Demand of Pork Ban in Assam
The recently proposed Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, of which Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma is the biggest advocate, has drawn mixed responses from various leaders and people from both Assam as well as the rest of India. The bill which seeks to virtually ban beef in areas within 5 kms from any temple premises of non-beef eating communities, any leaders especially from the minority Muslim community have shown their dissatisfaction over the proposed bill.
In reaction to the proposed bill, Abdul Khaleque, an Assam Congress MP from the Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency, stated a few days ago that the Assam government should also prohibit the sale of pork meat within a 500-meter radius of mosques, similar to the prohibition of the sale and consumption of beef within 500 meters from temple premises. According to the Opposition MP, Lord Bishnu has incarnations such as matsya (fish), kumbha (turtle), and barah (pig), among others. As a result, Khaleque believes the government should implement a pork prohibition.
Several leaders of the ruling party have countered the Congress MP's demand for pork ban. Assam minister Ranjit Kumar Dass said on Sunday that there is no relation between cow and pig since "nobody consumes pig milk." According to the minister, neither Hindus nor Muslims use pig milk, but everyone, regardless of faith, consumes cow milk.
"Cow milk is consumed by everyone, whether he is Hindu, a Muslim, or a Christian. Protection of cow is the need of hour and also the moral responsibility of each and every Indian," stated the former speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly.
"This Cow Protection bill has been brought with the sole objective of making Assam self-reliant in the production of milk and milk products," added the veteran Assam BJP leader.
Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia, the national General Secretary of BJP also earlier countered Congress MP Abdul Khaleque demand to ban the sale and consumption of pork within a 500-meter radius of mosques. Saikia stated that since nobody worships pigs unlike the Hindus who revere the cow as their mother, there is no corelation between the demand for the prohibition of the sale and consumption of pork.
The Congress MP from Barpeta Abdul Khaleque previously went on to say that prohibiting the sale and slaughter of cattle within a five-kilometer radius of Hindu temples will effectively outlaw the selling and consumption of beef in most parts of the state. He further claimed that the new legislation will inadvertently aggravate communal tensions in the state.