A comment was made on my previous post ( in which I sent my Eid greetings ) asking my view about slaughter of animals in the name of religion
This reminded me of a case I heard in the Allahabad High Court soon after I was appointed a Judge in 1991.
A petition was filed before me by someone claiming to be a representative of Hindus in India, praying for a direction that Muslims should be prohibited from slaughtering buffaloes on the occasion of Bakrid ( Eid-ul-Zuha ).
I asked the counsel for the petitioner why I should pass such an order. He said because buffalo is the 'sawari' ( carriage) of Lord Yamraj ( the god of death, according to Hindus), and therefore killing of buffaloes hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus.
I said that in that case I must also prohibit killing of rats, because a rat is the sawari of Lord Ganesh. There are 33 crore gods among Hindus, each having a sawari. How many such orders will I have to pass ?
I said that if there is a law against killing of some animal I will certainly order enforcement of that law, but I will certainly not pass such orders on sentiments of someone.
There are laws in several states prohibiting killing of cows, and these have certainly to be enforced. There is also the Wildlife Protection Act, and therefore killing of wildlife in India is prohibited. But unless some statute is shown to me I will not prohibit killing of any animal.
On the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha an animal ( usually a goat or a lamb) is slaughtered by Muslims as a sacrifice to God. But many poor Muslims cannot afford to buy a goat, as it has become too expensive. So a rule has been made that if 7 Muslims get together and collectively buy a buffalo and slaughter it, it will have the same spiritual benefit for each of them as sacrifice of a goat by each.
Since there is no law against slaughter of buffaloes i see nothing wrong in it. In fact even some Hindus e.g. Gurkhas slaughter buffaloes as a sacrifice to god, and eat its meat.