Outrage over every tiny, insignificant and totally mediocre issues is quite in fashion these days. We are a big country. We are never out of issues to stand up for, we have a thousand problems plaguing our masses and yet it is so surprising how some media outlets conveniently miss them and instead put their collective power behind non-issues. Not only do they try to peddle fake narrative expertly woven around intricate lies, they also succeed in diverting the attention of the masses towards their bigger agenda of anti-Hindu, anti-BJP, anti-Modi fear mongering.
The recent topic of fake-activism has been the alleged caste divide and Bramhin monopoly in our society. We all see how viciously a lie can be woven into a net of violence and chaos that ultimately damages the spirit of the common man and the peace and harmony of our lives. We saw it in Bhima-Koregaon, we are seeing it every day in some of the other forms. The attempts to divide the general public in terms of caste and class are very much operational. Another sample of it was published in The Print, where it was alleged that IIT Bombay, one of the premier educational institutions of our country is promoting the “Bramhinical Notions of Food Practices”
When one reads the article title, one gets a mental image of a premier institution imposing strict rules for its students to adhere to.
The article goes on to quote academics on how what we eat defines us and then brings up casually that the much-feared “brahminical imposition” is actually happening in hostel 11. The fact that the said hostel is just one of the 16 women’s hostels on campus and there are many, many more hostels where no such thing has been reported somehow fails to get mentioned.
The fact behind the outrage (which never was, in the first place) is that a certain email was sent by the mess co-ordinator not to use the ‘main’ plates for non-vegetarian dishes. That’s it, seriously. The article goes ahead to describe how many institutions are practising this in their hostels. Spectacularly missing that hostels constantly cook food for a large number of people and not serving meat might be a budget matter rather than “Bramhinical imposition“. One Kg of Bhindi costs Rs. 30 while a kg of mutton costs Rs. 500. While I obviously can’t confirm, but since we are speculating, this could be a reason too, isn’t it?
The misleading article was soon picked up by celebrity journalists and “democracy is in danger” brigade. Mr Shekhar Gupta was quick to tweet.
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) January 17, 2018
There we have it. A mundane matter of using separate plates has now morphed into “food casteism”. The manufactured outrage didn’t just stop there. Soon others picked up. The students wishing for their plates not to smell bad were termed bigots in no time.
Plates are just the beginning.
Then comes sitting in different tables as we have seen.
When then let’s have Veg and Non Veg Hostel wings??
Guys in IIT who suggested this need to design a better dishwasher … And rinse their bigoted heads in it. ?https://t.co/VeaFSlHnge
— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) January 18, 2018
The fanning didn’t stop there, from casteism and bigotry it just had to become communal too.
I am afraid we are going back in time to the days of “ Hindu pani” and “ Muslim Pani” . We want UCC but different plates and cups for different classes. In most of the hostels SC students are asked to sit on a separate table and use different utensils. ? https://t.co/9Az1s9VnFz
— shahid siddiqui (@shahid_siddiqui) January 16, 2018
Note here how a matter of hostel plates segregation has now been fanned into a Hindu Muslim issue already. Some vigilant observers were quick to see through the propaganda.
@ShekharGupta Shekhar this is the demand of vegetarians, perfectly legitimate. People have a right to ask for separate plates when there is non veg. Why call this casteism? Today caste and no veg donot go together https://t.co/DUgcx2FBCM
— Mohandas Pai (@TVMohandasPai) January 17, 2018
The absolute hogwash that was being attempted did manage to amuse some sane minds though.
Temple runs, sarees, rangolis, caste discussions, separate plates for veg/non-veg arguments, My grandma would have loved to be on twitter in 2018. Alas she left us in 1995. ? https://t.co/4P6iHtAXWo
— Sriram (@srirambjp) January 17, 2018
It took some time before the facts began to emerge and tweeples started calling the hoax for what it actually was.
This article @ThePrintIndia is badly written, biased with shady analysis. Headlines mention @iitbombay whereas it’s only the Hostel 11 (Women, out of 13/14 hostels) where it happened. There is NO restriction on food but on utensils. Non-veg eating cooks can prepare the food. pic.twitter.com/LUkFqReBF9
— Amit ?? (@AMITSIDSHARMA) January 18, 2018
Facts do not stay hidden for long. Soon tweeples came out to clarify and it all fell apart.
The real issue was present in just 1 hostel out of 16 and that was also resolved. It was just one warden being too smart. But MSM will blow it out of proportion. IIT & IIMs are not JNUs, but they are trying it hard to make them one! pic.twitter.com/coGAgse5AC
— Ayush Mishra (@AayuushM) January 18, 2018
In the digital age, it doesn’t take long to confirm facts and know the truth. But such repeated attempts to promote allegations of casteism and divide when none actually exist often makes one wonder, what are these elements actually trying to achieve by such baseless propagation of lies and half-baked conspiracy theories?