In a nod to religious and dietary sensitivities, the restaurants will be vegetarian. But the fast food giants’ chosen locations are proving controversial regardless.
The first site, Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, is home to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, one of Hinduism’s four holiest shrines and an unlikely haven for the chain that slaughters millions of cows, which are sacred to Indians, every year for its burgers, quarter-pounders and Big Macs.
The second vegetarian restaurant is planned for Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, the centre of the Sikh religion in Punjab. Both form part of the fast food giant’s aim to double its size in one of the world’s fastest growing economies [...]
But the Hindu nationalist group Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a branch of the influential Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said it would oppose McDonald’s plans and described them as an attempt to “humiliate Hindus”.
“It’s an attempt not only to make money but also to deliberately humiliate Hindus. It is an organisation associated with cow slaughter. If we make an announcement that they’re slaughtering cows, people won’t eat there. We are definitely going to fight it” …