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Politics

'Vegetarian nationalism' poses identity crisis for India's Muslims

Temporary meat bans raise longer-term question of what it means to be Indian

People pass closed meat shops in Gurugram, India, in 2018. Recent years have brought a series of temporary meat bans, pushed by right-wing Hindu groups.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- In northern India's Haryana state, Imroz was sitting inside his butcher shop, swatting away flies attempting to land on freshly slaughtered meat. Regional authorities had temporarily banned selling meat from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1 due to a Jain festival. Midway through, a court said meat sellers could still do business, but many opted to stay closed or operate undercover out of fear.

Imroz was keeping his shutter half-open, just in case anyone not observing the festival came looking for some chicken -- potential sales he could not afford to miss.

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