New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar courted controversy with his statement that the Muslim community needs to give up consuming beef in order to continue living in India, since the cow is an 'article of faith' for the majority here.
"They can be Muslim even after they stop eating beef, can't they? It is written nowhere that Muslims have to eat beef, nor is it written anywhere in Christianity that they have to eat beef," Khattar said in an interview to a leading National daily.
Khattar further said that the Bhagvad Gita and Saraswati are articles of faith in the Hindu-majority country and that the minorities must not violate their religious beliefs.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
Branding the Dadri lynching case as an incident of 'misunderstanding', Khattar said that 'both sides' had committed wrongs.
"The victim made a comment about the cow hurting sentiments of people. I say that attacking and killing the person was also wrong. Those who were responsible for it could be prosecuted under several sections of the law," he said.
The 61-year-old leader added that 'democracy has freedoms, but those freedoms have limitation. Eating beef hurts the sentiments of another community, even constitutionally one cannot do this'.
"The Constitution says you cannot do something that offends me, I cannot do something that offends you," Khattar said.