22 Apr 2012
I always lamented the lack of respect for pluralism in Saudi Arabia. The fact that they do not allow any temples in Mecca as Islam forbids idol worship, always embarrassed me while questioning pluralism of other communities.
But we see many other instances of this intolerance and hegemony. For instance the Jains demand and get away with shutting down all the slaughter houses of Ahmedabad during their Paryushan festivities. That is a real tough period for non-vegetarians.
Now they have gone one step ahead: in Gujarat’s Palitana town, famous for a well-known Jain temple, Jains have got the BJP ruled Municipality to ban the sale of eggs and all non-vegetarian foodstuff for good. And we learn, too, that Haridwar already does so!
Saudi Arabia doesn’t keep anyone in doubt as to its credentials: an Islamic theocracy. But Indian constitution declares it a secular state. I cannot imagine how then such a ban is tenable at law.
I invite enlightened debate on this from all concerned.