Soon Muslim clerics in Haryana may have to vouch for a "no-beef menu" at wedding ceremonies. The absence of beef from the menu on such occasions will have to be certified by the clerics without which the "nikah" ceremony may not be solemnised.
A resolution to keep beef off the table was agreed by representatives from various parts of the state including Nuh, Riwari, Palwal, Faridabad, who got together for a Maha Panchayat in Nuh. A cleric who would solemnise a marriage will have to get an assurance from families of both the bride and the groom that the food to be served to guests will not contain beef. It now remains to be seen whether the resolution is followed in letter and spirit.
The move to push through a "no-beef menu" is also seen as a subtle attempt to ensure harmony given that self-styled cow vigilante groups remain on the move to latch on to any input on beef being sold or consumed.
In fact, in Muslim-dominated Mewat, Muslims are turning crusaders for cow protection. The developments unfold to dispel popular belief that most members of the Muslim community are beef eaters and encourage cow slaughter. The lynching of local native Pehlu Khan by the mob in Alwar last year had sent shock waves across the country.
In Haryana beef is banned and consumption of beef invites penal action. Despite the law in place, there have been reports of beef being sold in certain Muslim-dominated areas in the state. Haryana also has a dedicated police cell to check sale and consumption of beef, besides preventing cow smuggling and slaughter.
Last year, the state police cracked down on beef eateries in Mewat region of Haryana. Many of these eateries were shut down. The police collected biryani samples and sent them for testing in laboratories. The results suggested the presence of beef in biryani.