McDonald’s fast-food chain in India seems to have landed itself in trouble. In August 2019, The global fast-food chain network, McDonald’s, had admitted to discriminating against non-Muslims as part of their business model in India. All their restaurants are Halal certified. As we have reported earlier, Halal is the Islamic method of slaughter which cannot be carried out by non-Muslims.
Owing to this admission, social worker, one Harish Sharma had filed a legal notice to McDonald’s India through advocate Ishkaran Bhandari. The legal notice was sent to McDonald’s India, Mr Amit Jatia (Joint Venture partner and McDonald’s India’s Managing Director) and Mr Vikram Bakshi (Joint Venture partner and McDonald’s India’s Managing Director).
The notice refers to the statement made by McDonald’s India in August where it asserted that all the meat used by them is Halal meat. The notice seeks clarification from the food chain about their policy with regards to Jhatka meat which is more humane and also, is slaughtered and consumed mostly by Hindus and Sikhs as opposed to Halal meat, which is, by Sharia, slaughtered only by Muslims. Since Halal guidelines mandate that only Muslims are involved in the entire slaughtering and packaging process, the notice also says that McDonald’s is discriminating against other religions who are involved in the business and denying them the equal opportunity to earn.
The notice further says that the tweet makes it evident that the food chain serves only Halal meat and not Jhatka or Kosher meat, and hence, choosing to serve only a specific kind of meat amounts to social, racial and religious discrimination and violates basic fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution. Further, it says that certain sects are barred from eating Halal meat since the process of slaughter is extremely painful for the animals and hence, by serving only Halal meat, McDonald’s is hurting the religious sentiments of such groups.
The legal notice also includes statements by McDonald’s UK and Canada that specifically say that their eateries do not serve Halal meat and have no plans of introducing the same any time soon.
As explained on our website, none of our food is certified as Halal, and McDonald’s U.K. has no current plans to introduce Halal food to the menu at any McDonald’s restaurant. Thanks.
— McDonald’s UK (@McDonaldsUK) August 26, 2019
McDonald’s Canada has too reiterated several times that they do not use Halal meat and not certified to that extent.
The notice had demanded a response from the food chain within 15 days. McDonald’s has now responded to the legal notice denying all charges but also asking for more time to respond to the legal notice in details.
While the time asked by McDonald’s is now coming to an end, Advocate Bhandari says that he is preparing to send a reminder notice to the food chain.
The practice of buying Halal meat exclusively by McDonald’s could also invite charges under the SC/ST Act, OpIndia has learnt from Ishkaran Bhandari. This, since Jhatka meat, is mostly slaughtered and processed by members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.