Vegetarian Food Fascism in India

January 15th 2013 12:38 pm

A year ago, Kafila, a popular online left-leaning magazine, posted an article about the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University debating the ban on beef and pork products in the canteens and mess of the university. In spite of being a supposed bastion of left-wing liberalism in India, it appears that the Brahmanical elite weilded enough influence to shut down canteens serving beef curry or pork products.

This reminds me of my own experience with food fascism during my college days. Because of the myriad number of restrictions on the movements and dress codes at the college hostel (no shorts, curfew after 10 pm, etc.), I and a friend chose to rent an off campus house instead. We found a suite and pretty soon, settled down at the place. One day, while I was cooking meat, the said friend – a vegetarian Hindu, raised an issue about meat being cooked in the house. He claimed that our landlord banned the cooking of meat in the premises, which was a lie. When I refused to fall for it and asserted my rights to cook what I want in a house that is as much mine as it is his, he threw a fit – throwing me an ‘ultimatum’ to stop cooking meat in the future or vacate the house (which he intended to share with a friend of his, which I found later).

 

Refusing to be bullied, I continued cooking meat as usual. Some days later, some thugs from the local housing society turned up, saying that they received complaints that I am a ‘radical’. They threatened to throw me out of the house, if I didn’t vacate the place in two days. It didn’t take me long to put two and two together, so I called up couple of my friends from college, who turned up with Student Union activists and the local police. The police, in my defence, clarified that I had no charges of radicalism either in Kolkata or back in my homeland. After placating the goons, it was clear that my so called ‘friend’ – my flatmate, levelled this allegation and soon, he was summoned by the police and threatened with charges under the Scheduled Tribes Act if he continued the harassment any longer (a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, if convicted).

 

We eventually found a middle ground (by keeping a seperate set of utensils). However the incident didn’t go without leaving a mark and a curiousity to find out what provokes such pseudo-facist attitude towards food in a vegetarian Indian’s psyche. I did a part of my school in New Delhi, so I was familiar with the Hindi chauvinism in North Indian cultures, as well as the pretence that India is a monolithic nation of a single ‘Hindu culture’ (one that is often advertised to foreigners, and clueless Indian nationalists alike). However, trying to impose their food preferences in such a bullying manner was a new experience to me.

 

As I read up more about the issue, I discovered that there were multiple attempts by the Sangh Parivar to have a blanket ban on cow slaughter all over India. The rampant beef consumption in parts of India, such as the North East, was converted into a contentious political issue by the Hindutvaswadis (Hindu nationalists) – as a symbol of mainland Indians’ inability to dominate the Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups of the region. In six states of India, cow slaughter is a cognizable offence, punishable with an imprisonment that can extend up to seven years; which is ironic, considering that the Indian police is already overburdened with murders, rapes, robberies and other such violent crimes against human beings. While normal non-veg* food does not evoke as much outrage as beef consumption – it becomes a bone of contention when a vegetarian feels offended by such a taboo food choice.

 

Some of my vegetarian friends, in order to defend their food facism, came up with kooky theories – that it is a retaliatory response to counter the Muslim and Christian conspiracy to feed beef and pork products to the chaste, vegetarian people of India. Contrary to their paranoia, no such conspiracies than been unearthed so far, nor is there any isolated incident that points to the possible existence of such a conspiracy. Meat is relatively expensive and scarce in the country, and given that most non-vegetarian Atheists, Hindus, Muslims or Christians aren’t as obsessed with the dietary taboos and practices of the vegetarian people – there is no good reason to waste good meat on an unwilling victim. However the facism of vegetarian Indians against the non-vegetarian people still remains a major bone of contention for a lot of Indians, one that seems to create as much of a debate in college campuses, at it did in my shared flat in Kolkata.

 

*short for non-vegetarian, the desi euphemism for edible meat

Add to Del.cio.us RSS Feed Add to Technorati Favorites Stumble It! Digg It!
    www.sajithmr.me

Culture, India 37 Responses so far

37 Responses to “Vegetarian Food Fascism in India”

  1. desidaaru United Kingdom says:

    I am vegetarian in principle . When I lived in India that meant I wouldn’t use separate utensils to my friends, had no problem with tasting gravy in meat dishes and often accompanied my then BF on chicken-shopping trips. I drew the line at anything over and above ‘tasting’ a meat containing dish.
    More often than not, I have been the only vegetarian in my extended social circles in South India. That meant I was fair game for non-vegetarian evangelists, who like the vegetarian fascists you mention, think their choice of food automatically bestows some sort of social superiority. I have frequently been drawn into pointless debates on the futility of vegetarianism,on the other hand, i have never confronted anyone on their choice of food.
    I have personally never encountered a vegetarian fascist outside of home , but I know they exist , because my family is full of them.
    Both these two groups-actually, make that anyone who creates an ideology around something as uncomplicated as food- irritate me.

  2. carvaka United Kingdom says:

    Food fascism is not the sole domains of hindu vegetarians. I am vegetarian. I have never imposed this on anyone. My roommates and husband have freely cooked meat (including beef and pork and more) around me and I have no qualms in sharing utensils.

    I realise the RSS types sometime attack people over issues like beef (or just talking about it), which is entirely wrong. The ‘non-veg’ folks do the same at a (much) smaller scale though.

    My husband’s family (including relative, cousins etc) is food-obsessed. They LOVE ‘non-veg’ and it’s their major bonding factor. I have now heard a million times that they can’t believe he married a vegetarian. They keep trying to make me eat the gravy or try the chicken or something. All. The. Time. It gets really annoying!! They tell them I need to ‘learn’ to eat it because what I eat is rubbish.. how can I possibly like ‘veg’ stuff? They rue the fact that they don’t live close enough to us to ‘force’ me often enough. It’s not because I’m the DIL, they do this to his male cousins that tried being vegetarian too. It’s all in good faith, but it’s practically to the point of bullying. This when I’m loud and clear about NOT wanting to ‘try’ it!

    People just seem to have issues with other people living around them and not living like them. The more of them that are alike, the easier it gets to express this irrational need to control other people’s choices.

  3. Nakul United States says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21122072

    See any trend in geography?

    Thats right:

    You seem to get the idea right except that non-vegetarians >>> vegetarians in number and resort to sneaky tactics all over the world (including India). Just replace “vegetarian fascism” with non-vegetarian irrationality in your article.

    Oh btw, u r a moron.

  4. Vinnie India says:

    I think you went overboard in your rant against Hindu Dietary preferences. While it is all right for you to consume any thing but why this clamor about attributing not eating pork with Hindus? You said “Muslims or Christians aren’t as obsessed with the dietary taboos and practices of the vegetarian people”. Breaking news, eating pork is not a tabboo among Hindus, it is a major issue among Muslims. I throw you a challenge, try to visit any ‘chaste muslim country’ and consume pork meat openly and see what happens? You will not only be put behind bars but also can become an easy target of fundamentalists there, in all probability will be killed or gravely injured.

    • Atheist Indian India says:

      The majority of non-Hindus don’t really care a hoot about Hindu dietary preferences. You don’t want to eat meat? Fine. Don’t force others not to, not in India, which is a conglomerate of several nations – some of them not a part of your Hindustan in the first place.
       
      The thread title contains the phrase ‘in India’. It kind of makes it obvious which country I am talking about. Indian Christians and Muslims. They don’t force their dietary preferences on other people. Your pointing fingers at other so called ‘Muslim countries’ to defend Hindu food fascism in India is a classic anti-secular deflection. “They’re doing it, so we can do it too!”. No, you can’t; unless you declare India a Hindu state, in which case you’ll have BIG problems in your hands.

      • Wait,

        I get the feeling you are quickly conflating many things here. There are vegetarian fascists and there are vegetarian evangelists(*) and there are vegetarians. I feel it is an inconsequential fact to the debate that they are almost always Hindu.

        Some don’t like “non-veg” food being cooked in their houses because it actually offends them olfactorily. Not just because they want to impose their morals on others. They are perfectly fine in environments they are not guaranteed this; only they may choose not to frequent such environments. This is similar to the Durian ban in some Singapore apartment elevators. This is the first issue.

        Second. “Indian” Muslims most certainly force their dietary preferences on others – Why do you think Mac Donalds says “HALAL” in big bold letters in their shops in Mumbai. “No Beef or Pork” boards at KFC, Chennai; where do you think the “pork” clause came from? This is the second issue. Also, do you really think all Muslims in India permit Pork to be cooked in the houses they rent out?

        And “Indian” Christians do force their preferences too! It’s just rarer, but I’ve got news for you: We are Indians! We like to force our opinions on others! I’ve heard that (this I am not sure, you have got to confirm or deny) that some of our north eastern seven sisters are states with prohibition because of an anti-catholic stance amongst the protestant majority.

        (*) Disclaimer: I am now a vegetarian Evangelist. I used to be a fringe non vegetarian very briefly to satisfy some complex requirements in my self evolved moral code.

      • Atheist Indian India says:

        @ TheSlightlyChauvinistIyer
        It is not just McDonalds that purports to sell halal products, but five star hotels do as well. It is not because Muslims ‘force’ halal on non-Muslims, but because these establishments see Muslims as a chunk of their customer base. Pure business.
         
        Your assumption that prohibition in NE Indian states is because of protestantism is inaccurate. The states with prohibition in NE India are Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. None of them are Protestant states. Alcohol is banned in these states, because of the socio-economic ills associated with the overt alcohol consumption in these societies.
         
        The issue I have raised above is not people who don’t rent their houses to those with specific dietary preferences, but a common Indian Hindu practice of trying to bully the dietary preferences of non-Hindus even in neutral territories. In the case I mentioned above, I was an equal and legitimate tenant as my flatmate was. *He* had no legal or moral authority to dictate what to cook in our shared flat. The only reason he felt authoritative enough to try to bully me is because he is a Hindu and I am not.
         
        I don’t understand why you have to bring in authoritarian foreign countries to the discussion, unless you are trying to be insincere by pitching in red herrings. We are discussing India here, which should be obvious from the post title.

  5. CosmosChild India says:

    I am really jealous that a cow is given preferences over me( I am a woman). No Hindutvas has ever mentioned or strongly supported my safety or freedom. Oh ‘God’ , if you make me born in India ni my next life, please make me a cow not a girl.

  6. Kay India says:

    Bahaha, I would have moved out. Can’t imagine someone having a vendetta against you for cooking meat. The whole lack of good beef thing in Delhi is annoying. Every time we go to a restaurant and see steak on the menu, we’re informed that it’s buffalo steak (which is awful).

    This reminds me of a time when one of my cousin’s went on a crazy vegan diet and started sending slaughter house videos to everyone in the family. Not fun.

    • Atheist Indian India says:

      “Bahaha, I would have moved out. Can’t imagine someone having a vendetta against you for cooking meat. The whole lack of good beef thing in Delhi is annoying.”
      Moving out would have been conceding defeat. Besides, it isn’t easy to find a decent flat in Kolkata, not when you have college and other things, that makes time a rather scarce commodity.
       
      You can get real beef in Delhi, but you’ve got to be connected. A lot of NE Indian students and expats in the capital know ‘someone’ or ‘somewhere’ that you can find beef on certain days of the week. Good beef is difficult to find though, given the choices, if available, are very limited.

  7. I’ve not returned here for some time. Which explains why I’m late in my comment. I must say a brilliant post, unearthing some interesting points and views. I’m a British Asian (born and bred in UK) and recently I have been travelling to India allot for business reasons and I found that some areas of India take food fascism to a new level. Consumption of food is either a personal choice or if you are religious a choice made on your behalf by scriptures, either way, one does not have a right to force their way (either their personal choice of the religion their believe in) on to others, and especially if those ‘others’ have already decided on how they will consume food.

  8. Non Indian Vegetarian United States says:

    Im not Indian. I am a vegetarian. Meat eaters don’t realize that the smell of meat does make some of us feel sick. And when you inhale an aroma you can also taste the meat.

    Being that meat eaters ALSO eat veggies, fruits and grains, and do not feel sick from their smell, its only natural that when in vegetarian company they should understand that since we do NOT eat meat, that being around its smell or the sight of dead animals on a plate, can make us sick.

    I think its great that India has all veg environments and I will stay in them if I ever go to India.

    • Arko India says:

      umm… okay since you are a yank, let me throw a yank joke to make you understand… ‘Vegetarian’ is an old native American word for ‘poor hunter’… Get what I mean? Meat, is a very necessary part of a balanced diet. Of course what one eat is one’s own choice but don’t go expecting special treatment wherever you go.

      • Shri India says:

        @Arko

        you are making me laugh. millions of people are vagitarian so it means they are weak not getting balanced diet.. well Sangram Singh is an Indian wrestler and he is a vagitarian. and yes many body bodybuilders are also vagitarian. so stop talking rubbish.

    • Niraj India says:

      Nice article!! Really well and keep it up.
      And people following “restriction” be it restricting self from smoking, drinking, non-veg food should in no manner “restrict” others from doing it. There is always prohibition on public smoking as its injurious to health but non-veg food is a part of majority people’s food style. Only because few has started restricting themselves from having non-veg that doesnt mean they start imposing their choices/tantrums etc on others.

  9. Anthropo Canada says:

    I’m not East Indian, but in the European city where I did my university studies, a group of young people (14-22) who thought of themselves as punj rockers and who felt they should have a youth centre they had been promised, occupied a condemned building and baracaded it when they were told to leave. This got big press, lasted months, and eventually the group was joined by slightly older people (24-29) from a vegetarian collective. These were university students for the most part, many of whom were good speakers and used to organizing groups, so they quickly took over the running of the occupation, holding meetings, organizing protests. They instilled a strict no meat policy once they were established and it was humorous to see the younger set, the original protesters, walking around town in leather jackets with ” Meat is MURDER” stenciled on the back. Later, the occupation broke up, one of the reasons being the younger set’s reaction against what they called a “Vegatatorship”. Signs posted in the kitchen area forbidding meat being placed in the fridge were defaced and huge slabs of beef would be left among the greenery. It was very informative and a great research project.

    I think that vegetarianism, even outside religion, appeals to the morally self-righteous. These are a small minority, as fundamentalists of any belief system are, but particularly vegans have the tendency to feel theirs is the one true belief and anyone not doing as they are, to some extent evil. The previous post of examples of meat eater oppressions shows a different reason for such infringement: convenience being the most common, along with flavor. Meat eaters don’t think of veg eaters as blasphemers for not eating meat, they don’t try to shame them into a steak or cutlet.

    However, it must be hard on vegetarians in many ways since, even if you don’t use the same utensils, meat cooking creates splatter and airborne particles of fat that land on everything, making everything non-veg in reality. For them it’s probably like having the stove right next to a urinal. And, too, as far as India goes, I believe some of the first uprisings in the Rebellion (as they call it in the UK) were in the military where Hindus believed the cartridges (paper tubes with a bullet and powder inside; tear off the top with your teeth, empty contents into barrel, tamp down with rod) had been sealed with beef fat. So in one sense, India’s independence is due to some extent on veg conspiracy theories.

  10. Shashi12345 India says:

    I discovered your blog recently. I hope you entertain with various religious aspects of india.

    As an atheist I hope more indians reject religion.

  11. realist1001 United States says:

    1. There is no need for meat in a balanced diet.

    2. As the western world accepts more Vegetarian diet, the cosmopolitan crowd in India will ape the same thing.

    3. Try thinking on your own.

    • Moron India says:

      1. The average Indian man is of height 5’5″, chubby, with an effeminate high pitched voice.
      2. Britishers and Mongols ruled more than half of the world and both are meat eaters. The word for “food” in Mongolian language is even the same word to represent “meat”.
      3. Indians have been invaded time after again by so many Central Asians, that it is amazing they cannot see writing in the wall. At least try to compare the average high school student from Europe, Mongolia, Bhutan, Japan and India, and see what I mean.
      4. Your own scriptures say that meat is bad because it increase aggression, lust (yes makes you more potent and increases libido), which is why you do not eat it (strange?). Why are you surprised now that the meat eaters are more powerful, more athletic, and more intelligent (carnivores in nature are more intelligent than herbivores because they make strategies to hunt, analyze the environment and can make conclusions, unlike herbivores who are dumb and who have only numbers on their side).

  12. bs111vemur India says:

    In fact, validate and verify wrong things in religion is the correct one, which no Atheist is doing (theist anyway don’t do this, they fear God).

    Many wrong things are associated with God and Religion, these should be removed altogether.
    Every one should question the wrong notions/actions in any thing (Religion / Atheism)

    Atheists are becoming equal to Religious fundamentalists in many aspects… that is the reality.

    Even Communists did horrible things like religious fundamentalists..
    Soviet army raped lakhs of women in East Europe. There were sexual predators in Communist Russia. Fidel Castro is an example.

  13. Tej India says:

    I completely agree with the author of the post, regarding the fascistic nature of the support for vegetarianism by the Indian hindus. I have to disclose that I am a former Hindu and a vegetarian. I chose to be a vegetarian due to ethical beliefs, although I suspect it also had to do with my vegetarian upbringing.

    For one, I never understand the fascination for food that we humans show as a species. It is just a component of nature that we ingest for nutrition and energy. But I suppose I can rationalize it by reminding myself that is it one of three main causes for release of dopamine in our brains, the other two being sex and drugs.

    In any case, I believe that people can personally follow any dietary habit. But the antagonism that they drag along as consequence of their choices, that I don’t like. This applies to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. It just so happens that the vegetarians are the antagonisers in India, as they happen to be the majority. All across this page you see zealots supporting such behaviour. If India were truly secular, they would offer each individual any food he or she wished to have.

    Also this excessively puristic stance even against the mere presence of meat in their vicinity, is irrational. People have NO idea about the rodents and insects that they indirectly ingest as part of the food supply. Worst of all is not wanting to eat from vessels that are used to cook non-vegetarian food, even after they are thoroughly washed. The food drenched with the sweat of the cook who is toiling away in a poorly ventilated kitchen, is perfectly acceptable. But the presence of meat is impure? Delusional thinking.

    In any case, the legalities, ethics and preferences set aside, this is precisely why people flat mates should have clear understanding of each other’s preferences and habits. Standing up for your rights is entirely understandable, but conflict prevention should be a priority for all right at the start.

  14. SickofBrahminBashing United Kingdom says:

    I find it ironic that Mr.Atheist chooses to voice his concerns specifically about a segment of the Indian population that stands for their beliefs without offering any substantial evidence on how his experiment fared with other communities. I sense a shit stirrer or a Brahmin basher.

    As for arguing Christians and Muslims are more tolerant have you actually tried your experiment – violating someone’s religious and MORAL beliefs in a predominantly Muslim setting and seeing how well that’s received by a Halaal or practising Musalmaan? Or cooking non Kosher food in a Kosher Jewish household? Then we’ll have an argument. What’s next? You complaining about not being able to eat dog or cat meat in the US?? Because we all know the Michael Vick incident which didn’t even involve slaughter but earned him a prison sentence.

    That’s a the degree to which some other communities have expressed their outrage at someone who has violated their beliefs. You having a hissy fit about not being able to enjoy cruelty in a predominantly cruelty free county is ridiculous. When in Rome do as Romans do, When in Dubai do as Mulsims do and when in India and around adherents do as they do. If anything I think India is way too slack in its endorsement of protection for animals and Vegetarianism. We stand for a culture if not the ONLY culture that places equal importance for all forms of life and we should OWN it fully and completely.

    I will argue that Brahmins are the perfected Hindus who choose to endorse this wholly while others may maintain some practices but are compelled to give into the larger societal pressure of fitting in with their Neanderthal majority (like the beef chasing specimens here) that is trying so hard to keep up with the West when the West is soaking in Yoga, Veganism and cruelty free fashion.

    Perhaps you should contemplate a move to China where they will be happy to serve you anything and everything on a stick. Maybe that’s the problem with being a democracy where Atheists like you that don’t stand for anything are still allowed a platform and a voice. Because you’d be dead by now if you had been born in about 100 other countries.

    • Tej India says:

      Brahmin Bashing? Here we walk down that path of feigned victimhood yet again. The author of the article never suggested that Christians and Muslims are more or less tolerant than other people. Besides your point about Muslims allowing only halal meat in Islamic countries, or the argument about eating cats and dogs in the United states is COMPLETELY irrelevant. India is a vast country compromising of many sects of people apart from the brahminical class. If you ever bothered to travel around or even read a little, you’d soon see that there are millions of people in India whose cultural traditions involve eating meat. Take the hindus of kerala for example who eat beef. There is NO monolithic value in India preventing people from eating meat. Further more, the law allows it. So how dare the hindus try to clamp down on freedoms of other people.

      Now I myself don’t eat meat because of ethical considerations. But to expect the rest of the 1.2 billion people to do as I do, is enormously stupid. And your point about the Brahmins as being the ‘perfected hindus’ kind of proves what a giant prick you must be. As a brahmin born myself, I find the views of my community incredibly regressive. Idolatry, ritualism, oppression of women, close minded views, superstition and arrogance are all the norm. People like you can sure make yoga, veganism, etc. causes which you support. But calling for the suppression of the rights of other people, is incredibly stupid.

  15. Rashmi India says:

    Listen I can very well understand the kind of anti-feminist man you are. There wasn’t any need for you to flock to some blog and go blah-blah in support of your man creed. Just because you are unmarried, all Indian men who are bachelors are now your brothers.
    Stop objectifying women in this manner – if I need a woman, I can easily get laid – it seems that you can’t understand a wife is not a mere instrument to fulfill your sexual desires.

    so, you are one of those men who like pick-up random women for sex and spread STDs.

    I understand your intentions perfectly. First you talk ill about feminists on your blog and then you backtrack and act sweet – India needs feminism after all to attract feminist audience to your blog.

    What a glib liar you are. I know such men perfectly.
    You are like my ex-boyfriend who I dumped. ))))

    • Atheist Indian India says:

      I have been in a strictly exclusive relationship for the last 2 years, both my women are too foreign to be called ‘Rashmi’ AND I don’t drink so much that I’d leave a trail of broken hearts. So perhaps, you have mistaken me for someone else who probably didn’t call you the morning after.

      • Rashmi United States says:

        You didn’t get it? I said that you seem to have the same sexist beliefs like my ex.
        What do you mean by foreign, mine is very much an Indian name.

        I am feminist and I deserve some respect, any woman for that matter.

        So, this ‘morning after’ can be applied to your air hostesses in the cockpit. I know all what they and you have been up to.

        • Atheist Indian India says:

          If you comment in my blog in a disrespectful, uncivil and rude tone, you deserve an equally disrespectful, dismissive and flippant response. It is sexist and patriarchal to imply that you deserve unilateral respect for being a woman – despite your unwarranted rude behaviour.
           
          Marriage is not a duty that men owe to women – the fact that I choose not to marry and that I postulated the reasons for not doing so (in another blog) does in no way constitute sexism or ‘objectifying women’. It is my choice, my right and my prerogative to stay unmarried and independent.
           
          As for the boyfriend you supposedly ‘dumped’ – he WAS your boyfriend, wasn’t he? You were attracted to the man who didn’t want to marry you and preferred to stay single – despite there being no shortage of Hindu men who are overly eager and ready to marry. I wonder why.
           
          And by the way, stop playing the prudish desi aunty. What I am ‘up to’ with the women OR how I conduct my personal life is my business – not yours to nose around and pass judgements.

          • Rashmi United States says:

            So, are you trying to say that patriarchy respects women and allows them to get away if there is a rare occurence of she abusing the man?

            Patriarchy hurts woman, disrespects her.

            I as a feminist, find it strange that you can come up with such illogical arguments to defend your stance.

            Now, why are you wondering about my ex-boyfriend?
            He was just one of exs that includes my recently divorced husband.

            Anyway, you did objectify women because you said I can easily get laid as if ‘women’ are easy and a commodity to pleasure you up.

          • Atheist Indian India says:

            First of all, I don’t believe in patriarchy as an institution – not in the sense that you define it. What feminists call patriarchy is essentially feudal class hierarchy at play – where those deemed to be the ‘upper’ class within a given social context get to oppress and control the ‘lower’ class. In the Indian context, oppression of women is gendered spin-off of the Hindu caste system. If Indian feminists could see beyond their “women are special victims” prejudice, they’d realise that their plight in the Hindu social framework is not particularly unique – it mirrors the caste and tribal oppression in the mainland. The only reason I choose to use ‘patriarchy’ is for the convenience of the vocabulary of the average person.
             
            Patriarchy does not hurt women and disrespect her suo moto. It goes against her ONLY when she defies any of the established feudal gendered norms. Otherwise, she is ‘entitled’ in a patriarchy to a host of gendered privileges.This is no different from how men in a feudal society are disrespected and even killed when they do not conform to *their* gender norms (like for example, not joining the conscription OR not marrying a woman he slept with). Of course, most women like you use feminist as a flag to cry for liberating women from their feudal roles BUT are completely aghast at the idea of men being liberated from theirs.
             
            The notion of equivocal respect for women is *chivalry* – a patriarchal concept AND one of the privileges women are granted in patriarchal systems. I am not surprised you didn’t get the connection – as I have observed over the years, feminists in India tend to be intellectually shallow and strong on rhetoric rather than reason, despite whatever pedantic credentials they throw around.
             
            You come to my blog because you are apparently offended by my choice not to marry AND make inflammatory and malicious attacks on my character and person to voice your dissent. You call me a liar, imply that I am a man-whore (slut shaming?), that I carry STDs AND you put words into my mouth that are essentially your own prejudice. Yet, you still expect to be treated differentially and respectfully because you ‘are a woman’. You are the poster-child of why I chose to distance myself from feminism, despite my strong stance on gender equality. Feminists like you aren’t on gender equality, despite how they define themselves in dictionary terms – they are about social femdom.
             
            That I am able to get laid without having to marry women, doesn’t imply that women are easy OR that they are commodities. It simply means what I said – that unlike men in conservative societies, I don’t see marriage as the ‘path’ to sexual availability AND hence, this is one less incentive for me to marry (apart from 9 others). You might not like the sound of it, but a lot of traditional Hindu and Islamic men marry because it is virtually impossible for them to get laid without marrying (for whatever socio-moral reasons).
             
            The way you describe some women as ‘easy’ AND the disrespectful tone you speak of air-hostesses reflects your own underhanded sexism, prudishness AND feudal mentality. I can see why you feel entitled to equivocal respect – with your caustic and nosey attitude, it would be hard for you to be respected by sane, civilised folks.

  16. I can relate to this and I so agree to this . I will tell you my various different Food experiences in India and with same Indian abroad.

    when I stayed with some girls during initial days of joining Job , we were 2 hindu , 2 sikh and 2 muslim girls in a household. HIndus were veg and sikhs won’t eat halal and muslims won’t eat jhatka . I was the only one who would drink . So the decision was that we will not cook non-veg at home and I will not get drinks at home . Now , me and one of my muslim friend were not really bothered about halal , jathka meat . so we used to go out and order and not ask if the meat was halal or not . We don;t care till date . we even use to drink together when she will take a sip and we agreed not to come home and tell anyone . SHe is my closest friend till date . recently i heard other hindu girl had beef steak and wine in the US . May be as many of my friends say ” ONly Indian cows are holy ” we can have it abroad .. HYpocrisy much .

    Then back in south India i have varied experiences.
    while I was in Chennai last year , one tam bram said we should not eat meat as it leads to crime specially sexual urges , thats why we have rapes in North india . Only people who are married should have meat may be , specially women should not eat meat . SUpress sex some more !!

    One muslim friend once said Pig is the only animal who has sex with his own children and you are what you eat .so pork is banned. Also , it eats shit . Hygienically raised pig who is not allowed to breed and slaughtered before that should be OK rt . anyways I love pork .

    My sikh friends think I have lost my religion by eating halal and beef . I don’t like beef much but I do taste it once in a while specially when i have to best steak house all over the world.

    I do not like someone to tell me what to eat or what not too . IF having poori allo and paranthe is healthy just because its veg Indian dish , i refuse to follow your logic .

    I do not advocate bans of any kind , that’s my major gripe against RSS and BJP . people can chose not to eat and people can chose not to rent their house to anyone who doesnt drink or eat .

    ON a similar note I do not want to hear mandir bells , masjid assan , church mass , gurudawara kirtan outside the premises .Dnt shove any religion down my throat . I dnt want to burn crackers for 5 days on diwali or play holi the way they do in North . Too many nuisances

  17. SickofBrahminBashing United Kingdom says:

    Dear Sex & Indian Cities

    You can fare a lot worse in countries where you might be stoned or hung for offenses far less severe. India is a cruelty free country and they should advocate a meat free lifestyle. The rest of the West does it. I am Vegetarian for ethical reasons but I have no worries about a country wanting to enforce a no beef or no pork rule if it abides by the majority in the country. Offenders should be persecuted. Millions flock to a Dubai despite its dry rule because they have oil money and can get away with ridiculous restrictions, however they recognize they are a Muslim country and stand for it. Problem with India is its shame in not quite being in the big leagues yet and it’s hesitant policy enforcement when it comes to animal cruelty.

    As for your tam Brahm friend who ate meat abroad well yea it’s called an exception. As long as she didn’t offend anyone in a meat free household or slaughter it herself or decided to provoke Vegetarians on her liberal abroad attitudes I don’t see any reason to chastise her.

    Notice Atheist Indian’s gripes are targeted at Brahmins specifically. There’s another tirade he posted( incited rather )about Strictly Brahmin housing allocations. Again goes to show he’s no different to the racist hicks in the West who pick on Jews because they are successful or have peculiar habits.

    I am going to do my bit to campaign against him and get this site monitored since he is inciting hatred and bigotry against a class of people. I strongly suggest other Tam Brahms do the same.

  18. mostlymisfit United States says:

    Great post. Agree 100 % with your thought. Whenever I hear people saying things like do what the majority does, I want to puke. Imposing dietary preferences or any other on anyone is undemocratic. period.

    • Ram India says:

      how about killing innocent,speechless animals for your platter ?? how much democratic is that.

  19. Atheist Indian India says:

    @ SickofBrahminBashing
    I don’t think you get it. In a private household, where I had equal property rights as that of my flatmate, my choice to cook meat in that is legitimate and his objection is not only unlawful, but unethical as well. The same for any sort of dorm or accommodation which isn’t run by religious trusts. Meat is not forbidden by the law in India.
     
    I am not sure what ‘keep up with west’ you are talking about; unless of course, you are one of those who believes NE Indians are proto-western people. Meat as a part of my diet is ethnic to my culture, as well as the culture of my breathrens in North East India. We have been eating all sorts of meat, including pork and beef for thousands of years. Trying to impose Brahmanical dietary restrictions on us is the equivalent of white people telling you not to eat any ‘Indian’ food. If someone has an objection with what I eat, they are free to bring up the objection before they share an apartment with me, so that I wouldn’t bother sharing a house with them. Not AFTER, and definitely not by bullying and threats.
     
    This has nothing to do with atheism either. In fact, it is my atheism which made me more secular towards Hindus and more willing to share flats with them – given that the politics of my ethnic group is vehemently anti-Hindu. Also, the fact that I have a ‘voice’ in this country is not a privilege granted by the system, but an inalienable constitutional right. If the Hindu majority of this country choose not to tolerate my voice and my opinions, it merely legitimises a movement to declare national sovereignty in our lands. On that note, the practices in Islamic nations or even the United States, are irrelevant. This is a topic where we discuss vegetarian food fascism in India, not a discourse on secularism around the globe.

  20. Rakshasa India says:

    @SickBrahmin

    Hindus abstain from meat not because they love animals – in fact, they do not eat meat because they HATE animals. Especially Brahmins. Once as a young kid, I observed a priest thrashing a stray dog who had strayed into temple premises with a long bamboo stick, almost breaking its spine. And whenever you offer meat to a Brahmin, they say “chi chi” – making their disgust for animal meat well known. The only animal the Hindus have any love for – and it is an actual romantic or sexual love – is the cow. Many of your average Hindu Brahmin hates dogs, cats, lizards, rats, etc the same way as any other guy.

  21. Pranav India says:

    AI,

    I liked your writings very much in Robert’s blog. I flipped through many pages to read intellectual conversations between you, Dota, BAG, Cyrus and many others that were very insightful and thought provoking. It just makes me sad you hardly comment these days. Why Are you on a sabbatical? is there any specific reason? Or do you comment in any other blogs?
    This is an another excellent post about another kind of cultural imposition attempted by the so called elitists I agree with everything you wrote and it all boils down to the fact of your “India is Not a Nation” article. You know,its pretty hard to draw a line with so many diverse points. Same is the case with India, any rule or legislations or cultural blackmail like these won’t workout for such a diverse sect of people.
    Hope to see you again in Robert’s blog.
    Good luck man

Leave a Reply