No fresh meat for Id, as festivals converge

No fresh meat for Id,  as festivals converge

But they have escaped with their lives at least for a day or two, for slaughtering animals at the Tannery Road abattoir was stopped by 9 am on Friday, long before the BBMP-imposed meatless day on Ganesh Chaturthi comes into effect on Saturday.

Nearby, butcher Abid Chaand, his shins caked in dried blood, prepared to wash the gory remains before he broke his fast and said his prayers, a day ahead of Id-ul-Fitr for which he would carry home some meat Friday evening. On Saturday, the meat hooks at the abattoir would be there, but there would be no piteous bleating of lambs and no halal carcasses.

All across Karnataka, meat will not be available for a nine-lakh-plus community which will celebrate Id by cooking a feast to mark the end of a month of abstinence. Id is usually celebrated by Muslims with almost a surreal mix of piety during the day and partying at night.

And yet, the day-long ban on slaughter of animals and sale of meat, eating which is not integral to Id-al-Fitr as Juma Masjid imam Maulana Riyaz-ur-Rehman said in Mumbai, where Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with lot more pomp and fervour than here, Mumbaikars would be able to purchase their choice cuts on Saturday.

Cutting across community lines, Bangaloreans stocked up on meat on Friday with long queues outside butcher shops in various parts of the City, a testimony to the Id-eve frenzy since the State Government ordained that meat will not be sold on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Mayor S K Nataraj said “it is quite unfortunate that meat will not be available” and that “nothing can be done now”. Howver, he was quick to point out that “we banned meat sale keeping in mind the religious customs of those who would observe Ganesh Chaturthi”.

It is a rare occasion that the two festivals, important for both communities, have coincided this year. If the sliver-like crescent moon was sighted Thursday, Id would have been celebrated on Friday.

Community leaders like Riyaz-ur-Rehman said despite the ban, Id festivities would not be dampened since “eating meat on Id is not compulsory”. But Rehman’s tone betrayed his disappointment, when he said that BBMP should have consulted his community since “this City belongs to everyone”.

The BBMP’s decision would most certainly affect business since meat merchants did not get adequate time to stock up, said Bangalore Beef Merchants’ Charitable Trust president Khatim Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi.

After Friday prayers, residents of Frazer Town, Shivajinagar and other areas made a beeline for butcher shops since there was a sudden increase in demand after the decision was announced.

There are attendant problems as well, for some said they would have preferred fresh meat rather than refrigerated before it is cooked. “We respect the traditions of other communities but the government should have allowed meat sale till about noon. Such a gesture would have brought in the right balance between Id and Ganesh Chaturthi,” said Frazer Town resident Abdul Majid.

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