Mangaldoi MP Dilip Saikia, the national General Secretary of BJP 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 recently proposed Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, of which Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma is the most vocal supporter, has elicited varied reactions from many leaders and citizens from both Assam and the rest of India.
Many leaders, particularly from the minority Muslim community, have expressed their unhappiness with the proposed bill, which intends to virtually ban beef in areas within 5 kilometres of any temple grounds of non-beef eating populations.
In response to the proposed bill, Abdul Khaleque, an Assam Congress MP from the Barpeta Lok Sabha constituency, recently stated that the Assam government should also prohibit the sale of pork meat within a 500-meter radius of mosques, as it does the sale and consumption of beef within 500 metres of temple premises.
"Neither Hindus nor Muslims worship pigs. Gau Mata is our culture and a popular belief. It was linked to religion in ancient times so that the animal could be protected for its enormous usefulness. Preservation and conservation of the cow are the responsibility of every Indian. There is no logic to compare pork with beef. The government has not banned beef. The pig isn't considered divine for any community. The pig isn't considered divine for any community. The analysis of Khaleque is communal," MP Dilip Saikia told media outlet TOI.
The sale of beef would be prohibited in areas dominated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and other non-beef-eating communities, or within a five-kilometer radius of any Hindu temple, satra (Vaishnavite monastery), or other religious institutions, or any other institution, under the Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, proposed by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
In an interview with Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, the Assam CM further claimed that even in regions where Muslims outnumber Hindus, the sale and eating of beef will be forbidden in order to respect the Hindu community's religious sensibilities, which regard the cow as their mother. Beef sales and eating will be authorised only in regions dominated entirely by Muslims. When Arnab Goswami asked about the restriction of pork in order to protect Muslims' religious sensibilities, the CM replied that if a similar petition for the prohibition of pork is submitted in the future, he will examine the matter.