A complete ban on liquor was imposed in several key towns of Vraja by the Uttar Pradesh State government on Tuesday. The complete ban was imposed in Barsana, Nandgaon, Radha Kund, Baldeo and Gokul.
The Uttar Pradesh government, headed by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, took the decision in a cabinet meeting. The decision was welcomed by Brajwasis and devotees. Shri Deepak Goswami from Bade Dauji Temple said, “It is a welcome step. Meat and wine must be banned in the entire Vraja region. Vraja is a centre of Vaishnavas, who are purely vegetarian and non violent. Killing animals is violence. Bhakti and violence can’t go together.”
“The government must set up an enforcement team to clamp down on the illegal sale of the liquor too. Despite the ban, liquor is being sold illegally in Vrindavan,” said Shri Siddhartha Shukla from the Yamuna Temple. He further added, “Goat farming, pig farming and poultry farming should also be banned in Vraja. People are keeping pigs, chickens and goats in their houses to slaughter to eat the meat.”
A complete ban on liquor was imposed in Vrindavan after the town was declared a pilgrimage site by the Yogi Adityanath government in October 2017. While declaring Vrindavan an official pilgrimage site, the government issued the official statement, “Vrindavan and Barsana of Mathura district, are the childhood places of Lord Krishna and his elder brother Balaram and are world-famous sites. Lakhs of tourists visit these places to pay obeisances. Keeping in mind their importance, and in view of tourism, they are declared as holy pilgrimage places.”
Many illegal meat shops were closed down after the decision. It should be noted that people from Mathura demanded the same declaration for the town of Mathura, which is the actual birthplace of Shri Krishna. However, keeping in mind the mixed population that includes a large number of Muslim people, Mathura has not been declared an official pilgrimage site. The town of Mathura is still getting some benefits from the official recognition as the illegal slaughter houses in Mathura have been closed down.