Saturday, January 23, 2021
Home Specials Kolkata Beef Festival cancelled: Organisers claim it was apolitical, Bengalis say deliberate attempt to...

Kolkata Beef Festival cancelled: Organisers claim it was apolitical, Bengalis say deliberate attempt to hurt Hindu sentiments

Kolkata has largely been considered a liberal hub by the intellectuals of the country. They were too blind to see the undercurrents that were flowing beneath the surface but finally, it appears to have broken into the public consciousness.

In the aftermath of the Lok Sabha Elections, we had asserted that the results marked the dawn of religious politics in West Bengal and that going forward, the results will be determined by the extent of religious polarisation among the electorate.

As a sign of the times, a beef festival that was supposed to be organised in Kolkata has now been cancelled after the organizers claimed they received threats from people and they believe they cannot ensure the safety of the attendees. They said, “If any one person is harmed, we would feel personally responsible, and we can not accept that.”

The organisers also said that the event was entirely apolitical. Considering the timing of the event, one finds it hard to believe but in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we ought to believe their version of events. According to Arjun Kar, one of the organizers, as reported by News18, they are “young chaps who just want to enjoy a night of fun and frolic”.

The menu for the ‘Kolkata Beef Festival’, which was eventually changed to ‘Kolkata Beep Festival’ after protests on social media, included some pork dishes as well. As per information received by OpIndia.com from sources, the menu initially did not include pork when the event was first announced, and it was added later on after Hindus registered their disagreement on social media.

While the organisers claim that the event was not politically motivated, it remains a fact that it got political as soon as it was announced. The name angered a great many Hindus and they registered their disagreement on Facebook. In turn, liberals rallied to the organisers’ defence and the matter only escalated further. Therefore, while the organisers may claim that the event was not motivated by politics, it was destined to take a political turn given the circumstances.

Arjun Kar further claimed they started receiving threats mostly from people who are not based in West Bengal. His claims appear to be motivated by his personal biases as an OpIndia.com reporter observed a great many Bengalis angered by the festival as well which they perceived to be an affront to their religious sensibilities.

“I never knew beef was this big a deal, in Kolkata at least,” Kar further stated. Perhaps, it had been the case but certainly no longer. Quite evidently, Bengali Hindus were greatly displeased with the celebration involving beef as well. And as anyone aware of Bengali culture would be aware, consuming beef is frowned upon greatly by the masses. There was also the impression that the very objective of the event, from the very beginning, was to hurt religious sentiments.

A Bengali youth OpIndia.com talked to said, “I personally am a very business minded individual but that was deliberately done to insult the religious sentiments of people. Why a beef ‘festival’ when it is considered as a sacred animal by so many people?”

Another Bengali youth based in Kolkata said, “I come from a Hindu household and fairly liberal as well. As someone from Bengal and resident of Kolkata, I have never raised questions over food preferences of anyone, after all, we are a diverse country. Unfortunately, the way this beef festival was organised showed that it was clearly an aim to insult the growing influence of the right wing in Bengal and at the same time with the malicious intent of insulting Hindu sentiments. This was further proven by the organiser’s comments, actions and views. It’s infuriating to see how far people go to show that they are liberals and vindicate everyone else who speak against them.”

A student, a Bengali again, who wasn’t aware of the nitty-gritty details of the particular incident due to personal commitments, told OpIndia.com that he was averse to ‘festivals’ involving beef as well. “I think the event was of political nature. It appears to me that beef which has sacred religious connotations in India’s cultural history and society was used as a prop for a mass event. It does leave a lot of room for speculations as to its real intention given the nature of the political and cultural situation in Bengal right now.”

OpIndia.com was told by sources that the organisers too made communally charged comments, as did their supporters. We could not independently verify whether the organizers did make such comments as Arjun Kar has apparently deactivated his Facebook profile. However, their supporters did brand those opposing the festival as ‘fascists’ and ‘communal bigots’ and make other insensitive remarks.

It’s a significant change from how things were a few years ago. In 2015, prominent CPI(M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya had participated in a beef festival organised in Kolkata in protest against a beef ban in some state. Even then, Left leaders had criticized Bhattacharya’s actions and said it would hurt the sentiments of certain sections of society.

This time around, Bhattacharya was the party candidate from Jadavpur. CPI(M)’s vote-share dropped by 15.04% while the BJP managed to increase its own by 15.15% in the seat which was won by Trinamool with over 47% vote-share.

One thing appears certain, however, that there’s a growing section of Bengalis who are proud of their Hindu identity and do not take kindly to such celebration of the consumption of beef. Liberal Bengalis may disagree and attempt to brand every critic of theirs as an outsider but unfortunately for them, quite evidently, that’s not the case.

Intriguingly, it’s the Bengali youth which appears more vociferous than ever in such matters. Political polarisation has occurred within the youth as well, as is quite evident from the Bengali youth OpIndia.com has talked to. As we have noted earlier, the youth of Bengal campaigned heavily for the success of the BJP in 2019 and slogans such as ‘Mandir Wahi Banayengey’ and ‘Har Ghar Bhagwa Chhayega’ have become extremely popular among the Bengali youth.

Kolkata has largely been considered a liberal hub by the intellectuals of the country. They were too blind to see the undercurrents that were flowing beneath the surface but finally, it appears to have broken into the public consciousness. Without going into the morality of the cancellation of the beef festival through alleged intimidation and threats, it can be safely said that Kolkata is at the heart of the Cultural Revolution that has gripped the country.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

 

Related Articles

Trending now

Farmer leader Ruldu Singh Mansa alleges Delhi Police smashed his car’s windscreen, video tells a completely different story: Details

Farmer leader Ruldu Singh Mansa smashes the windscreen of his own car with a hockey stick, alleges Delhi police did it

Elephant in viral video where a forest official was seen crying profusely over its death was injured by burning tyre in horrific attack: Details

An elephant has died in Masinagudi in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu after locals attempted to chase it away with fire.

‘Money earned in drug sale was used to finance anti-India activities’: NCB busts Dawood Ibrahim aide’s drug factory

The arrested Chiku Pathan is said to be a close aide fo Dawood Ibrahim. He is one of the biggest drug lords of Mumbai and manufactures Mephedrone from multiple factories.

India sends Covid-19 vaccines to all neighbouring countries except Pakistan, China steps in to aid Pakistan with free Chinese vaccine

India has not sent any vaccines to Pakistan, and there are no reports suggesting that Indian govt will send any vaccine to them

Microsoft files a patent to bring back dead loved ones as ‘chatbots’ from their digital data

Microsoft has reportedly filed a patent that would allow it to built a chatbot mirroring human beings based on their digital data.

Temples under attack in Andhra Pradesh: Hindus must be granted autonomy and the chance to defend themselves from external attacks

The recent series of temple vandalism incidents across Andhra Pradesh have left Hindus all over the country horrified and shaken.

Recently Popular

Rajdeep Sardesai ‘baffled’ by India Today survey that shows Modi govt winning a sweeping majority if elections held today: Details

Taking to Twitter, Sardesai said that he was 'baffled' to see that despite the economic hardships resulted by the pandemic, Indians still love the Modi government.

#BanSportsTak: Netizens angry after India Today owned sports channel claims Virat Kohli suffers from ‘disorder’

"It is a disorder for a captain to (be as aggressive as Virat Kohli). It might be acceptable for a player to have this aggression (but nor for a captain)," the journalist claimed.

Left-wing fury at Vir Sanghvi shows just how much ‘liberals’ hate Hindus

Vir Sanghvi published a column about the ‘shameful persecution’ of Munawar Faruqui and the ‘bogus controversy’ around Tandav

How Brazil thanked India for sending Coronavirus vaccine doses: Pawan Putra Hanuman

President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has expressed his gratitude towards India and Prime Minister Modi for vaccine exports from our country.

Arnab vs Navika: Arnab responds to Navika’s emotional monologue, says he carried his shoes with him

Recently, Navika Kumar said that when Arnab left Time Now, she had his shoes to fill. However, Arnab gives a befitting reply.

Pakistan ‘successfully’ test-fires missile injuring people, destroying houses in civil area, say Baloch leaders

Contrary to claims of Pakistani Army's successful tests of Shaheen-III Missile, several reports coming from Pakistan suggests that the test carried out by Pakistan was a massive failure as the missile landed in a civilian area in Balochistan destroying several houses and injuring civilians
- Advertisement -

 

The Keystone XL pipeline and why Joe Biden’s executive order has riled up Canada and fears of job loss

On Friday, US President Joe Biden will make his first call with Justin Trudeau on Friday and discuss the issue of keystone pipeline.

Not a satire: North Korea raises concerns about ‘human rights violations’ in Australia at the UN

North Korea raised concerns on human right violations in Australia during the universal period review at the UN Human Rights Council

NCB busts drug racket based out of Pakistan and Sri Lanka after seizing heroin worth Rs 1,000 crore from a boat

NCB and the Indian Coast Guard had intercepted a vessel near the Tuticorin Port and found 95.87 kg of heroin in November 2020

Tamil YouTube channel reporter harasses Brahmin women and peddles caste hatred; Indu Makkal Katchi to file a complaint on the incident

A reporter of a Tamil YouTube channel Red Pix was seen harassing a woman and peddling caste hatred against Brahmin people

How Brazil thanked India for sending Coronavirus vaccine doses: Pawan Putra Hanuman

President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has expressed his gratitude towards India and Prime Minister Modi for vaccine exports from our country.

Farmer leader Ruldu Singh Mansa alleges Delhi Police smashed his car’s windscreen, video tells a completely different story: Details

Farmer leader Ruldu Singh Mansa smashes the windscreen of his own car with a hockey stick, alleges Delhi police did it

Yogi Adityanath the most popular CM in the country for third consecutive time, Mamata slips to 4th: India Today’s Mood of the Nation survey

Yogi Adityanath has emerged as the most popular Chief Minister in the country in the India Today 'Mood of the Nation' survey.

Elephant in viral video where a forest official was seen crying profusely over its death was injured by burning tyre in horrific attack: Details

An elephant has died in Masinagudi in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu after locals attempted to chase it away with fire.

Pune restaurant launches ‘Bullet Thali’ challenge: Eat a 4 kg platter in 60 mins to win a Royal Enfield bike

The Pune restaurant owner conceptualised the 'Bullet Thali' challenge to bounce back after his business incurred huge losses amid the coronavirus pandemic

Ministers reportedly walk out of meeting after farmers refuse government’s proposal, 11th round of talks end in a stalemate

Protesting farmers do not agree to Govt's offer to put the farm laws on hold for two years and forming and committee

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,900SubscribersSubscribe