In a recent incident aboard a Vande Bharat Express train, a passenger caused a commotion when he confronted an Indian Railways staff member over the serving of ‘halal-certified’ premix tea.
The incident, which was recorded by the passenger himself, quickly went viral on social media, sparking debates and discussions on religious sentiments and certifications.
The video, which was widely circulated on various platforms on Thursday, captured the moment when the visibly puzzled Railways staff member was questioned about the ‘halal tea’ by the passenger.
The staff member, seemingly unaware of the term, asked for clarification, to which the passenger pointed at the ‘halal-certified’ label on the premix tea sachet that was being served on the train.
The passenger, whose religious identity was not mentioned, expressed his refusal to consume the ‘halal tea,’ citing that it hurt his religious sentiments.
The term ‘halal’ is of Arabic origin and signifies ‘permissible’ according to Islamic dietary laws. Many companies around the world, including food and beverage producers, label their products as ‘halal-certified’ to assure Muslim consumers that the items adhere to Islamic dietary guidelines and do not contain forbidden ingredients.
Despite the Railways staff member’s assurance that the tea was entirely vegetarian and met high hygienic standards, the passenger remained adamant, asserting that he did not want products with religious certifications as they were offensive to his religious beliefs.
The video quickly caught the attention of right-wing groups, who shared it with captions warning Hindus about the presence of ‘halal-certified’ tea packets on trains and flights.