Friday, November 27, 2020
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Doctor who volunteered in Kerala for flood relief gets abused for merely stating his observation

Recently, Kerala was inundated with devastating floods, the worst to hit the state since 1924. The nation came together to help Kerala which was reeling under the tragedy which left over 350 people dead and homes and farms washed away. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan even gave an initial estimate of losses worth Rs. 20,000 crore.

Everyone has come together to help rebuild Kerala. Among them is a Mumbai based doctor and Twitter user Amit Thadani, who was recently in Kerala, helping flood victims.

Last week he posted an image of the menu of the legendary coffee chain store, Indian Coffee House in Thiruvananthapuram, which is about 100 metres from the Padmanabhaswamy temple entrance.

One of the items on the menu is ‘beef roast’. Thadani questioned how the sale of beef is allowed so close to a religious shrine, considering cows are considered holy by the Hindus and cow slaughter is banned in many states. Thadani had merely posed a question about the sale of beef considering the same is banned at many religious and holy places. Haridwar, Uttarakhand, is a vegetarian, alcohol-free zone. However, Thadani’s tweet triggered trolls who started abusing him and even accused him of trying to ‘food police’ them, many proudly proclaiming to be ‘Urban Naxals‘.

Some even offered him more beef items, being insensitive towards Thadani’s religious beliefs.

And he was asked to ‘go back to the cow belt’, a term usually referred to those hailing from the Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh region.

And he was also accused of promoting communalism and religious bigotry.

Thadani later put up a note saying how he was abused by the trolls who indulged in name calling and sending pictures of beef dishes.

He clarified how he was merely putting out an observation as meat sale and consumption is usually banned from major temple areas. He also said how he was not imposing his food choices on anyone and that never asked anyone to stop eating beef, but merely stated an observation which was misread and misinterpreted.

It is indeed unfortunate that a harmless tweet is misinterpreted by trolls who descend upon someone’s timeline for targeted harassment. That too for someone who has been helping the same people with relief after the recent devastating floods in the state.

This is not the first time people from Kerala have shown their insensitivity when it comes to talking about beef. In May, this year, one Sadhvi Saraswati, the president of Sanatan Dharma Parivar Seva Samiti, addressed a convention in Kerala, discouraging people to eat beef. Following which, her Facebook page was inundated with messages from some Malayalis who had been sending her beef recipes as well as images of raw meat. Shockingly, while sharing the story on the Malayalis who took sadistic pleasure in sending beef/meat images to Sadhvi Saraswati, The News Minute editor-in-chief Dhanya Rajendran used to ‘tears rolling down the cheeks’ laughing emoji to show her happiness and amusement at the same.

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