The rationale behind the ban on sale of meat during the Jain festival of Paryushana is questionable even if the practice is decades old and has been followed by various governments in the past. The purpose of practicing ahimsa is served, but only superficially by sparing the animal on some odd days. As against this bizarre objective, a meat ban means people are denied the choice of food, and the livelihood of those associated with the meat industry is affected. The Maharashtra government’s decision to ban the sale of meat during a Jain festival in the state is similar to Saudi Arabia telling non-Muslims not to eat or drink in public places during Ramazan. Banning a certain food item for the sake of a certain community may lead to other communities asking for similar bans in future. This is a dangerous trend.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)