A new zoo is coming up in Jammu and Kashmir, which is expected to become a major tourist attraction in the state. The state has seen tourism being impacted due to recent rise in terrorist incidents, fueled by local terrorists as well as cross-border infiltration.
The zoo, named Jambu Zoo, will have various animals, and one of those will be hogs. But if one journalist is to be believed, having hogs, or pigs, in the zoo will be a bone of contention, since pigs are deemed unclean in Islam.
The journalist named Majid Hyderi claims that pigs in the zoo is bound to spark a fresh controversy in the state, especially in the Kashmir valley.
“Pigs are deemed as unclean animals in Islam and hosting them in a zoo will have political consequences,” the journalist writes.
Apart from giving a religious colour to the upcoming zoo, the journalist goes on to give it a political colour by writing “The state is currently ruled by a coalition of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), which is believed to be extremely unpopular. The introduction of pigs by this government is fraught with risk in a volatile region.”
The journalist, who also writes for mainstream Indian publications like India Today’s DailyO, quotes an anonymous source that claims that the BJP-PDP government sees the pigs as a sign of “good luck”.
“Many fortune tellers close to the corridors of power had advised them to bank on pigs. So it was decided, why not to give this mascot a try when the state is struggling for peace,” an anonymous source is quoted as saying.
It should be noted that consulting fortune tellers is also considered haraam (forbidden) in Islam by many conservative and puritan Muslim groups, and this anonymous quote appears to be an attempt to spark a controversy where there might be none.
There have been no news of any Muslim group protesting against ‘pigs’ yet, though it is true that pigs are considered unclean and to be avoided in Islam. Two years ago, offices of Marathi newspaper Lokmat witnessed angry protests by outraged Muslims, because the paper had printed cartoon of a piggy bank with ISIS seal on it.
Earlier Jammu and Kashmir had seen protests over liquor being sold at Srinagar airport, because liquor is considered haraam in Islam. The move to sell liquor was finally dropped after these protests. Similarly, there have been protests over opening of cinema halls in Kashmir, as many conservative Islamic groups consider moving pictures and music as haraam too.