On Friday, entrepreneur Arun Pudur dug out an old tweet posted by ‘journalist’ Saba Naqvi in 2018. In the said tweet, Naqvi peddled her political agenda by casting aspersions about the saffronisation of Sambhar masala powder. Posting a picture of ‘Brahmin Sambhar powder’ sachet, manufactured by Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd, the journalist had tweeted, “My discovery in Karwar region near coast of Karnataka. Anant Kumar hedge country (suggesting a Hindu land)…”
Responding to her allegations that the product is the result of Brahmanical hegemony, Arun Pudur tweeted, “‘Journalists’ keep attacking Brahmins even though none of them did any riots or blow themselves up!”, accusing Naqvi of intellectual dishonesty, the entrepreneur pointed out the real story behind the said masala powder.
‘Journalists’ keep attacking Brahmins even though none of them did any riots or blow themselves up!— अरुन् पुदुर् (@arunpudur) September 5, 2020
Zero research too the company that makes Brahmin Sambar Powder, 500 crs Eastern Group of Companies is owned by Late Mr. Meeran who is Kerala Muslim.
No questions on Halal though! pic.twitter.com/dUsrZ5PAOO
The Truth about Brahmin Masala powder
On visiting the website of the Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd, we found about the history of the company. The company (earlier knows as Eastern Trading Company) was founded by one M.E. Meeran, who hailed from a Muslim family in Kerala. To ascertain that he was Muslim by faith, we checked for online reports. In one such article published after his death in 2011, it read, “The burial was held at Adimaly Jamaath Mosque at 5 pm on Thursday in the presence friends and relatives.”
The idea behind ‘Satvik food’
It is clear by now that the ‘Brahmin Sambar powder’ is not manufactured by a company run by Hindus. Brahmin cuisine or Tamil Brahmin cuisine essentially is ‘satvik’ food which does not include onion or garlic. Some traditional TamBrahm households also do not include drumsticks, bottle gourd, carrots, etc because they are not considered ‘satvik’. This, however, does not imply that people from other cannot purchase or eat it. In the case of ‘Brahmin Sambar Powder’ as well, it is a recipe or a cuisine specific ingredient, rather than anything sinister.
Satvik food does not discriminate like Halal
Unlike Satvik food, Halal can only be performed by a Muslim man. Thus, non-Muslims are automatically denied employment at a Halal firm. There are certain other conditions that must be fulfilled that makes it quite clear that it is intrinsically an Islamic practice. Guidelines for the procedure make it clear that non-Muslim employees cannot be employed in any part of the slaughtering process. Even the labelling of the meat can be done by Muslims only. The guidelines also say that if at the time of slaughtering the name of anyone else other than Allah is invoked (i.e. animal sacrificed for him/her), then the meat becomes Haram “unlawful.”
The pervasiveness of the practice and the insistence of the Muslim community on consuming only Halal meat has resulted in Muslims effectively creating a monopoly over the process for people of their community. It is a process through which non-Muslims are deliberately denied employment while being fed meat that goes against their religious beliefs.