A Malayali cultural association based in Frankfurt, Germany said in a Facebook post Sunday that it was prodded by the Indian Consulate there to revise its food menu and drop beef from it after a few people raised objections to it. The incident was reported at the Indien Fest organised by the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Frankfurt where all state representatives were asked to display common delicacies with the exception of alcohol.
The clarification from Kerala Samajam Frankfurt (KSF), the association, came amid reports that a bunch of people, who had attended the festival, objected to the presence of beef on the menu and protested arguing that the item was ‘not part of Indian culture’.
“While preparing for the Indien Fest, all Indian organisations were explicitly asked to present the common delicacies of each state with only restriction being for alcohol. As per these instructions, Kerala Samajam Frankfurt had prepared the menu based on the common food interests of Kerala and its people,” the KSF’s post read.
It continued, “When some people with vested interests raised objection and threatened to make ruckus during the event, CGI Frankfurt kindly requested us to revise our menu so that the event could be held without any incidents. As per CGI Frankfurt request, we as a responsible cultural organisation – representing the peace loving “GODS OWN COUNTRY” decided to comply to maintain peace and harmony and above all, to uplift the core value of INDIA – “UNITY IN DIVERSITY”.”
Following the drop of beef from the menu, some of the KSF members agitated at the site and held placards reading, “We decide what we eat.”
A KSF member and one of the agitating persons, alleged in a Facebook post that members of the right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had objected to the beef on the menu and threatened to launch a protest. Following this, the CGI asked the Malayali association to revise the menu so that the festival can be held without any untoward incidents.
“In protest against religious intolerance spreading outside India and the absence of freedom to eat any food one wants, some young men in Frankfurt protested with placards of ‘unity in diversity’ and ‘we decide what we eat’.
There is also a petition on change.org demanding a stop to the sale of beef ‘in personal cultural space of Indians’. “Beef is definitely not Indian. In fact, slaughter of cows is absolutely unthinkable and unspeakable in Indian culture. Sale of meat of holy cow is a direct attack against Indian culture,” the petition read. Hardly 70 people had signed the petition.