Mumbai is in the grip of a massive debate- Bans are all people can talk about. But amid all the furore, no one, not even the BJP clarified in their defence that they were merely following a ban that the Congress had first put into place. Beef though was never banned in their time! Deepthy Menon tried her hand at writing a letter on behalf of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra- a letter that explains his duvidha - or pain at being painted the man at the helm of a government that has a pro-ban image. All in good jest! After all, this meat ban to appease a population is nothing short of farcical now, is it?
My dear people of Mumbai,
What is this rada that you are currently creating about a 'meat ban' across Mumbai and Meera-Bhayandar area for a few days? I am writing this open letter to clarify. In this age of social media it is easy to outrage at everything. I read snide comments that you pass. But even in the sarcasm lies the truth - look at Ms. Bachi Karkaria's tweet - Mumbai's Meat Ban - They fast, we furious. In this holy time of Paryushan, when the Jains observe 'ten days of forgiveness', all they are asking you is to forgive the goats and sheep you were planning to butcher. Let them live too. The Jains are seeking forgiveness on their behalf. Such a noble sentiment and you furiously protest?
I remember when I was growing up, whenever my mother used to tell me not to do something, I would only want to do that. When my aai told me that I cannot have puranpoli because I am putting on weight, all I wanted to eat was poli for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You, my spoilt people of Mumbai (other than the Jains of course!) are behaving like that. Its only for a few days that you will not get your mutton. Unlike gau mata, bakra-bakri can be eaten. So please don't call it a ban. Ban is when we say you can never ever ever do something. This morning, when I spoke to my spokesperson, Shaina, I told her to vehemently object this dirty business of calling a temporary halt by that dirty word 'ban'. What ban-ban is this? Shaina, if you are reading this, you did a wonderful job of defining how what we do cannot be called a ban.
On a side note, don't you realise your local butcher is human too? Your local butcher also needs holiday na? Have you ever wondered if he gets any chutti? Every day you go to him for some meat or the other. Those who want can take chutti. Before you say, he doesn't want chutti, no one will arrest him for selling chicken. I have ensured that chicken is freely available. Fish too. The local koli samaj told me that there is a misconception that fish also cannot be sold. Let me tell you that is wrong. Now you understand why it is not a ban-ban?
My in-laws are doctors. They are worried about my health. They always tell me that red meat is bad for health. I consider you my extended family. I'm concerned about your health too. Let's join together for a healthier Mumbai. Let's eat only white or lean meat. And what better time than these holy days of Paryushan to try out a healthier alternative? Also please don't abuse vegetarians or their demand for a meat-free environment. Abuse and anger increase the toxins in your system. Think of the kind of health issues that you can have.
Some MLAs have been calling my office non-stop asking me why after I have given an affidavit explaining there is no ban, the BMC has allowed it. Arre baba, I didn't lie. Well, it is true I didn't tell you that my lawyer friends in the BJP had told me that if municipal corporations feel something is good for their area, they can do it. Meera-Bhayander led the way, BMC felt it is a great initiative to support. Simple funda hai re.
Your protests have given Mumbai such a bad name. People tell me, in my rule, it is now transformed from Bambai to Ban-bai. I have enough trouble makers to handle. Even Shiv Sena is making noise. Please don't increase my trouble. Let's all do it for the overall health of Mumbai. Sarva dharma maitri is our goal.
The Jains are a very very nice community. You all always talk about respecting each others ways. Why don't you follow the Jain way for once? Join them in celebrating Paryushan. They will feel happy enough and perhaps teach you a trick or two about how to mint money, like they do? And if you are really nice, maybe share some of their money with you too like they are with us??
Soch lo, pyar do, pyar lo.
Your humble chief minister,