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16 Sep 2019, Edition - 1525, Monday

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Coimbatore

My clothes, my food habit is my business

Indrani Thakurata

I like lobsters, I like mutton, I like squids and I like beef. Never have I been questioned on what I like and why I like it. As a food connoisseur, I gorge on different cuisines and am not afraid to experiment with food. But Centre’s notification regarding ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets has challenged my food habit and my right to eat what i want to. I like wearing T shirt with funny quotes, I like wearing short skirts and I like wearing what I feel I look good in. But when that right to wear what I wish to is questioned, I will protest. I will stand against any notification that curbs my fundamental right to ‘be’.

“Whether it is the beef ban or the recent incident in Forum Mall where a man was harassed” for wearing a T-shirt that had some “indecent words” printed on it, Bangalore will stand against it. This young city will resist such moral policing and such mindless diktats by the few,” says Vikram Joshi, Political Analyst.

We don’t agree with the ban

This ban has met with strong resistance in many parts of India. Students, intellectuals and commoners have come out in large numbers to protest against such a ban. Just a few days back, Bangalore saw a similar protest. Around 25 people protesting the ‘beef ban’ in Bangalore were arrested and put under police custody. About 500 people who were marching towards the Bangalore town hall were stopped by the police and at least 25 were arrested. Likes of Jagdish Chandra , New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) , Balan (AICCTU) were taken in custody. Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah statement was a relief for many in the state when he was quoted saying that “It is not binding on the State to implement the Centre’s curbs on sale of cattle for slaughter as it is a State subject”. But, most intellectuals are accusing him of double talk, for if he was against it, the arrests wouldn’t have been made.

“Political ambivalence is really sad. Our CM here is infact trying to be very smart. On one hand he is calling this a state subject and on the other hand, arresting peaceful protesters. Few leaders aren’t mincing their words, and that is nice. Infact Kerala Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan wrote to the Centre calling the notification ‘against the principles of secularism and federalism enshrined in our Constitution’ .Recently, two BJP leaders from Meghalaya quit the party to protest against the beef ban too. These are bold political steps,” says M. Venkat, an IT professional who loves his beef chilli. Adding to the same, Sudeshna Saha Roy, HR and a self confessed foodie says, ” The ban just doesn’t affect the a foodie, it has larger ramifications. There are many regions in India where beef eating is a part of their culture and tradition, like in North Garo Hills. It is nice to see Bangalore united on such bans. People are against mindless policing.”

What I wear is my business

The recent facebook post that highlighted such bizarre moral policing and intolerance went viral and elicited reaction from all quarters, “It is sad that the Centre is putting it’s mind to matters of our freedom. And such notification by the government is only encouraging moralists and goons of all kinds to run riot. Or how else can you explain such behaviour from a commoner, who stops entry of a man because of the T shirt he is wearing. And seeks help from a police who also justifies this nonsense,” says Anupriya Sinha, A Business Consultant in the city. She adds, “Bangalore is a city where youngsters thrive. It is a university city, where students from other parts of the country, Professionals from other parts of the country have made home. Therefore, we have a broad outlook. We don’t encourage narrowness let alone any assault on our freedom to wear and eat.”

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