Saturday, September 19, 2015


Following is in response to an article in The Hindu:

By categorizing the ban on sale of meat for a few days of religious significance to the Jains (Paryushan) as an act of ‘pseudo-religiosity’, Shri Shiv Visvanathan has jumped to the conclusion that the ban is a political sortie against minorities. I wonder who is referred to as minorities here. Meat-eaters are not a minority; vegetarians are. If the reference is to any religious minority, it is certainly misplaced because meat-eaters are dominant in all religions except Jainism.

The author pleads that food as a ‘symbolic marker’ has often become the site of a battle for identities and spaces between caste Hindus and Dalit and tribal groups. The author does not stop with this non-proven assumption. He goes on to add that the ethics of non-violence as a part of brahminism becomes a vehicle of a deeper violence of enforcing caste hegemonies on Dalit groups. This is fertile imagination. Gone are the days when Brahmins were mainly vegetarians or votaries of non-violence and Dalits mainly meat-eaters. (It is interesting to note that Jeremy Corbyn is a vegetarian. He is not a protagonist of any kind of brahminism.) Author’s innuendo that Dalits are not votaries of non-violence is unfortunate.

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