May 29, 2017
Chennai: Progressive students collective of IIT Madras on Saturday organised a Beef Festival to register its protest against the central government directive on cow slaughter and restrictions on cattle trading.
It was just a spontaneous decision to hold the protest after a meeting in the afternoon and within few hours some 70 to 80 students, including girls, congregated inside a park in the sprawling IIT campus and feasted on beef that they brought from outside.
“This is to protest against the centre’s directive restricting cattle trading, which hits at the majority community by restricting availability of their diet,” said a protester.
Abhinav Surya, a student of final year mechanical engineering, organised the protest and said the response of the student community was also spontaneous and voluntary. Many students resented the restrictions that threatened livelihood of some on one hand and on the other curtail supply of their staple meat diet.
“Students cutting across caste lines participated in the beef festival. So far there has been no action against us, either from the IIT authorities or the police,” Abhinav Surya said.
There has been some condemnation by people on facebook. Few students owing allegiance to right wing ideology have also condemned and derided us,” he said.
“No food was cooked inside. It was brought from outside and distributed,” he said. The Beef festival was not held under any banner but was a spontaneous protest to record the sentiments of the students, the organiser of the festival said.
Opposition DMK announced on Monday that it will hold protest against the central government move on May 31. DMK working president MK Stalin said that the central government was taking decisions that were opposed by several states and in this case, Tamil Nadu too opposes, but the government here is dependent on the centre and hence it is not coming out with its opposition to the move.