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Jains and meat-eating apology and clarification

A report written by Danish A Khan was published in The Milli Gazette (16-31 August 2002). It claimed that even Lord Mahavira ate meat. This was based on research available in print as well as on the Internet. We received a very long rejoinder from Mr. Bal Patil, member of the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission (MSMC), refuting the claim made in the MG article. We asked him to provide us a shorter rejoinder which he failed to provide us in time for our next issue, so we promptly published a reasonable summary of that long rejoinder in the previous issue.

On March 10 we received a letter dated "4th January 2003" (sic) stating that the MSMC has unanimously adopted the following resolution in its meeting dated 26th February 2003: "The Commission condemns and takes a strong exception to the tendentious, false and highly derogatory comments made by Shri. Danish A. Khan in his article "Nationwide ban on cow slaughter mooted" published in the Milli Gazette dated 22nd February 2003 stating that Bhagwan Mahavira ate meat which is injurious to basic religious faith of the Jain and Buddhist communities. The Commission calls upon the editor of Milli Gazette and the writer Shri. Danish A. Khan to tender an unqualified apology and publish it prominently in the Milli Gazette" Signed/- M. A. Khandwani, Chairman, Maharashtra State Minorities Commission, and forwarded to us by Ms. K. S. Syed, Officer on Special Duty, Maharashtra State Minorities Commission.

We tender unconditional apology to our Jain brothers and sisters whose sentiments have been hurt. However, to put the matter in perspective to show that we did not fabricate this claim. The claim is based on research available in both print and on the Internet, especially the recent research of Delhi University professor DN Jha "Paradox of the Indian Cow: Attitudes to Beef Eating in Early India" (
) or his book Holy Cow Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions and his interview in The Week (August 26, 2001) where he replied to a question, "When you try to establish that the Buddha or Mahavira ate beef, you are hurting sentiments? They should read the book and try to produce counter evidence. That is how you react to an academic work. Not by burning it. This means you are trying to control academic research. They will have to ban many things including the Vedas. Ban P. V. Kane's History of Dharma Sastras. Ban all the dharma sastra texts where there are references to beef-eating"



(1-15 April 2003)

See also:

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter mooted 
Lord Mahavira was not a meat-eater
Mr Bal Patil's rejoinder

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