This article originally appeared on VICE India.
When it comes to McDonald’s in India, It looks like not everyone is lovin’ it. Just a few weeks after food delivery app Zomato faced flak for distinguishing some restaurants with a ‘halal’ meat tag, McDonald’s is the next company to spark the ire of right-wing Hindus after it declared in a tweet that all its meat are halal certified.
Once other users on Twitter got a whiff of what was going on, the angry replies came charging, with many upset that Ol’ McDonald’s slaughters its animals the halal way, or as prescribed by Islamic law, wherein an animal is killed by first cutting through its jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe.
Now, while most people out here are fighting against eating meat entirely or advocating for a humane way of slaughtering animals, others, specifically a section of right-wing Hindu extremists on Twitter, are more worried that their go-to burger joint is catering to the minority religion.
It’s ironic enough that the global chain best known for its hamburger is restricted to only chicken and fish options in India, but now people are pissed off that even the meat they get is being cut according to the Muslim norm. That’s why, #BoycottMcdonald’s has been trending on Twitter, with many saying they won’t eat until the restaurant uses the ‘jhatka’ method to instantly kill the animal with a single strike.
While some say McDonald’s is ignoring Hindu sensibilities, others support their argument by saying that such methods are more painful for the animals involved.
Meanwhile, activists point out that this is possibly being used as an opportunity for right-wing Hindus to silently attack the Muslim faith. "It is an absolutely Islamophobic atmosphere which is existing in India now and each and every occasion is used by right-wing Hindus to attack Muslims," Shabnam Hashmi, an activist based in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera.
Even as right-wing groups are vowing to protest and call for a total boycott, a lot of people also kind of don’t care. "As a non-Muslim, I do not care where my chicken is coming from. I am more concerned about the processing it goes through, the packaging, the amount of nutrition and carcinogens it contains," points out New Delhi-based researcher Sushmita. "This everyday pitting of one community against another, in matters that were private earlier, or didn't concern a larger public, is a slow and steady way to try to instil hatred in the very fabric of the society and keep a community always on the edge, so that they feel less and less safe.”
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