‘Can anybody stop me from eating beef?’ Rijiju
Days after Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that those who want to eat beef can go to Pakistan, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju slammed the statement and said that his colleague's statement was not "palatable".
Rijiju was visiting Aizawl on Tuesday when a Zee News report quoted him as saying, "I eat beef, I'm from Arunachal Pradesh, can somebody stop me? So let us not be touchy about somebody's practices. This is a democratic country. Sometimes, some statements are made which are not palatable."
Addressing a press conference in Aizawl, Rijiju said that while states having Hindu majority could enact legislation banning cow slaughter, it could not be imposed on north eastern states where a majority of people eat beef.
"If Maharashtra is Hindu majority, or if Gujarat is Hindu majority, Madhya Pradesh is Hindu majority, if they are to make laws which are conducive to the Hindu faith, let them be. But in our place, in our state where we are majority, where we feel whatever steps we take, you know, laws which are conducive to our beliefs, it should be. So they also should not have a problem with the way we live, and we also should not have a problem with the way they live," Indian Express quoted the minister as saying.
Rijiju also said that Naqvi was exercising his freedom of speech and expression.
Naqvi had last week controversially said "those who cannot survive without eating beef, should go to Pakistan."
Speaking to India Today Group consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai, Naqvi had said, "If a certain section is dying because they can't sell or eat beef then this is not the country for them. Let them go to Pakistan or an Arab nation."
On being asked to clarify if he's asking people who trade and eat beef all over the country, specially in North East states, Goa and Kerala to leave the country, Naqvi said: "I am just saying that beef will not be allowed in this country if you can't live without it."
Naqvi later defended his statement though saying that millions should not be offended over someone's eating choice.
"This is not a matter of controversy. If one talks about cows, definitely crores of people revere it, they worship it…How can one think that when such a large section has faith for cow and worships it, you expect to cut it in front of them and a legal suit is given to it…one has to think about this issue," Naqvi said.