Before I begin to give my views on the issue of a 2 day meat ban in Mumbai in lieu of the Paryushan Parv, one of the most revered 10 days fasting festival of Jains let me tell you few things.
- I am a Jain.
- I am a strict vegetarian.
- I follow the 10 days paryushan parv fasting period quite religiously every year.
Having said this, let me tell you, I am not at all delighted with the meat ban in Mumbai. Though this view of mine might not be appreciated by some of the most regressive believers of meat ban, but yet I would not cease to differ.
The religious belief of Jain
No one could ever question my belief when I say that I personally could not ever imagine killing an innocent bird or animal just to satiate my hunger. But yet, if I say that I must impose this thinking on everyone on this globe then, I might be possibly going against the principles of my religion. One of the most imperative principles of Jainism is “Live and let Live.” This principle not just implies that one must refrain from killing someone, but it also implies that one must give the freedom to other to live according to their own will. So if the Mumbai administrators impose a ban stating the Jain festival, it would clearly defy the right of a person to live his life according to his own will, which completely against the basic principles of Jainism.
What is wrong with the ban
- I am still unable to reason why such havoc is being created? Do we force a fellow Jain to fast during the Paryushan Parv? No, because we cannot force anyone to believe or observe a festival without having any will to do so. Then how could be ask a person to stop eating meat when he does not willingly do so? I would follow my religious practices with utmost faith and someone else’s not following it would not hamper my faith.
- Our constitution gives every citizen the right to freedom and it includes the right to choose our own food. It is the sole decision of a person to choose which food he wishes to consume or what religious practices he wishes to follow. No government can deprive a person of this freedom.
- Now let me be bit logical. Just by passing a law that meat would be banned for 2 days could not possibly stop anyone from consuming meat. If a person wants to eat meat then he could easily store it in advance. So, thereby the basic reason behind the ban would fail.
What could have the government done?
Though the government claims to have taken this step to show respect for the Jain community but instead of creating a respect, this step has lead to a feeling of disrespect and angst for the Jain community. If a sect of Jain community came up to the Mumbai administrators to impose a ban on meat during the 10 days festival. Then the administrators could have issued a public notice requesting people to refrain from eating meat, instead of imposing a ban on it.
Neha Jain is a 20 years old writer from Delhi. She strongly believes that religious tolerance is much more necessary than unrealistic bans. If you agree or disagree with her thoughts, then you could comment your views.