Foreign Visitors Can Eat Beef in Their own Country: Tourism Minister KJ Alphons

Tourism Minister KJ Alphons takes a U-turn on the issue of beef ban in India.


KJ Alphons, who recently took over as the Minister of State for Tourism and IT, cannot seem to make up his mind over the beef ban in the country. He has now said that foreigners in India can eat beef before they land in the country.

“They (tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here,” Alphons said when he was asked by a reporter whether the ban on beef would affect tourism in the country. He was talking to the media after speaking at a convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar. The BJP minister added, “I am not the food minister to decide on it (beef consumption),” according to ANI.

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The minister also spoke about ancient civilization of India. “We have to love our history and our country. We have to tell them…look here, this is a beautiful country,” he said at the convention.

Alphons’ comments on beef consumption have come soon after he reassured people that in states like Kerala and Goa, citizens will continue to consume beef. Earlier this week, he said that the BJP does not mandate that beef cannot be eaten. “We don’t dictate food habits in any place. It is for the people to decide,” he said.

Alphons, a retired civil servant, is the second BJP minister from Kerala, after O. Rajagopal.

Beef Ban in India

The Centre banned the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets in May this year. The new rule requires cattle traders to give an undertaking that the animals are only being sold for agricultural purposes only. It allows only farmland owners to trade at animal markets.

The decision came under fire from various sections of the society in India and abroad. It also sparked many incidents of lynching based on allegations of cattle slaughter and beef sale at many places in the country.

Other politicians in the Narendra Modi-led government have entered controversies earlier with their remarks over the issue. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Union minister for minority affairs, had said earlier that those who eat beef should go to Pakistan.

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