Chandigarh: In a statement which is likely to create fresh controversy, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has said that Muslims can live in India if they give up eating beef. He has also said that both sides committed mistakes in Dadri.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Khattar who has been associated with RSS for close to four decades said that ‘the cow is an article of faith’ in India. Along with cow, he also added Gita and Saraswati as matter of faith for Indians.
Khattar was asked about the unfortunate Dadri incident, where Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death by a group of men over suspicion of cooking beef at home. Haryana CM while calling the incident ‘wrong’ and said that it was due to misunderstanding. According to him, both sides made mistakes in the incident and virtually blamed Akhlaq. Khattar claims that the victim made a loose comment about cows which incited the mob, who subsequently attacked him.
According to IE report, Khattar tried to give a rationale for the lynch mobbing and said that the incident was like that of seeing your close family member getting hurt or attacked, where you lose your sense of balance and anger gets the better of you.
According to Haryana CM, democracy has its limitation and freedom of expression doesn’t mean one can hurt sentiments of other people. He was quoted as saying, “Eating beef hurts the sentiments of another community, even constitutionally you cannot do this. The Constitution says you cannot do something that offends me, I cannot do something that offends you.” The Haryana CM said that Muslims can retain their faith even if they stop eating beef. He said that nowhere is it written that Muslims or Christians have to eat beef.
According to the report, Khattar considers steps taken by the government to ban cow slaughter as one of his achievements.