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Sibal’s wife changes meat unit’s name after Jains protest

romila Sibal, wife of Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal, had to change the name of an abattoir she owns after the Jain community took exception to the name of her company — Arihant Exports. Arihant means elimination of "internal enemies" and is about non-violence.

According to Sanjay Jain, the president of Vishwa Jan Sangathan, a religious body of the community, Arihant is a word most revered and respected by Jains. "Associating this name with a slaughterhouse where innocent animals are killed hurts our religious feelings, because of which we decided to act," he said.

Sanjay Jain registered a protest with Promila Sibal in April, asking her to change the name of the abattoir. "I first collected enough evidence to prove how the word 'Arihant' is important to Jains. Later, armed with sufficient historical and documentary proof, I wrote to Mrs Sibal."

However, the organisation did not receive any response from the lady. So four months later they threatened to take her to court. "We sent a final notice in September, warning them of legal action and protests, which induced them to finally change the name," a person familiar with the issue stated.

Promila Sibal finally responded on 13 September. According to her, this issue "was a campaign that was being carried out against her by motivated people due to very obvious reasons". She further stated that she was not aware of the "issue" as she does not attend office.

As per her letter, when she was made aware of the matter, she convened a board meeting and everybody was in favour of changing the name, so the name was changed to Arshiya from Arihant on 8 August.

"Even though they finally decided to change the name, it took months of follow-up from us. It is hard to believe that despite being a staunch Hindu she was not aware of the meaning of the name and the fact that it will hurt our feelings," said a member of the body.The abattoir, located in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, is a government approved meat processing plant.

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