Osmania students to hold beef fest despite ban

Osmania students to hold beef fest despite ban

Another group promises to hold pork-eating event

Osmania students to hold beef fest despite ban

With apologists and detractors of beef eating in Osmania University determined to make their point, a showdown seems inevitable on Thursday even as one more group promised to hold a pork eating festival.

Democratic Cultural Forum, an umbrella group of dalit and leftist students associations, is undeterred by a high court order against holding beef festival and is keen on going ahead with it on World Human Rights Day at the Osmania campus.  Upholding a city civil court instructions, the high court also asked Hyderabad police to provide security at the campus.

“We will go ahead with the beef festival as beef eating is a dalit tradition guaranteed by the Constitution,” B Sudarshan, organiser of the festival and a research scholar, said.
“There is nothing against the law and we have every right to organise celebrations on campus,” Sudarshan added. He said a menu has been issued and beef has been procured for the festival.

University authorities who had banned the festival have asked police’s help to implement it.  Organisers on the other hand say they are determined to uphold food traditions of the marginalised and the oppressed people and have even invited writer and activist Arundhati Roy, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader from Tamil Nadu Thol Tirumavalavan to taste beef dishes at the festival. 

There is no confirmation, however, from any of them in terms of attending the festival.
All India Students Federation (AISF), Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU), Students Federation of India (SFI), Bahujan Students Federation (BSF) have said the festival will go ahead despite vehement opposition from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

At a similar festival against food fascism in 2012 here, when beef was served, the ABVP tried disrupting proceedings that resulted in arson and subsequent police action.
However not everyone is attending the Beef festival. “I am a vegetarian, so I won’t go even if I am invited,” said Professor Nageswar from the Journalism department.

“But I treat the festival as a Vana Bhojanam or picnic as eating beef is not a crime, only eating cow meat is banned in certain states. I feel that the students don’t even need a permission to hold such a festival on campus just like any food festival,” he added.

Meanwhile, Goshamahal BJP MLA Raja Singh Lodh who has submitted a memorandum to the university vice chancellor against the festival, has announced that he will organize Goumata Pooja at the Goushala near Lower Tank bund.  “Respecting the court order, we have decided to offer pooja to cows at the Goushala to avoid confrontation at the campus. We are happy to note that the Court has said that educational institutions are like temples of learning,” he told reporters.

One of the organizers of the pork festival said that the event is to highlight pork as the cheap source of protein in the country. “Many dalits and people from north east depend on pork for their daily protein, we are not yet all against the beef festival,” he said.
However, they are on a wait and watch mode since the court order has banned both beef and pork festivals.

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