yogi Adityanath government in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, which has banned such products.
Union rural development minister Giriraj Singh on Thursday asked Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to ban the sale of “halal certified” products, calling it a “jihad” aimed at the “Islamisation of businesses”.
Singh, who represents the state’s Begusarai Lok Sabha seat, also shared on X (formerly Twitter) a copy of a letter he wrote to Kumar on Wednesday, urging him to take a leaf out of the book of the Yogi Adityanath government in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, which has banned such products.
In a video statement, he said, “The sale of halal-certified products is akin to the Jizya tax that was imposed on non-Muslims in the medieval era. Previous governments of the Congress and its allies have put up with this because of vote bank concerns and politics of appeasement.” “The ‘tukde tukde’ gang has made it possible for such products to be available in every nook and corner of Bihar. Halal certification involves consecration in the name of the Quran, just like consecration through mantras in Hindu tradition. Sanatan Dharma is under attack. Unbridled sale of Halal products will pave way for Sharia rule,” alleged Singh, who also claimed that the phenomenon was “linked to terrorist activities”.
“Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), an organization under the ministry of health and family welfare of the Indian government, is the sole agency entrusted with the responsibility of laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and export/import, but halal certification has emerged as a self-styled standard and it is being used for trade in dry fruits, oil, cosmetics, salted eatables, medicines and even medical equipment,” the minister has written in the letter.
“The apprehension of a larger conspiracy behind it is not misplaced. In a secular democracy like India, halal certification is not only against the Constitution but also akin to treason,” he said.
Halal, an Arabic term, refers points to actions and commodities deemed permissible in Islam and it covers food, beverages and other consumer goods. Some of the halal certification bodies are recognised by the government of India, but there are many others unrecognised. FSSAI is the sole authorised body for food certification.
In January this year, commerce ministry’s draft guidelines for streamlining the halal certification process for export of meat and meat products said products could be exported as “halal certified” only if it is produced, processed and packed under a valid certificate issued by a certification body accredited by a board of the Quality Council of India,
Meanwhile, the chief minister’s JD(U) hit back at the BJP, accusing it of “hypocrisy” in matters like beef consumption.
“The BJP claims to be the biggest custodian of Sanatan Dharma. Yet its own leaders in states like Uttar Pradesh are known to be the biggest exporters of beef. Such is their hypocrisy,” said JD(U) chief spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.
(With inputs from agencies)