Akin to Jizya tax: Union minister demands ban on halal products in Bihar

Akin to Jizya tax: Union minister demands ban on halal products in Bihar

Patna, Nov 23 (PTI) Union minister Giriraj Singh asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday to ban the sale of 'halal-certified' products, calling it a 'jihad' aimed at the 'Islamisation of businesses'.

Singh, who represents the Begusarai constituency in Bihar in the Lok Sabha, also shared on X a copy of a letter he wrote to Kumar on Wednesday, urging him to take a leaf out of the Yogi Adityanath government's book in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

'The sale of halal-certified products is akin to the Jizya tax that was imposed on non-Muslims in the medieval era. Previous governments of the Congress and its allies put up with this because of vote-bank concerns and politics of appeasement,' the Union rural development minister said on Thursday.

'The 'tukde tukde' gang has made it possible for such products to be available in every nook and corner of Bihar. Halal certification involves consecration in the name of the Quran, just like consecration through mantras in Hindu tradition.

'Sanatan Dharma is under attack. Unbridled sale of Halal products will pave the way for Sharia rule,' he said, claiming that this phenomenon is also 'linked to terrorist activities'.

Meanwhile, the ruling Janata Dal (United) in Bihar hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing it of 'hypocrisy' in matters like beef consumption.

'The BJP claims to be the biggest custodian of Sanatan Dharma. Yet its own leaders in states like Uttar Pradesh are known to be the biggest exporters of beef. Such is their hypocrisy,' JD(U) chief spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said.

In his letter to Nitish Kumar dated November 22, Singh said the halal business is 'treason' in a secular democracy like India.

'Things which have no connection with Islam are being Islamised. Some institutions have become self-proclaimed in giving halal certificates and are giving halal certificates to companies manufacturing goods by paying huge sums of money,' he said.

There is a need to impose a ban against the kind of 'jihad' (holy war) going on in the name of halal products even in a big state like Bihar, Singh added.

It has been learnt that the halal trade of many food products and other essential items like edible oil, snacks, dry fruits, sweets, cosmetics, medicines and medical equipment is going on in Bihar, whereas the certification related to such items is only done by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), he pointed out.

The Union minister said in a secular democracy like India, the halal business is 'not only against the Constitution but also treason'.

'According to statistics, the size of business activities related to halal certification all over the world is about 2 trillion dollars and the link of this form of economy with terrorist activities is also coming to light, which needs to be thoroughly investigated,' he added.

Singh said the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has 'taken a strong step and banned the manufacturing, storage, distribution and sale of halal-certified food products with immediate effect'.

'As a citizen of the state of Bihar and the Lok Sabha MP from Begusarai, I urge you to take similar strict steps and action by thoroughly investigating its involvement in socially discriminatory and terrorist activities,' he said.

The Uttar Pradesh government banned the production, storage, distribution and sale of food products with halal certification with immediate effect on Saturday, while exempting products manufactured for export.

In a statement, the Uttar Pradesh government alleged that 'malicious attempts' to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate not only seek 'unfair financial benefits', but also form part of a 'pre-planned strategy to sow class hatred, create divisions in the society and weaken the country' by 'anti-national elements'. PTI AO RC

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