London: Hindu groups in the United Kingdom have joined hands with British vegetarians to protest against the new five-pound notes as it contains traces of animal fat in the form of beef tallow.
Tallow is a rendered byproduct of animal fat, in this case beef, which finds use (not much these days) in making, candles, soaps and a host of other things.
Leading the agitation against the new notes are a number of temples Hindu temples like the Bhativedanta Manor. Located in Hertfordshire, southern England, the Manor is one of UK's largest Hare Krishna temples.
The temple management posted a photo of a sign to Facebook which said: "We no longer accept the new five pound notes as they contain animal fat. Apologies for the inconvenience".
The National Council of Hindu Temples said in a statement that the new note "ceases to be a simple medium of exchange but becomes a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it".
While it is unclear exactly how many temples have imposed a clear, the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), an umbrella body of Hindu organisations, had issued a statement over the weekend saying they were urging people to sign a petition to withdraw the notes and avoid its use in donations.
Tarang Shelat, president of the Hindu Council of Birmingham - which is part of HFB, said: "It is important that we do make our views known in the strongest terms to the relevant authorities".
Through ignorance they may not be aware of offence it is causing us as Hindus.
"It is also important to mention that in our place of worship, animal based products are strictly forbidden and this would have a drastic effect on our collection boxes as 5 pound will not be allowed as donation," the petition titled 'Remove Tallow from bank notes' had clocked nearly 130,000 signatures.
It will be delivered to the Bank of England when it hits 150,000.
It reads: "The new 5 pound notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans & vegetarians in the UK. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use".
With PTI inputs