The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has landed in a controversy that has nothing to do with cricket. The controversy began with some media reports suggesting that the players have been asked to consume meat in only halal form by the Indian cricket Board.
The BCCI has already banned beef and pork in any form in Team India's new diet regime. This comes ahead of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur on Thursday. The media reports have left the cricket fraternity and society divided. While a section of the society feels forcing players to have only halal meat hurts the sentiments of the Hindu community.
Muslims on the other hand only eat halal meat. Media reports suggest BCCI has introduced a new diet plan in order to ensure Team India players remain fit and healthy for the upcoming events.
Halal in Arabic means permissible. Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Holy Koran.
Dhabiha or Islamic form of slaughtering involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.
Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood must be drained from the carcass.
During the process of Dhabiha or halal, a Muslim will recite a dedication, known as Tasmiya or Shahada.
Halal animals also can't be treated with antibiotics or growth hormones. Halal animals must be fed vegetarian diets.
Halal also forbids the consumption of some carcass parts including the testicles and bladder.
In halal procedure animals are NOT stunned with 70 volts of electricity in the brain, leaving them unconscious.
The popular belief goes that in jhatka, not all the blood is drained, leaving the meat tougher and drier.
Halal is considered healthier because after slaughter blood is drained from the animal's arteries.
The draining of blood leads to ejecting most toxins because the heart continues to pump for a few seconds after slaughter.
However, there has been no study done to prove that there is any kind of nutritional differences.
Muslims say that halal meat is more tender and tastes better as the blood in meat can rot and negatively impact the taste.
It also stays fresh longer due to the absence of blood, which restricts bacteria growth, they claim.
Stunning livestock is mandatory in the EU since 1979. Member states can grant exemptions for religious slaughter.
Some countries, including Denmark, have opted to ban non-stunning slaughter altogether.
The UK government says it has no intention of banning religious slaughter.
Jewish law strictly forbids the use of stunning and meats are not blessed in the same way.
Halal is prohibited in Hinduism and Sikhism because of the pain caused to the animal and ritualistic dimension practised.