Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You cannot grow hops in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hops are the female flower cones, also known as strobiles, of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus). They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine

It seems that you cannot cultivate Hops in Jammu and Kashmir because it hurts he religious sentiments of the people. Now you would be wondering how can growing a plant affect the Religious sentiments?

The story goes something like this. Kingfisher used to grow hops in Shilvat in 1973 but the facility was destroyed at the start of insurgency. for the unaware, Hops are used to balance the sweetness of the malt with bitterness. The more hops added, the bitter the beer. Now buoyed by the new secular and democratic government at helm, Kingfisher proposed to to resume growing hops immediately triggered protests from separatists.

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din said Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state and nothing that goes against the religion of the majority would be tolerated. He said

“He (Mallya) should desist from going ahead with the project as it will hurt the sentiments of people. We will start peaceful protests against such deals,”

Hardline women’s leader Aisiya Andrabi, who heads the Dukhtaran-e-Milat, slammed Mallya’s proposal and said her group would start a campaign against the government, which she blamed for supporting the move. she said.

“Liquor sale or consumption is against our ethics and morals and I am sure this proposal has the blessings of the government,” 

In the end Vijay Mallya’s Kashmir Hops dream has crash-landed, with chief minister Omar Abdullah ruling today that the liquor baron can’t grow hops in the state.

Secularism indeed.....



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