Call it the rural simplicity of Lalu Prasad Yadav, but he managed to speak the truth, which many of his peers are dodging: That Hindus also eat beef.
To quote, Lalu Prasad said,
“Poor people eat meat to beat their hunger… Those who go outside (the country) eat beef. Even Hindus eat beef. There is no difference between beef and goat meat… A Muslim was falsely accused in Dadri [the lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh following rumours that he and his family were storing and eating beef]”.
But quickly realizing that in the present intolerant India, one can’t speak the truth, he mellowed it down, by adding :
“Eating meat or beef is not good. Eating meat causes diseases.”
Not to lose any opportunity to “communalise” the issue, BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh blamed Lalu of defaming Hindus for the sake of votes; and demanded Lalu take back his comment. Girirraj Singh claimed that no one who keeps cows eats beef.
Giriraj Singh has made a very clever statement. Obviously, those who keep cow in India will not eat it. If a cow is kept primarily for milk, it becomes necessary to keep it. As, to get milk, one has to milk it two times a day.
But what if an animal is kept primarily for meat? Is it necessary to keep it? The answer is No. As getting meat from an animal is a one time act. A brilliant example is goat. Do mutton eaters keep goats? The answer is No. Majority of them buy it from outside.
Many castes among Hindus in India consume beef. Those who’re in the leather processing industry consume it as well. Not to mention they are often poor. The logic behind it is to get nutrition from something which if not used will eventually go to some dump.
Beef eating is a part of culture in many regions in India. As a result, over the centuries, many beef recipes had come into existence as well. Food critic Kunal Vijaykar’s debut book came early this year. The book is a collection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food recipes which Kunal collected during his travels across India. The book includes beef recipes as well.
Over the decades, the food plate in India has changed. And that has as much to do with affluence, as with taste. And with affluence many Hindus might have stopped eating beef. But that is understandable. One can see it this way, many Indians who survived on millet (Coarse cereals or in Hindi “mota anaj” ) five decades ago, are mostly eating Wheat and Rice now. Simply because Wheat and rice have come within their reach (economically).
Thus when Giriraj Singh claims that Hindus don’t eat beef, he seems to have a very narrow view about who can be called a Hindu. This large strap attitude became evident, when very recently, Mr. Singh assured the Nation that if BJP comes to power in Bihar, an Upper Caste will not become a CM.