aljazeera.com
News|Food
Indian city to remove non-vegetarian food stalls from main roads
Authorities in Ahmedabad order removal of non-vegetarian food stalls from main roads – the fourth city in Gujarat state to do so in recent days.
Mohammad Rafiq, centre, sells egg 'bhajias' (fried eggs wrapped with potato and chickpea batter) in Ahmedabad [File: Sam Panthaky/AFP]
16 Nov 2021
New Delhi, India – Authorities in Ahmedabad have ordered the removal of non-vegetarian food stalls from its main roads – the fourth city in the western Indian state of Gujarat to do so in recent days.
In an order on Monday, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation said it will remove stalls selling non-vegetarian food items from the city’s main roads as well as within the 100-metre (330 feet) radius of schools, colleges and religious places.
Devang Dani, chairman of the corporation’s town planning committee, told news agency ANI that the execution of the order will start on Tuesday.
The restriction came days after municipal corporations in Gujarat’s Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Vadodara cities, led by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), took similar measures.
Shoppers throng a market area between Teen Darwaza and Bhadrakali Temple ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in Ahmedabad [Sam Panthaky/AFP]
Gujarat, one of the wealthiest states of India, is the home state of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who served as its chief minister for nearly 13 years before he won the national elections in 2014.
The civic administration in Vadodara and Rajkot even ordered the shopkeepers and hawkers to cover non-vegetarian food, including eggs, saying it could “hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus”.
It also stated that smoke emanating from such places could cause public health hazards.
“The practice of displaying meat, fish, and eggs at stalls might have continued for several years but it was time to end it,” Vadodara Municipal Corporation standing committee’s chairman Hitendra Patel was quoted as saying, according to local media reports.
Gujarat’s current Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Monday said the prohibition was not a “question of vegetarian and non-vegetarian” food items.
“People are free to eat whatever they want. But the food being sold at stalls should not be harmful and the stalls should not obstruct traffic flow,” he told reporters.
BJP spokesman in Gujarat, Yamal Vyas, claimed the decisions have been taken by the respective municipal offices and not his party.
“It’s not the BJP’s decision. It’s a decision by the respective municipal corporation … Party as a whole has not taken any stand on this issue,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Only thing is that all these stalls should not be a hindrance to the traffic … BJP does not object to non-vegetarian food per se. We object to food which is not very hygienic.”
The opposition Congress party said the BJP wants to “divert the attention of people” from the main issues, including unemployment and price rise.
“BJP has failed on the promises it made to people – be it employment or clean water. The main agenda of the BJP is to create polarisation by raising such non-issues,” Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi told Al Jazeera.
Doshi said the ban on non-vegetarian food stalls in Gujarat’s cities was an “election gimmick” by the BJP to further deepen the religious divide in the state.
“It should be left to an individual what he wants to eat, drink and wear. It’s a personal choice and the government should not impose that on people. This [ban on non-vegetarian stall] is an election gimmick of the BJP,” Doshi said.
“It is very dangerous for our democracy.”
Assembly elections in Gujarat, a BJP-governed state for more than 25 straight years, are due next year.
Non-vegetarian eateries, especially in BJP-governed states, have been facing increasing pressure from the party and Hindu supremacist groups affiliated to it.
Shamshad Pathan, a politician belonging to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in Gujarat, told Al Jazeera the decision will hurt the poor and called it a part of the BJP’s “hidden agenda” to benefit multinational companies.
“A majority of vendors in Gujarat who sell non-vegetarian food are either Muslims, Dalits or Adivasis [Indigenous]. This is to target them and benefit the big corporations,” Pathan said.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA
RELATED
In­dia’s Hin­du hard­lin­ers at­tack Mus­lim ex-for­eign min­is­ter’s home
Salman Khur­shid pub­lished a book last month in which he com­pared Hin­du na­tion­al­ists to ‘ex­trem­ist groups’ such as ISIL.
16 Nov 2021
In­dia jour­nal­ists ac­cused of pub­lish­ing ‘false news’ grant­ed bail
Jour­nal­ists Sam­rid­di Saku­nia and Swar­na Jha were ar­rest­ed for re­port­ing on anti-Mus­lim vi­o­lence in Tripu­ra state.
15 Nov 2021
In­dia opens to ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed for­eign tourists
This is the first time since March 2020 that In­dia has al­lowed for­eign tourists on com­mer­cial flights to en­ter coun­try.
15 Nov 2021
How In­dia, Pak­istan fans lit up the T20 World Cup fi­nal
De­spite the Asian gi­ants not qual­i­fy­ing for the fi­nal, neu­tral fans turned up to watch Aus­tralia lift the tro­phy.
15 Nov 2021
MORE FROM NEWS
UN chief calls on Taliban to uphold women’s rights
Prepare for liftoff: Fed signals rate hike could happen ‘soon’
US Supreme Court Justice Breyer to retire, giving Biden a pick
Qatar’s foreign minister set to visit Iran to meet top officials
MOST READ
US offers Russia ‘serious diplomatic path’ over Ukraine
A simple guide to the Ukraine-Russia crisis: 5 things to know
Infographic: Military capabilities of Russia and Ukraine
In Afghanistan, Taliban diktat sparks debate about women’s attire
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2022 Al Jazeera Media Network
 
You rely on Al Jazeera for truth and transparency
We understand that your online privacy is very important and consenting to our collection of some personal information takes great trust. We ask for this consent because it allows Al Jazeera to provide an experience that truly gives a voice to the voiceless. You have the option to decline the cookies we automatically place on your browser but allowing Al Jazeera and our trusted partners to use cookies or similar technologies helps us improve our content and offerings to you. You can change your privacy preferences at any time by selecting ‘Cookie preferences’ at the bottom of your screen.To learn more, please view our Cookie Policy.