Even as a strong agitation against the recent beef ban in Maharashtra ensues, a group of people comprising of Hindus and Muslims sit together for a meal with beef dishes in Kerala. Although cows are regarded sacred in various parts of the country, the consumption of beef in Kerala has no religious overtones and is considered as the most favored meat in the state.
“I am a Hindu. I should be given the freedom to eat whatever I want, even when I am eating this,” said Ajith P, who was at the protest of DYFI, the state CPM’s youth wing, at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. He shared the dish with Ajeeth Muhammad. Though a supporter of Muslim League, he said he didn’t mind backing a cause. “None of us here have issues with beef consumption. It is part of Kerala’s culture. How can we be stopped from eating something we want to?” he added. “This is a token protest against the ban of beef in Maharashtra and a warning for anyone who would want to implement the same in Kerala. Any ban on our food will not be acceptable,” Biju of DYFI, who was heading the protest, said.
President Pranab Mukherjee had last week given his assent to a law which bans the slaughter of calves and bullocks in Maharashtra. The meat that previously was legal in restaurants and sidewalk food stalls now carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and fine of Rs. 10, 000 if anyone is found selling or eating it. Only the consumption of buffaloes, which give inferior quality beef, will be allowed.