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Kutha (Kuttha) meat is defined as "meat of animal or fowl slaughtered slowly", as prescribed by the Halal and Kosher rituals. It has been more broadly defined as "killing an animal with a prayer", or as "a sacrifice to God", or meat prepared through "unnecessary ritualism".
Both the Hindu and the Sikh communities view this method of killing animals negatively and forbid adherents from consuming such meat. Hindu philosophy views Kutha as a means of repression and an inhumane non-Aryan way of killing animals for human consumption.
Kutha and Hinduism
During Mughal rule, Hindus viewed Kutha meat as creating "spiritual weakness among Hindus". Also, according to the anti-Hindu oppressive Mughal law of the time, "Hindus were neither permitted to keep weapons at home nor allowed to cook and eat any form of meat". Hence, many Hindus will not eat Kutha meat. In addition to this, according to the ancient Aryan Vedic tradition, "only such meat as is obtained from an animal which is killed with one stroke of the weapon causing instantaneous death is fit for human consumption".
Kutha and Sikhism
Eating Kutha Meat for a baptised Sikh is considered to be one of the 4 Cardinal Sins. These 4 sins are part of the Sikh Code of Conduct (Rehit Maryada). The undermentioned four transgressions (tabooed practices) must be avoided:
- Dishonouring the hair;
- Eating the meat of an animal slaughtered the Muslim way (Kutha);
- Cohabiting with a person other than one's spouse;
- Using tobacco.
The reason for Sikhs avoiding Kutha "does not lie in religious tenet but in the view that killing an animal with a prayer is not going to ennoble the flesh." Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Sikh Guru) also instructed Sikhs not to eat Kutha meat in order to boycott the Moghul Empire.
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The Sikh Rahit Maryada forbids hair-cutting, adultery, the use of intoxicants, and the eating of kutha meat—that is, Muslim halal or Jewish kosher meat, obtained through the slow bleeding or religious sacrifice of animals.
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