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NWMI Condemns The Violent Abuse Of Meena Kandasamy

April 22, 2012

[We at Kafila are absolutely horrified at the abuse directed at poet and activist Meena Kandasamy for expressing her views on twitter regarding the beef-eating festival at Osmania University. That supposedly ‘neutral’ educational institutions replicate upper-caste Hindu dietary taboos, is no surprise, nor that the ABVP reacted with its customary violence to that questions upper caste privilege. What is shocking is the attitude of the Vice Chancellor and the sexist, misogynist, violent speech directed at her on the web. It is telling that those who take such umbrage at the eating of cows, think nothing of advocating the public rape of women. Below is a statement issued by the The Network of Women in Media condemning the hate speech directed at her. We stand in solidarity with Meena Kandasamy.]

The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), strongly condemns the violent and sexist abuse unleashed on poet, writer, activist and translator Meena Kandasamy, presumably in response to her posts on Twitter about the beef-eating festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, on 15 April 2012 and the ensuing clashes between groups of students.

After her comments on Twitter, she was threatened with various forms of violence, including gang rape and acid attacks. Some placed a price on her head. Others threatened her freedom of speech, saying that she would not be allowed to speak anywhere, and called for her prosecution for allegedly outraging religious feelings under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. In over a hundred tweets, she was called a whore, characterless, a terrorist and a bitch. One of the most objectionable comments was that she should be raped on live television, this barbaric idea was put out by one Siddharth Shankar who followed it up with more vicious filth.

Meena Kandasamy has become the target of a vicious abuse campaign on twitter and other sites for her support to the festival during which she and other students had to be escorted to a safe place under police escort. Protestors even stoned the van they were travelling in. It is highly condemnable that her support of a food festival should lead to demands for her prosecution and a bounty on her head.

As a professional network of women journalists, the NWMI is firmly committed to freedom of expression and, indeed, supports ongoing efforts to ensure that the Internet remains a free space and is not subjected to censorship. However, freedom comes with responsibility and all those who
value free speech must, at the very least, censure hate speech.

Everyone in a democracy has a right to hold and express their opinions on current events and issues. Similarly, everyone has a right to disagree with and argue against the opinions of others. Debate – not abuse and threats – is the democratic means to deal with conflicting views on contentious topics: in this case, the right to choose what to eat and not eat.

It appears that Meena Kandasamy has been singled out for abuse at least partly because she is a bold and outspoken woman who expresses her opinions freely in the public sphere. The fact that she is a Dalit, especially one whose work focuses on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism, clearly makes her even more of a target.

We call upon all those who value freedom of expression to join us in condemning the online attack on Meena Kandasamy and to explore ways to ensure that everyone has a right to express their opinion – on the Internet as well as elsewhere – without being subjected to hateful abuse.

The Network of Women in Media, India
http://www.nwmindia.org

73 Comments leave one →
  1. Pam permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:15 AM

    I join the NWMI in condemning the online attacks on Meena Kandasamy and call upon the NWMI and other women’s groups in India to urgently explore legal action against those responsible for this “hate speech” and, especially, for specific threats of violence.

  2. April 22, 2012 11:40 AM

    Every one has right to express and have food of its choice. Those using violence have no faith in truthfulness of their claims and arguments, They should invite Meena for shastrarth (शास्त्रार्थ) and satisfy. Use of violence is against all acceptable norms.

  3. venukmwpb permalink
    April 22, 2012 12:23 PM

    We find such people everywhere..These people are so arrogant and may be even worse than most semi literate feudal males who couldn’t imagine any possibility of better living with mutual respect and equality between sexes. Again, the latter could even be condoned while we take into account the limitations imposed on men and women by a pre modern world view.
    All progressive minded people together with the NWMI should unite in demanding legal action against the hate mongers and bigots who have abused and threatened with violence on Meena Kanthaswamy, for having just expressed an opinion.

  4. April 22, 2012 12:37 PM

    why beef festival ? / WHY NOT PORK FESTIVAL ?

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:18 PM

      No body had stopped Hindus to celebrate pork festivals but violence on Beef festival had made ABVP and Sangh Parivar nacked in front of world nothing elese.

  5. Michael permalink
    April 22, 2012 1:07 PM

    Time to end this food fascism in India. Restricting eating of beef and pork actually one way of imposing Brahmanical and Islamic ideology.

    • Cosmo Kramer permalink
      October 27, 2013 8:31 PM

      Your opinion and that of all the non-vegetarians is invalid for 2 reasons.
      1. If the present rate of consumption of non-vegetarian food continues then the number of hungry in the world will only increase. Consider this fact, 1 pound of beef is made by feeding the cattle 5 pounds of grain.Over 250 million people go hungry in India, if someone goes hungry due to me, I have sinned. I for I can’t be part of something so barbaric.
      2. Animal rights— Your heart melts out for the feminist Meena Kandasamy, but what about the rights of those poor animals whom you are feeding on? Doesn’t it have a right to life? I will suggest that you and all non-vegetarians quit eating flesh, the world will become better place to live.

      Finally about Meena Kandasamy and the beef festival. I want to point out that the university cafeteria is a common place for all religions and communities. Public institutes are not supposed to discriminate or try to hurt the sentiments of any community or a group of people. So, they try to be neutral. Vegetarian food is neutral and is eaten by all groups. When she and other political activists went and demanded such a thing , they wanted to wreck the neutrality of the college campus. I find that malicious. No one is trying to stop her from organising a festival, but how about she does it outside of an educational institution which will of course not bring in unnecessary politics into university. As far as I can see, Karma came back to haunt her quickly indeed.

      • Anand Rajiv permalink
        June 22, 2014 8:01 PM

        So called “upper caste Hindu” here. Love beef, will eat it anywhere I like. Go to hell the types of you. If you’re offended, too bad for you. Ever heard of free speech? Free speech is all about minority, offensive and unpopular speech. But you won’t be able to comprehend that.

  6. A. Alagappan permalink
    April 22, 2012 1:51 PM

    Meena is not dalit. That is a lie.She is just trying to gain attnetion. Dalits main food is pork, why don’t we organise a pork festival.

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:20 PM

      Mr Alagappan,90% dalit eats Beef and for your kind information Meena is dalits and every Dalits and OBCs have rights to eat Beef or something else who are you hindus to dictate your terms on dalits.

      • A. Alagappan permalink
        April 24, 2012 2:45 PM

        I belong to an OBC community and I don’t eat beef.

        • Codyshark permalink
          February 11, 2013 1:37 PM

          See OBC’s eat Beef, Brahmans eat Beef, Dalits eat Beefs, but some sections of the dominant group have been influenced by the Brahmans/RSS/etc to not eat beef because its like going away from god, etc, i guess worshiping a cow brings in some solidarity they can crib about,
          Its not worth it , Eat beef, eat pork , eat fish what ever,
          Use the biological determination people, we are flesh eaters ! not like Brahmans are herbivorous

  7. Ankush permalink
    April 22, 2012 2:53 PM

    In Solidarity!

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      April 25, 2012 3:17 AM

      10% dalits are pure vegetarian but why RSS and other hindu organisations are showing their muscle on dalits but they piss in trousers when they come in front of Muslims.its up to OBCs or dalits to eat what they like or not.

  8. April 22, 2012 3:31 PM

    this is just another populist tactic. the whole argument is lopsided. you should thank the vice chancellor for allowing the fest. now, what is this fest about ? eating cows ? you are in rare public university funded with peoples money, not just dalits. u r supposed to study and find a living if not becoming a person to do with public good. but what is that u r doing ? virtual anarchy ! to safe guard yourself u clamour dalit dalit dalit. shame on you !

    • rituparnaborah permalink
      April 23, 2012 12:26 PM

      Populist tactic??? can you please explain more what do you mean by this. People have been protesting for various things across India and across the world agaisnt various hegemonic orders. Will you call everything a ‘populist tactic’?
      Even if someone is in a ‘rare public university funded with people’s money’, why cant anyone assert their identity as dalit?
      and ‘public good’- just by asserting their right to eat pork, you mean to say they are ‘not doing public good’…
      No one is clamouring their identity as anything. they are just asserting their rights and everyone has the right to assert their rights, especially people who are on the marigins. And food is linked to fundamental right to life.

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:25 PM

      Mr Srinivas ,shame on you hindus and your Hindu led government who are leaving you hindus free who are behaving like animals and burning medias van and pouring urine in Beef Biryani ,go see your face in mirror.166 million dalits are getting ready to give RSS and their umblical links a reply in non violent way.

      • Anonymous Dalit permalink
        July 11, 2012 6:58 PM

        Your suggestion that by eating beef, the Dalits will somehow get emancipated is dishonest and disingenuous. As a dalit activist I can inform you that many Dalit Christians and Muslims who consume beef on a daily basis, continue to face horrendous discrimination from their their elite co-religionists.

        I, as a dalit, strongly reject this attempt to hijack our movement by certain ideologies to pursue their own malicious agenda in India.

  9. April 22, 2012 4:19 PM

    well i just dont know what to think of such reactions, it is just unbelievable that in today’s times, when we have come so far in many fields of life, why we are still so backward as regards the gender issue. how and why do these men, Hindu or others at all still think in terms of raping and abusing a woman. why dont/cant they express their anger in other ways? what are mothers doing on not doing with their sons? fathers of course i expect little from since they belong to the same race which does and has been doing these horrible things to women since ages.

  10. April 22, 2012 4:30 PM

    I have noticed that Meena Kandasamy have only RTed stupid abuses on twitter & chose to completely ignore genuine questions / debates. In effect, all this seem to be an attention-mongering exercise & have done no good to beef-lovers like me. Nobody objected others to eat beef / pork as they like. There is simply no need to provoke a particular community. If all that author needs is a 15-second fame, she can do a cameo role in some bollywood movie (if some producer willing in first place).

  11. Ammu Abraham permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:23 PM

    why were the right wing, so-called upper caste students allowed to get away with disrupting and attacking a peaceful food festival?
    How can these would be rapists be traced? They may not even be all in India; may well be ‘shining’ abroad, and weeping and wailing there about their rights violations and discriminations.

  12. April 22, 2012 6:46 PM

    I too condemn the abuse and threat of violence on her in the strongest terms. It is yet another attack on free speech in India.

  13. A. Rehman permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:09 PM

    It is the Siddarth Shankars that must be traced!

  14. Adarsh.m permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:27 PM

    One clarification, has somebody phone her and threatened she should complain to police, as for the comments ,is there something to be concerned about , where ever comment options are provided there will be lots of rants .
    As there is no ban in sale of beef in A.P
    Here the question is about the right to insult some one, I feel it should be upheld. Dalits are also not a monolithic community and attempt to derive it on line of Hindutava will only tend to fail
    @Ammu Abraham
    I like pork ribs ,sausage much how about conducting a peaceful festival in Calicut university campus -:) does it feel sane, even it dont have an anti establishment stand

  15. Ashutosh permalink
    April 22, 2012 9:58 PM

    You say who value hate speech should censure hate speech. Absolutely right. This rule should also apply to Meena Kandasamy, isn’t it. I have read her many articles and her blog, and I am sorry to say that her mode of writing and speaking is nothing less than hate speech. Shouldn’t she be censured.

    And your contention that ‘not eating beef’ is an upperclass hindu dietary habit. Whoever or from whatever sources you people at Kafila get enlightened, i don’t know, but for a fact i know that majority of Indians, you may put here the religious tag ‘Hindu’ to it, don’t eat beef and that includes lower class and lower castes too. I would respect you, if you don’t bend the truth to suit your argument.

    Feeling sorry for this Meena Kandsamy that she is the target of such abuse but when you are abusing others, you can’t expect fairplay from the opponent. The people behind these personal attacks against a woman are abhorable but this Kandasamy with her actions is no goddess. Her acts are equally despicable. Even then, I don’t condone the abuse of Kandasamy. There are better ways to deal with these scums of society and one among them is to simply ignore them.

    It’s useless and dangerous to support someone, simply because she/he has donned a cap of a rebel. against a societal system of which she is one of the biggest beneficiery’

  16. Aarti Sethi permalink*
    April 23, 2012 12:07 AM

    @ Ashutosh. I don’t know where you get your facts from but in fact the majority of Indians do eat beef: this includes not just upper-caste Hindus (many of whom eat beef), lower-caste ‘Hindus’, Muslims, Christians. But who eats what is completely irrelevant and besides the point. People can eat what they wish, or not eat what they wish. The point is that no one must be made the target of abusive speech based on culinary preferences. Further, you seem to have no notion of what ‘hate speech’ actually is. By drawing attention to the upper-caste hegemony that made a peaceful food festival a target of attack, Meena Kandasamy is not indulging in ‘hate speech’. She is simply drawing attention to the modalities of power through which certain groups exercise a strangle-hold over the space of supposedly liberal educational institutions.

    • Ashutosh permalink
      April 23, 2012 9:30 AM

      Majority of Indians eat beef! Can you kindly show me some source from where you got this fact. Or this fact is made up to defend your argument.
      As for me, or for any Indian, it is not required to dig out facts from some academician with an agenda to prove that beef eaters are a minority in India. I have lived always in villages and small towns and i have never seen any beef eating in any of these places. And in these places people of all castes and communities live. Of course in the metros or places like Kerala or WB there is a larger, compared to all India, population who eat beef. But that doesn’t make it a majority or culturally acceptable fact.
      The hate speech of Meena Kandasamy i referred to in the last comment was about all of her writings, in her blog and in other media. In her writing she seems to be getting a vicarious pleasure in abusing the majority beleifs and culture. Why don’t you censure these people when they don’t restrain themselves.

      She is simply drawing attention to the modalities of power through which certain groups exercise a strangle-hold over the space of supposedly liberal educational institutions

      Or is she provoking the majority or in your view the so called upper casteste hegemony,

      This kandasamy is just creating mischief and people like her are a nuisense and nothing more than that. This act of her is as stupid as some fanatics indulge in when they throw a pork at a tazia procession or when the other coloured fanatic throws cow meat during Ram Navami celebrations. She is just a stupid woman.

      • Codyshark permalink
        February 11, 2013 1:42 PM

        who are you do decide justice for Meena? She is on the top of the ladder of significance , the lie you people believe in are hilarious , soon you’d understand the world ain’t what it is , The stupid Hindu upper caste belony would be washed away, Racist the Indians are , So much Race minded than those in Southern US, Probably the Hindu Folks can induce a Civil war,
        And yeah lots of Indians do eat beef, dont rely on surveys !

  17. April 23, 2012 12:57 AM

    @Aarti Sethi

    So you say that people can already eat whatever they wish (and thats true too!). Then, what exactly do you think is the motive of this festival? Just to provoke a particular community & then play “victim card”? Like Meena Kandasamy is doing now

  18. April 23, 2012 2:09 AM

    Intentions and motives – those who rake them up don’t even see the logical fallacy in doing so. What are your intentions and motives in opposing a beef festival, in justifying horrendous hate speech and threats against somebody who wants a beef festival? If this is a free country, it should be anybody’s right to hold a beef or pork festival. Who are you to say you can’t have beef-only and you must have pork too? I don’t like some varieties of mangoes – in fact I find them offensive – but they are there in the mango festival in Delhi every year in July amongst mangoes I like. If you were to peacefully hold a pork festival, I’d be all for defending your right to do so without one of you being stabbed, without the women amongst you being subjected to abusive tweets, which includes rape and acid attacks. If you promise me the pork is good I’ll also be happy to come and eat it. I’m sure some of you have experience in cooking pork. I also enjoy my beef and don’t see how you can ask the organisers of a beef festival to hold a pork festival. WHO ARE YOU to tell anyone which kind of meat they can celebrate and which kind of meat they can’t. Really, who are you?

    • April 23, 2012 2:21 AM

      @Shivam Vij

      Exactly. But Meena Kandasamy is NOT openly endorsing a pork-fest. She jus ignores that question. Appeasement?

      • April 23, 2012 2:27 AM

        Why should she? May be she doesn’t like pork. Her choice.

      • Indulekha D. permalink
        April 23, 2012 11:53 AM

        Maybe it’s not just a matter of culinary preference, but Meera Kandasamy is making a deliberate choice to speak against the patriarchal goons of her own religious and cultural background. Good for her, and more power to her! I don’t think I’d be comfortable with a Hindu woman endorsing a pork-fest, especially in this country, where Muslims are a minority constantly under surveillance and threat.

      • April 23, 2012 11:55 AM

        Meena Kandsamy, in her Outlook article, has explained why she supported a beef festival (“Dalit self-assertion”) and why it did not include pork (because that would “cast this as a Hindu-Muslim stand-off when it was actually about untouchability”).

        In short, Ms. Kandaswamy is quite clear and honest about the politics of her choices, and does not try to evade them with mango anecdotes, all caps or “maybe I don’t like pork.” Whether or not I agree with her choices, she comes across as someone who can actually discuss them rather than descending into rhetorical errors.

  19. Aarti Sethi permalink*
    April 23, 2012 4:03 AM

    @ Manoj. I am mystified by your logic. Was there a pork festival for Meena Kandasamy to endorse? No. So you are asking why she didn’t endorse a nonexistent pork festival? So now we will judge people’s political dietary and other positions not just by the things they stand for, but all the possible things that might have been that they might have stood for but have not yet? Maybe before anyone says anything they should immediately draw up lists of all the possible things that might be that they might or might not stand for? We will all be here for a very long time…

    • April 23, 2012 12:46 PM

      The question is not whether there is a pork-fest or not… If one is organised to remove “stigma” among mulsims, will she say YES or NO? Simple choices :)

      Or she can atleast openly declare that she will remove stigma only among Hindus? Not taking a stance on pork makes her argument weak. YES or NO is fine but she should atleast take a stance.

  20. Aarti Sethi permalink*
    April 23, 2012 4:10 AM

    and further yes if the aim behind a festival is precisely to question, and provoke, the unstated assumptions through which academic life is organized what on earth is wrong with that? Organizing a food festival that draws attention to the hegemony through which the dietary taboos of upper-caste Hindus are naturalized as the ‘norm’ for everyone is a wonderful gesture. Why shouldn’t provocation take this form? Organize a sattavic bhojan langar in response if it irks you so much. No one is forcing anyone to eat beef.

  21. rain builds character permalink
    April 23, 2012 4:19 AM

    Leaving aside the politics of the article, wtf kinda article is this ? As a person who was introduced to the controversy from this article, there are no bloody links or references to give more context on this article.

    Questions:

    What was the idea of beef festival, is it a new thing, a Osmania Univ tradition etc?

    Why did Ms kandasamy support or get involved with it ?

    What was the tweet from her that elicited all this response ?

  22. Aarti Sethi permalink*
    April 23, 2012 4:54 AM

    @ rain builds character

    Thank you sir for your rap on the knuckles :) Links have now been added that should provide some context.

    • rain builds character permalink
      April 23, 2012 5:54 AM

      Thanks for the context.

      I apologize for sounding too cranky in the previous post.

  23. rain builds character permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:36 AM

    Let me start by denouncing all sorts of threats of violence against Ms Kandasamy.

    On the issue Ms Kandasamy commented on, here is my 2 cent:

    On one hand if someone wants to organize a beef festival in a college campus, sure go ahead, any kinda activism in an univ campus, more power to you. Pissing of ABVP with your festival, is like I will sign up as your sponsor.

    On the other hand, if you are dalit and want to organize a protest against upper cast hegemony in India, is a ‘beef festival’ really a good front? Feels like an esoteric argument especially considering excessive carbon footprint of the beef cultivation industry. Throughout history beef has been a rich person’s diet.

    To paraphrase a quote from the TV show West Wing, there are real honest battles to be fought on the caste front, why waste time on the cosmetic ones.

  24. ranju permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:47 AM

    for god’s sake don’t say tht Meena kandasami is a Dalit..she has been faking this identity for long..that apart we support the cause

    • Nivedita Menon permalink*
      April 23, 2012 10:44 AM

      Ranju, you come into kafila routinely under a pseudonym and call someone who speaks up courageously under her own name a “fake”?! What identity are YOU faking, I wonder.

    • Kumarpushp permalink
      April 23, 2012 10:32 PM

      Ha HA Ranju, go and see Meena caste certificate ,you are like your hindu cousins who are born violent but piss in trousers when come to muslims.

  25. Muneer permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:40 AM

    Responding to a beef stall opened in Hyderabad University during the annual SUKOON festival way back in 2006, I along with other Muslims students made our stand clear that had this been a pork stall we wouldn’t have come here and would have even opposed such a stall. I said that apart from joiing a protest against food fascism beef eating was also part our food culture which had been curtailed for years in a democratic campus. Thus my participation in the stall was both political (protest) and cultural (freedom to eat my staple food).

    In another instance in 2001, some senior research scholars of the same university caught a big python and cooked and ate in front of the hostel. Many of my upper caste friends who never tasted beef or python did join the party only as a symbolic protest against the growing food fascism…

    Thus for me this protest is not a cosmetic, but a honest life battle…

    • ecosoc permalink
      April 27, 2012 3:07 AM

      someone said: only dying/emaciated cattle and bullocks are permitted for slaughter (in an ostensibly secular jurisdiction).
      “the beef here is sourced mainly from bullocks (usually old male oxen unfit for draught application)”

      http://www.thehindubusinessline.in/2001/09/04/stories/14043108.htm

      …and had been for a couple of thousand years; those that performed the function of taking away the cattle (carcasses) were subject to sheer racism/repression. the principle of ahimsa (an Upanishadic derivative of Buddhism) underwent an inversion on Dalits (tribals for their hunting-gathering) as subjects/targets of himsa, aggression and ‘maximum prejudice’.
      while sanatana dharma itself, like other religious forms, was gradually being transformed (both in terms of demographics and ideas), not so conceptions of changeless caste/subjective karma, of ‘human nature’. hence the witholding to particular groups of education/culture, constant visitations of humiliation, discrimination, ‘atrocities’.
      such ‘judicious’ violence also served to show and keep the subordinated in place (thereby – the genius of it all – subsidizing economic and ecological activity, giving it a caste/ethnic dimension_ keeping down their wages/subsistence, giving them shit/boycotts, not reservations/Sachar! (isnt it a timeless denial/process?)
      today, the only official reparation Dalits/Tribals now have is a weak mobility for a few, a political socialisation not yet economic (no ‘truth and reconciliation’, thank you (there’s no truth to speak, only power)_ but oh, maybe some archives and library burning?
      this mobility too, is rationed out to the (culturally) deserving (nation-alised, sanskritised, with the right diet/temples/mantras/tilaks/enemies); anyway, the state is not big/rich enough for total mobility, right? but, by Mother India, we’ll get there…albeit with some groups perpetually in progressively deteriorating wasteland agriculture and a petty-cash dependent informal economy
      violence/humiliation need not always be dramatic, it even takes daily, mundane, symbolic forms, threats, particularist attitudes/treatment over socioeconomic time (the time taken to change a group’s position (vis a vis others)
      the instance of ‘skewering’ is transposed onto the hegemony of an ostensibly ahimsa-oriented hierarchy (now maximally intolerant_ having smelt the blood in a sizeable nuclear-military GDP)
      there were to be caste specialists to take care of the violence_ only, today violence/humiliation is more organised and democratised down the line (turn each against other; militant masonic ngos/parastatal-like orgs. tolerated to do their stuff, repress targeted groups; align with the dominant international order; get out the media corps, the hackers)
      meanwhile, the low cost, occasional ‘dietary preference’ (protein deficit_ certainly not all cultural) continues, and so does the racism and ‘bravery’/aggression (the non-culture of a vast/diverse pool of accumulated cultural capital and alternatives).
      sadly, we are not even in the ‘capitalist stage’ of ‘progress’ (inspite of GDP), only imperialist-feudal, with the trappings/traditions/hypocrisies of British-western democracy (the best form of political organisation known to liberal man)
      …and sadly these interpretations (that i’ve ventured) seem to exist/are asserted/reasserted in the national dream, in panchayats, in other institutions, in households.
      some that DO fortuitously rise into the middle class run the risk of becoming ‘secularly sanskritised’ into liberal consumption patterns emulating lifestyles of the hierarchy, other historical hierarchies (maha-)raja, pasha, seth, multiple hierarchies for each dwijiya group?)
      (my own position/utopia is ironically somewhat convoluted, admittedly beset with (structural) contradictions: frugality, ecosocialism (human, plant and animal rights), a socially brighter age
      (what am i doing writing at strangers? who’s doing the talking here?! over to those who’d have the last word)

  26. April 23, 2012 10:55 AM

    I am vegetarian but see nothing wrong as a choice of food be it beef, pork or else. I do not see these as Hindu, Muslim and other food. We should respect freedom and food habits of all other person. Those asking for Pork fest, should organise it. I will support. But is wrong to ask a beef lover to have pork and a pork lover to have beef.

  27. James permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:50 AM

    Meena should consider filing criminal and civil defamation cases against a bunch of the more obnoxious ones. Get a court order to get the service providers to reveal their identities. This can be done without using the hated provisions of the IT act.

  28. nandi1610 permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:10 PM

    this is what patriarchy, and ‘upper’ caste, right wing politics, does to you if you are a woman who first writes about her own experience as a survivor of domestic violence and then supports beef eating. patriarchy calls you a ‘bad woman’ and says ‘bad women’ must be controlled. ‘bad women’ should be abused. i am happy to be a ‘bad woman’ too, i stand in solidarity with meena k and i am hopeful that the ‘bad women’ of the world will unite to keep fighting old and new battles together.

  29. Gopalakrishnan permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:20 PM

    Highly atrocious behavior by the ABVP and other right wing organisations involved in this. I strongly condemn their abuse against Ms.Meena Kandaswamy and insist stern Legal Action against all of them..

  30. April 23, 2012 12:25 PM

    I feel tempted to reproduce a conversation which I had on my wall,after sharing this link there:

    #####
    i share ur concern. but don’t u feel that people including meena are over doing it ? these are people who have transcended the dalit material stage but still using to find an identity amidst the alienated state.

    ‎#
    “..but don’t u feel that people including meena are over doing it?”
    where is the question of ‘overdoing’, in democratically trying to expressing oneself on an important social issue?

    #####
    whats an important social issue ? eating cows ! who stopped you. protection of cows is in the directive principles of state policy of the constitution and an offence in some penal statutes. are they being implemented ? so why do you bother ? you can eat as much of beef you want. how is it a social issue. if a section of the population want cow to be treated as holy, leave it to them to pray the cow. there are more important issues if you want to work for. eating or not eating beef is not one of them.

    #
    Important social issue is people’s right not to be bullied on just because they eat meat of a particular animal;they want to protect their eating habits from bigots who whip up religious sentiments .
    You know for sure that there has been many instances in the recent past of India ,where dalits and muslims were brutally attacked or even lynched after the victims being accused of doing business with dead cows.In Jhajjar (Hariyana) 4 dalits were massacred a few years ago and more recently , in Karnataka,Gujarat,Maharashtra , Rajastan and Madhya Pradesh there has been a number of incidents in which Muslims were either made targets of mob violence or were booked on concocted charges using the cover of one or other new generation legislation purportedly made to “protect” cows, but in practice to further tyrannize and marginalize dalits and Muslims!
    You should think who is ‘overdoing’ hate politics in the name of the poor animal!

  31. vivek permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:28 PM

    i love beef…i love pork..they are so tasty!..yummy!..people who protest eating such tasty things in the name of religion just dont have any taste!..cheapos! :P

  32. Carol Andrade permalink
    April 23, 2012 4:53 PM

    We have got to hunt down this Siddharth Shankar, the face of violence against all that is sane and considered in this country. The poison that he spews is illegal and he should be jailed under the appropriate sections of the IPC. What a regressive country we must look like to people of civilised nations – thanks to walking malignancies like him.

  33. Kumarpushp permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:35 PM

    I like to eat Cow but I donot eat pork .lets VHP,Bajrang dal ABVP to eat grass.

  34. nidhin permalink
    April 24, 2012 12:24 AM

    liking beef and hating pork is all meena’s personal choice. but organizing such a festival at this time is surely gonna hurt the religious sentiments of some sections of our society. so my personal opinion is, this festival was organised to do the same. we cant hope an illiterate religious fundamentalistic people to think out of their fundamentalism. this have happened many times before also in banning satanic verses, taslim nasreen and mf hussain. so this nature of indian society cant be changed soon,its is a gradual process and its slowly changing,at this stage organising such a festival is gonna be dangerous for the peaceful coexistance in our society.

  35. praveen permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:28 AM

    pathetic, these right wing ppl are senseless & idiotic. kudos to Meena for taking on these fascists

  36. indian permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:33 PM

    India may be the only country in the world where people don’t eat beef but drink lots of milk depriving the calf of its only natural food.

  37. April 25, 2012 11:13 AM

    why is it that hardly anyone here is bothered about the fact that meena is being threatened with gangrape and acid attacks? what does this show? is it only the Hindu fundamentalists reacting like that? the sexual exploitation amongst Dalits and naxalites/maoists of their own women workers, the female genital mutiliation amongst the dawood bohra community in India are all facts which show that Dalits Leftists and Muslim men are no different in their behaviour towards women. if a woman is courageous to say or do something unusual, whatever its nature, she is destined to be threatened this way. this is something much more worrying to me and should have been be to all of us. afterall gender is as important if not more than food!

  38. Dinakaran permalink
    April 26, 2012 8:45 AM

    In a lighter vein, has anybody considered the feeling of a cow or pig before advocating the festivals ?

  39. Makkal Mandram permalink
    April 26, 2012 9:12 PM

    In addition to these condemning notes/comments it is high time for us to come to the streets to expose and condemn both the attack on Meenakandasamy and the Hindutva fascists.
    Makkal Mandram

  40. April 27, 2012 12:32 AM

    on behalf on myself and ALL INDIA DALIT MAHILA ADHIKAR MANCH we condemn this kind of vicious attacks on Meena and right to freedom of expression. it only a sign of the rabid mindsets of individuals and groups who continue to perpetuate violence and discrimination

  41. April 29, 2012 8:18 AM

    One would gladly condemn the viciousness of attacks on MK (or on any person who expresed their honest opinion) if one would not immediately end up being placed in this pigeonhole or that in the rampant politicisation of identity. If I condemn the way MK has been harassed, do I automatically become her ‘supporter’ and her enemy’s ‘enemy’? I hope not. Because there are some of us who support freedom for everyone within India but do not support overt and planned provoking of all other people for the sake of scoring points. BTW, if I do not support the eating of either cows or pigs or even hens (and who here is thinking of the way meat and leather are produced in india?), will I be then booed out as a food fascist?

    As far as I can see it, everyone concerned has added fuel to the fires. I do not support the suppression of varied cultural identity (let people eat what they want as long as they do not confuse practice with identity) , but I also want to point out that other voices need to be heard here–and fine lines of proportionate action spelled out. Violence anywhere should be curbed sharply, including the violence of speech and thought expressed here againt MK, against castes, religions etc. Who here is self-consciously exercising or urging control?

  42. yehlog permalink
    May 2, 2012 9:07 PM

    Meena was clearly threatened, and we know the identity of those who threatened her. There’s a prominent right wing activist from the US who threatened to kill her in the most barbaric fashion. the best way forward is to take legal action against this jerk, to set an example. Organisations in the US – please take it forward

  43. Raju Madappa permalink
    May 4, 2012 2:11 PM

    There is a good one on the beef festival by Dalitnation which claims to be the only authentic voice of dalits:

    http://dalitnation.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/beef-food-festival-makes-the-grass-eating-brahmins-and-banias-shiver/

  44. May 29, 2012 8:07 PM

    If cow is their mother, let us eat their Father Mr Bullock- CBP

  45. Anonymous Dalit permalink
    July 11, 2012 7:35 PM

    Many (presumably) upper caste Hindus have claimed here that beef is the staple food of Dalits in India. This is patently false. Don’t believe me ? Why doesn’t Ms. Kandasamy approach Mayawati and offer here a platter of beef nihari ? If beef really is the staple of dalits then here popularity will go up even more. Even the Muslims will dessert Mulayam and flock to her. The Dalit+Muslim combination will surely ensure here electoral victory.

    But guess what ? Ms. Mayawati will never agree to it . Why ? Because Dalits DONT EAT BEEF.

    This event was less about Dalit emancipation and more about Ms Kandasamy gaining notoriety in the eyes of left-liberal Indian and more importantly Western media. I am sure we will soon read her articles in Guardian and NYT as a ‘Dalit specialist’.

    Finally, though I disagree with ms. Kandasamy and her methods, the criminal actions of lumpens were regrettable. Just like its regrettable when you throw match in a pot of gasoline.

Trackbacks

  1. A Cowed-Down Nation « kracktivist
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  5. internetrights.in The internet as a pathway for women’s empowerment in India » internetrights.in
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