New Delhi: Eid-ul-Azha or Bakra Eid 2017 is merely ten days away. At this time of the year there used to be huge enthusiasm among not just the ordinary people preparing to celebrate the festival of sacrifice, but among the animal traders who used to make huge profits. But this year, bakras or lambs are out of sight.
Lamb markets in different parts of Delhi used to be overflowing with goat traders and buyers. People used to bet as to how much the most expensive bakras would cost and there were massive animal markets that sprang at this time of the year.
But amazingly, this year bakra mandis, as these animal markets are called are out of sight in much of Delhi. There used to be multiple bakra mandis in Jama Masjid area, Seelampur, Jaffarabad and in and around Jamia Nagar. Besides, there used to be a large number of people herding their animals throughout the localities trying to sell the sacrificial lambs to people who couldn’t spare time to go and buy the lambs from bakra mandis.
Social activists who seem to be perturbed by it are trying to find out the reason. They claim that there is something fishy about it.
Seelampur, in East Delhi has a huge Muslim population and at this time of the year there used to be a large number of bakra traders flocking to the area and selling the bakras at the mandis that springs up every year in the locality.
Bakra traders used to come in the mandi more than a month before the Eid. But this year, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (East) has put up hoardings saying that selling animals here was illegal. The MCD is controlled by the BJP and this illegal ban is being enforced by the Delhi Police. The MCD is doing it on the pretext of keeping the area clean.
Former MLA and a Congress leader Choudhary Mateen says that he used to organize Bakra Mandi in the area while he was MLA. It was an annual affair and a large number of lamb traders came from across north India to sell their lambs here. He says we are trying to talk to police officials and MCD to make allow the bakra mandis again.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Haji Ishraq Khan says that he is trying to solve the issue and if possible to hold the Bakra Mandi at Tikona Park in New Jaffarabad.
It is needless to say that common Muslims who used to prepare for the festival of sacrifice weeks in advance are a worried lot. They are unsure as to how to procure animals for sacrifice for Eid-ul-Azha.