After pressure from the Hindu Aikya Vedi (Hindu United Front) organisation, a bakery named ‘Mody’ in Kerala’s Ernakulam district has been forced to remove a sign that said ‘halal’ food was available in the shop.
In the notice that was sent to the shop on December 28 and signed by the organisation’s Parakkadavu unit president Arun Aravind and secretary Dhanesh Prabhakaran, they alleged that this was a display of discrimination of food based on religion and was equivalent to untouchability and therefore, criminal. The notice has since been circulating widely on social media.
The incident followed after the unit president Aravind and a few others dropped by the shop for snacks and insisted on ‘non-halal’ food but the shopkeepers said that only halal food was available.
Aravind later told The Hindu, “The panchayat does not have enough members of the community to warrant publicising of ‘halal’ food. Those who need it will ask and there is no need for such a notification.”
The notice also served an ultimatum saying that the ‘halal’ sign needs to be removed within seven days otherwise the organisation was prepared to hold protests and boycott the bakery.
The bakery had immediately removed the sign after receiving the notice.
Parakkadavu block’s new panchayath president, T. V. Pratheesh of the LDF said he was unaware of the incident. He added that such demands as removing halal signage was unacceptable and the matter will be looked into.