On 15th April, Sunday evening, some students (and few professors) at Osmania University in Hyderabad organised a beef festival at their campus where they prepared and served variety of beef based dishes. This was to highlight their demand for including beef in their hostel menu just as chicken or any other non veg or veg food item. Surprisingly this demand was not made by Muslim students (as expected) but by Dalit and left wing students along with some foreign ones. The beef festival was organised by them as an expression of their cultural identity or constitutional right.
Apart from the shudders of disbelief from this idea of a Beef fest in India, nothing looks wrong in it, does it? Just a bunch of students in a democratic country demanding for a food item to be included in their hostel’s menu peacefully in a creative manner. But No, some religious fanatics from a right wing group named Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which also happens to be the student wing of staunch non secular political party BJP (not surprising) opposed it and clashed with the organisers leading to injury of five students, stabbing of one and burning of vehicles including one van of a news channel (hence proved ABVP is related to BJP looking at it’s non secular and violent ways).
Now the matter of concern here is the way ABVP students retaliated. Agreed Beef is a sensitive issue for most of the Hindus for they consider cows as holy and are against its slaughter but this doesn’t mean that these people can go on creating riots and prevent others from eating it. And who the heck are these ABVP kids? Are they representatives of Hindus? If they believe so then who gave them the responsibility for it? It’s groups like this ABVP, RSS and BJP that create communal disharmony in India. India is (still) a democratic country and they have no right to interfere in others’ matter and tell them what to eat and what not to eat. These people who don’t eat beef think it is their right to prevent others from eating it but it doesn’t work that way. ABVP activists have every right to not eat beef, like beef eaters have every right to carry on eating beef, but a violent protest in this regard is stupid.
In Kerala almost all Hindus eat beef and as far as I know, unlike in Islam (for pork), no Hindu religious text states that beef is forbidden, it’s just that Hindus consider cow as holy hence they avoid eating it.
I’m sure, a pork fest in India won’t turn into a scandal as big as the one (thanks to these right wing extremists) at Osmania University! In fact currently in Assam, as a part of Bihu festival they are consuming pork in large amounts but no one’s (rightly) opposing it. Muslims have never rioted over the fact that Hindus eat pork or not serve halal meat but then this beef festival inciting riot clearly shows what BJP religious fanatics are up to. The point is that in a free country like ours people are free to eat whatever they want but these BJP non seculars are taking away this ‘right’ too. In a way they are opposing the idea of democracy in India.
Don’t eat beef, don’t serve pork, don’t live here if you are a non-vegetarian. I’m getting sick of this new breed of Indian food moral police.
This reminds me how BJP as a part of it’s motive of turning India into a backward Hindu nation from it’s current modern secular status has banned cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh and here in Gujarat too. I see in the prints every now and then that how every few days the police catches people ‘smuggling’ beef here in Ahmedabad as if it’s a huge crime. Agreed not Hindus but people from other religions still consider beef as their staple food for it’s a cheap yet nutritious meat. But as BJP is in power it doesn’t care about Muslims, anyway one still gets beef in Ahmedabad if one knows where to head but that’s not the point. The point is that with its archaic non secular ideologies like banning cow slaughter in a free democratic nation, BJP is slowly turning India into a Hindu Saudi Arabia and we don’t want that, do we? And banning beef but not pork in BJP ruled states in a way is a victory of the non secular Hindu Taliban. If BJP’s aim is genuinely not to hurt religious sentiments then why haven’t they banned pork in their ‘ruled’ states too? This gives you the answer.
Another example of BJP non secularism that I had blogged sometime back, here. Read it to know about BJP’s plan to thump Gita’s lessons on school students for all religions in Karnataka.
And don’t get me wrong here, I’m also a Hindu by birth (but a secular pantheist by choice) and I eat beef, and pork too and will continue eating it for it’s my personal choice and a part of the food chain, (it’s delicious too). If someone has a problem with it then it’s his problem, not mine.
Meanwhile here’s something as the alternate full form for BJP; Beef Jerky Party! And to conclude, this Economic Times article.
PS-I’m not a Congress supporter and I hate it as much as any Indian would for what it has done to the country!