An email to the students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has triggered a huge debate online. In a letter dated January 12, IIT-Bombay urged its non-vegetarian students to use separate plates in their hostel mess in order to avoid a mix-up. The email was dispatched after several vegetarian students raised objections to the administration of hostel No. 11 of the institute. It was sent by the mess council, which comprises hostel residents who avail its food facilities.
“I am getting complaints from many students who want students who eat non-vegetarian food to use separate plates. Therefore, this is a request to all non-veg eaters, to please only use the tray type plates meant specially for non-veg dishes during dinner. Please do not use the main plates for non-veg dishes,” read the email.
As the news spread, leading to quite a stir online, the council sent a fresh mail saying no such “imposition” will be made. The general secretary of Hostel 11, Ritika Verma, clarified in an email: “This thing has been practised since a long time, that mess people are serving non-veg in different plates as they are not part of the main menu. We concern religious belief but as council members, nothing of such kind can be forced upon anyone (sic).”
But people on Twitter are not willing to let go with this clarification. While some called the “request” laden with casteism, others thought the issue was being blown out of proposition. Few dubbed it regressive, others thought that the complaints were justified.
Check these tweets out.
Those who want separate plates, can buy their own & bring them and clean them afterwards. The point is insisting on “purity” on common funds. You can choose to segregate yourself, you can’t say others must segregate for you. https://t.co/paornB6e5B
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) 18 January 2018
Brahminism and Hindutva, sunny side up, on your plates https://t.co/oudp6Cb8bw
— Neera M (@NeeraMajumdar) 17 January 2018
IIT Bombay non-vegetarian students should accept the compromise that all plates will be washed in Gomutra after a meal.
— Shahid Abdulla (@TheDailyBunkum) 18 January 2018
I don’t know boss…maybe I am wrong. But the IIT I grew up respecting and looking upto…would’ve made a washing machine that would clean utensils at the microscopic level🔬
Rather than acting all grossed out at non veg plates 😱
Let’s have open minds.https://t.co/mhFHjFzfJC
— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) 17 January 2018
IIT Bombay mess admin demands that everyone in the hostel practice untouchability in direct and gross breach of the constitution and all laws https://t.co/qaiBOF50Au
— Alok ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ कुमार (@alokpi) 15 January 2018
— onyeka (@JamProlio) 16 January 2018
Instead of contributing to the nation IIT spends time to instruct students to use separate plates..introducing new form of untouchability.They print in text books that untouchability is a sin yet practise it in IIT.We have real issues like unemployment, degrowth etc.Focus on that
— bloorockz kamaraj (@bloorockz) 18 January 2018
— वडापाव (@dipak_gawade) 17 January 2018
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) 16 January 2018
I am non-vegetarian. And we have seprate plates for veg & non-veg at my home. But, this is like from a long ago.
Not like IIT Bombay that suddenly after 50yrs of establishment we realized “Oh no! we should eat veg & non-veg in separate plate”.
— 🔯🚩बदमाश बबुआ🚩ॐ🔔 (@KadwiVaani) 17 January 2018
News of IIT Bombay asking separate plates for meat eating students has brought down the name of the institute.
Ye Jis Thali me kha rhe usi me chhed Kar rhe.
— Hrithik_Chaurasia (@hrithikiitd) 18 January 2018
Proof that #discrimination is so deeply embedded in everyday actions and thoughts of us #Indians. We think it’s absolutely logical to #segregate plates(get your own) and seating areas based on #food preference. And that too in an educational institution. https://t.co/uyZnnAuhVU
— Pracheta (@Pracheta) 18 January 2018
IIT’s are emblem of scientific knowledge. Imagine when orthodoxy invades them. Asking NOn vegetarian students to use separate plates is pure orthodoxy where science is put to the back seat. Where prejudice rule reasoning. It’s sad state of affair.
— Shivendra P Singh (@ShivedraPSingh) 17 January 2018
Why?Dont they wash plates after eating.This is not very intellectual stuff expected from IIT.They can have separate veg/ Non Veg seating in the dinning hall, this happens in few hostels.
— GS Tewatia (@gstewatia) 16 January 2018
If IIT Bombay had banned non veg food it would have been food casteism, using different plates is just being sensitive to others preferences. So many restaurants like Barbeque nation, Sigree Grill etc used different coloured plates https://t.co/mmLKmVGiqL
— Masakadzas (@Nesenag) 18 January 2018
I agree, you can’t disrespect the feelings of vegetarians… I am from IIT and there were separate sections and plates for pure vegetarians in my hostel… It’s just providing an alternative. No need of creating unnecessary issue on it. https://t.co/f8cxnAIdaK
— Pramod Jain (@PramodJain08) 17 January 2018
If you see it from another side IIT Bombay wants vegetarians to use separate plates because they respect what people want to eat. It’s not like they’ve ban meat or veg students demanded to ban it completely. https://t.co/Yb12X7Tc8d
— Parth Soni (@samaritan2709) 18 January 2018
Use banana leaves instead of plates in IIT Mumbai !!
Else use organic disposable plates. Give the contract to some NGO and help the cause !!
Useless debate !
— 71dejavu (@moinaksg) 17 January 2018
In all this hullabaloo I’m more worried about the fact that even in a premier institution like IIT Mumbai, they don’t have a system to wash the plates.
I think even road side chat stalls maintain better hygiene.
There would be no controversy if they simply washed the plates. https://t.co/TqeJKtzJ1q
— Purva Agarwala (@ppurva) 18 January 2018
Isn’t that what every house does? IIT is demanding a separate SET of plates in which non-veg will NEVER be served! https://t.co/0ETqrPDkjX
— Neelakshi Tewari (@nixtewari) 18 January 2018
I am not sure why people get hyper regarding IIT Bombay wants meat eaters to use separate plates. I myself is a non veg and I dnt find any fault in respecting their beliefs .. its just a plate guys.. relax !!
— Daitya (@blatheringclod) 17 January 2018
Non-vegetarian students were instructed to use only the tray-type plastic plates & were communicated that they are not allowed to use eversilver plates in #IIT Bombay campus. New Good Governance Model???
— Vijayaraghavan S (@vijay_thevictor) 17 January 2018
— santhosh nair (@nair_san) 18 January 2018
While living in a Germany, lot of Indians (who are non vegetarian) never used to eat Döner kabab at a place where they serve beef and chicken kababs together.
If the students of IIT demanding different plates, it is stupid to impose ones views on them. Let the students decide
— Vinay (@vnay85) 17 January 2018
Some people try to create news when there is none. Being an IIT alumni, I think that the mail might have been circulated for some practical reason. Regular meal is served in a big Thali whereas extra items (be it veg or non-veg) is served in small plates. Is it not practical? https://t.co/Ph7FnKdb86
— Vivek Kumar Barnwal (@vivekkisuno) 17 January 2018
Really? Is the cleaning of plates and kitchen equipment so bad in a high tech IIT Bombay? Better close down the IIT https://t.co/JbQpCzdCo8
— angarai sethuraman (@angaraian) 18 January 2018
IIT Bombay will have separate plates for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Love the confidence that they have in guys washing the plates.
— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) 17 January 2018
Nothing wrong in this. As a vegetarian, I have a problem using plates that often leave behind the smell of eggs, meat etc. I’ve often washed the plate myself because a smelly plate makes my bile rise.
— Mohan Sinha (@Mohansinha) 18 January 2018
my 1 Brahmin friend eats Non-Veg, I am OBC, who is Veg, and 2 friends, who r SC, of which 1 is Veg and another is Non Veg
Both Non veg eats together n share plates, but I and other Veg friend eat in separat plates
Now explain which caste is discriminating against whom – 5 marks
— Jemin PANCHAL (@jemin_p) 17 January 2018
Quite a stupid thing being articulated. As you rightly said, this has nothing to do with religion or caste, even at home we segregate food for visitors to respect sentimentality. It’s common in India. No big deal.
— Navdeep Singh (@SinghNavdeep) 17 January 2018
i dnt eat non veg not bcz of religious religions. its because i love animals. i think it will be difficult for a vegetarian person to eat a in plate with full of bones. cz some people never had non veg food in their entire life.
— शैलज़ा राणा🇮🇳 (@IthinkAlotttt) 17 January 2018
Should there be separate plates for non-vegetarian students? Tell us in comments below.