Cows are considered sacred by many Hindus in India. However, a Hindu man in New Zealand has made it to headlines for demanding a supermarket to pay for his trip to India for 'cleansing' after he consumed beef erroneously labelled as lamb that they sold.
Jaswinder Paul bought a packaged meat that was labelled lamb roast from a Countdown outlet in Blenheim in September last year. However, after consuming the meat, he realised it was not lamb but beef.
An enraged Jaswinder approached the store that had made the error upon which authorities at Countdown owned up to the mistake, apologised and offered $200 as compensation, New Zealand based news website stuff.co.nz reported.
However, unsatisfied with the compensation, the Jaswinder demanded that the supermarket chain pay for his trip back to India. He insisted that his religion did not permit him to eat beef and that he needed to return to India to perform sacred 'purification' rituals for the next four to six weeks in order to maintain his faith as a devout Hindu.
Jaswinder, who moved to New Zealand 20 years ago and now owns barber shop called 'Headmaster Barbers', told stuff.co.nz that he would have to sell his business in order to afford a ticket home and thus is wants those responsible for the negligence to cough up instead.
Jaswinder approached the Countdown store once again in February this year, only to be told the same thing: a profuse apology and an offer of $200. Jaswinder is now considering taking the matter to court.
New Zealand has no official or state religion. Freedom of religion is protected by the Treaty of Waitangi and according to the latest Census, 42 percent of New Zealanders do not identify with any religion.
Christianity is the dominant religion with 48 percent of the population recognizing themselves with it. among the non-Christian religions that make up 6 percent of the population, Hindus form the largest demographic with two percent population share.
Previously, Hindus in New Zealand had appealed to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to reveal the source of the gelatin used to coat bank notes, which is often sheep or beef. They also urged the institution to resit from the practice.