Days after an Indian minister said that those who want to eat beef can move to Pakistan, India’s Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju lashed out at his colleague, sayingthat he eats beef and ‘nobody can stop him from doing so’.
“I eat beef. I’m from Arunachal Pradesh, can somebody stop me? So let us not be touchy about somebody’s practices,” Rijiju said.
“This is a democratic country. Sometimes, some statements are made which are not palatable,” the minister said as he lashed out at Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
“If a Mizo Christian says that this is the land of Jesus, why should someone have a problem in Punjab or Haryana? We have to honour the sentiments of each place and each location,” he said.
“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.” Rijuju went on to say.
“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,” he added.
“This country is a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-communal country. We must respect each other’s practices. There cannot be any force on anybody about your practices, your faith. So if anybody makes a statement which is forcing or imposing your belief, your faith, your practices on another community, another believer, it is not good,” Rijiju said.
Earlier last week, Indian Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, stood firmly in support of the ban on cow slaughter in India, saying those who wish to eat beef should go to Pakistan.
“It is not about loss or profit … it is an issue of faith and belief. It is a sensitive issue for the Hindus,” Naqvi said at “Manthan” conclave organised by TV channel Aaj Tak.
“Those who are dying without eating beef can go to Pakistan or Arab countries or any other part of world where it is available,” he said.
This article originally appeared in The Indian Express.