A day after South Delhi Municipal Corporate (SDMC) reportedly passed a resolution prohibiting shops and restaurants from displaying meat out in the open, Shikha Ray, the Leader of the House, insisted that it has more to do about hygiene, rather than hurting sentiments of vegetarians.
"It is basically from the health point of view. If raw or cooked non-veg food is displayed on the road they get contaminated and cause infections, hence this resolution," Ray told HuffPost India over the phone.
In a resolution moved by Raj Dutt and supported by Nandini Sharma, it was sought that non-vegetarian food should not be displayed out in the open because of "sentimental" and "hygienic" reasons.
Hindustan Times had quoted the resolution as saying, "If restaurant owners are found displaying non-vegetarian items in public, action against them should be taken as per the municipal law."
"It is known in India we tolerate a lot of things about each other. But this is more of a hygiene issue."
When asked about display of vegetarian items in the same manner outside stalls, Ray said, "There has always been a rule against displaying cooked food outside, challans are given to people who do. Now we are adding raw food to that rule."
She said, "World over, you can see, there is nowhere such display of food can be seen."
When asked about the resolution stating that it hurt the sentiments of people, Ray said, "It is known in India we tolerate a lot of things about each other. But this is more of a hygiene issue."
Sharma who supported the resolution passed by Dutt was of the same opinion.
"When non-vegetarian food is displayed it can get contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and e-coli. The major cause of typhoid is contaminated food," Sharma told Huffpost India.
She however said that there was no ban on displaying photographs of non-vegetarian food items or storing them inside the shop.
"It is one of the issues -- for vegetarians to see hanging meat, they don't like it."
Sharma said the issue of hurting sentiments came about while discussing the resolution.
"It is one of the issues -- for vegetarians to see hanging meat, they don't like it," she said.
When asked if it was complaints that prompted them to approve this resolution, she said, "We didn't receive complaints, but it is normal, common conversation. Everyone knows that vegetarians don't like the sight of non-vegetarian food. It is a day to day thing."
The resolution will come up for confirmation in the next session of the House on January 3.