Tension Brews in JNU Ahead of the Controversial Beef and Pork Food Festival.

published on September 12, 2012

A self styled group named The New Materialists in the famed Jawaharlal Nehru University has announced its plans of holding a beef-and-pork festival on 28 September. The plans have been made clear with posters being stuck on the walls announcing “why JNU needs a beef and pork festival’. However, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has opposed the move stating that this will hurt religious sentiments of many who are related to the campus. The festival is slated to be held on 28 September.

The ABVP also gets the support from a section of the NSUI. The student bodies have stated clearly and strongly that the food festival will “hurt religious sentiment of students” and “could lead to violence on campus”. They cited the example of the beef festival organised at the Osmania University, Hyderabad held in April this year, which led to violence on the campus.

“The ABVP will not tolerate these kind of activities on the campus, which is solely crafted to hurt sentiments of the majority students. I appeal to the JNU administration… if it fails to take action against the organisers, then we, as students of the campus, will not let it happen,” said JNU ABVP general secretary Sandip Kumar Singh.

However, the SFI-JNU has referred to the matter as merely a matter of “individual food choice”.

The New Materialists seem to be forging ahead with their plans. “If bhaang can be distributed openly during Holi, why can’t JNU dhabas serve beef and pork,” asked The New Materialists, who plan to find out about the support they will receive for the food festival. According to Anandha Krishan Raj, a member of the group, students, “mostly from the North-East”, have favoured the festival. However, they have not sought official permission for the festival.

The food festival has left the administrative wing of JNU clearly harrowed. According to Rector Sudha Pai, even though ample discussions about holding such a festival, “the administration will see to it that it does not happen”.

The Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has also stepped into the matter, urging both Central and State governments not to grant permission for the same, failing which it will have to face serious consequences.

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