Khursheed Ahmad Malik, a BJP leader from south Kashmir, says he will invite Hindus and Muslims to the party to send a ‘message of religious tolerance’.
In defiance of a J&K High Court order directing the state government to strictly implement the ban on sale of beef, a BJP leader in Kashmir is throwing a “beef party” Sunday. Khursheed Ahmad Malik, a BJP leader from south Kashmir, says he will invite Hindus and Muslims to the party to send a “message of religious tolerance”.
“I have decided to organise a party for both Hindus and Muslims. The Muslims will be served beef and the Hindus an exclusively vegetarian meal,” Malik told The Sunday Express. “This party will send a message of religious tolerance, brotherhood and secularism.”
The BJP leader, who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly elections from Kokernag, said: “Apart from politics, I am a Muslim. I can’t compromise on my religious faith, not at all.” The court direction for implementation of the ban on sale of beef has snowballed into a controversy in Kashmir with Muslim leaders calling it “interference in religion”. The court order came on a PIL filed by Jammu lawyer Parimoksh Seth, now the state’s Deputy Advocate General. There has been a ban on the slaughter of bovines and sale of beef in J&K since the days before Partition. But the ban was never implemented strictly, especially in the Valley. Asked whether his “beef party” had the approval of the BJP, Malik said: “Do I have to ask my partymen whether I should go to a mosque or not? It has nothing to do with my party. I have joined BJP to empower my people, especially Muslims.”
2015 Kashmir Despatch