As the beef festival organisers continue to insist on organising the event on December 10, the other student groups have started distributing pamphlets condemning the proposed event. A section of the students under the banner of OU Joint Action Committee have also announced to hold Pork Festival in the University to counter the beef festival.
Beef and Pork festivals are back with a vengeance in Osmania University Campus, Hyderabad. Adding a new turn to the beef festival organised on December 10 since 2012, a group of students in the University has announced to organise ‘pork festival’ at Arts College on December 10, the same day when the beef festival is scheduled to be organised.
It is to be noted that the beef festival organised in 2012 had turned violent and witnessed widespread clashes. The violence led to burning of RTC buses and created law and order problem in the campus leading to police lobbying teargas shells to quell the clashing students.
Enough steam is being built up to the run up of the event with Dalit groups describing it as reclamation of their cultural rights, while the rival student groups distributed pamphlets condemning cow slaughter. A section of the students under the banner of OU Joint Action Committee, announced to hold pork festival to counter the beef festival.
The organisers of pork festival claimed that at least 5,000 people will attend the festival. They would make arrangements to cook around three quintals pork to serve the guests. The 'Pork Fest' is being supported by 36 unions under the aegis of OU-JAC. Interestingly, while the students are all set to organise beef and pork festivals, several city-based animal welfare organisations have condemned the act and demanded Osmania University not to allow any such ‘unsuitable unconcerned event’. Animal right activists signed a petition against both the festivals. “We would like to express our extreme distress and dismay at the unfortunate events taking place at OU. It would be, in our view, a mockery of human rights. It is not at all acceptable to butcher mute animals in the name of Dalit and Minority,” said an animal right activist.
Meanwhile, the OU Registrar Suresh Kumar, in a press release, made it clear that they won't allow the beef festival planned by some student organisations in the campus on December 10.
A delegation of BJP, VHP and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, led by Goshamahal MLA T Raja Singh Lodh, submitted two memorandums to Principal Secretary Ranjeev R Acharya, who is also incharge vice-chancellor of the Osmania University. The delegation called on the officer at the Secretariat and demanded to stop Beef Festival. If the Beef Festival was permitted, the Hindu organisations should be allowed to conduct Gau Mata Puja (worshipping of mother cow) or yajna in the university campus, they demanded.
Registering strong protest against the beef festival called by left student organisations in the University, Raja Singh threatened to punish those who kill the cow. Senior BJP leaders made it clear that the left parties and their intellectuals who are behind the event are provoking the student unions and would like to give an impression that BJP is against Dalits and against their food habits and will never let them score a point at this juncture. We are pleading with the administration to be firm. They have invited novelist Arundhati Roy, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Thol Tirumavalavan of Tamil Nadu's VCK Party, and other political leaders, writers and ideologues and bleeding heart liberals from different parts of the country for the event.
Prohibition of cow slaughter is the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Article 48 of the Constitution. The Article states, “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.” It’s rank political opportunism and they make it appear that they are fighting against food fascism, said Ramachander Rao MLC. He demanded firm action against the organisers and those indulging in malicious propaganda. Nagaraja Rao