Opposition wants beef ban at Commonwealth Games
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The main opposition party wants to ban beef from the menu at this year's Commonwealth Games in New Dehli to showcase the country's "cultural values and age-old traditions".
The cow is worshipped in India and and a majority of Hindus do not eat beef. The slaughter of cattle is also banned in several states.
Rajnath Singh, a senior member of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanded the ban in a letter to the organising committee of the Oct. 3-14 Games, the DNA newspaper reported on Thursday.
"Cow is considered sacred in India. This thought has been integral to our cultural ethos for ages," the paper quoted from the former BJP president's letter.
"The Commonwealth Games have become an important event where we should use every possible opportunity to highlight our cultural values and age-old traditions," he said.
"By removing beef from the menu card, the organising committee would not only empathise with the popular sentiment but also save the Games from agitations and other possible controversies."
The Indian capital is preparing to host more than 100,000 foreign visitors for the Games, which are seen as an opportunity to show off the Indian capital as a major global destination.
The organising committee has not committed itself on the matter but the regional ruling body supported the ban, the paper reported.
"Rules for importing such items will be suitably altered for the purpose," Rakesh Mehta, chief secretary of the Delhi government, told the paper.
"If imported, beef will only be for the guests and sportsmen and not for general consumption."
(Writing by Sanjay Rajan; Editing by Nick Mulvenney;
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