Round Table India
It has barely been a few weeks since the horrific lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq made headlines, nearly thirteen years after the Jhajjar atrocity. Akhlaq was reportedly lynched by a mob for ‘storing’ beef at home. What followed was a range of protests from the savarna civil society in the same media that practises worse forms of food fascism. A year ago, The Hindu, a Brahmin owned newspaper, reinforced its ban on meat in its canteen and dining halls.
Following in its footsteps, an email leaked on social media a couple of days ago showed how an upper caste employee wrote to the Times of India chief in Kolkata expressing ‘discomfort’ at a peon, belonging to a marginalized caste, bringing beef to the office and other staffers consuming it. There is also a mention of pork being eaten. The email urged the management to ‘take action’. And they did.
Today, another email from an unidentified source was leaked where the management, in sync with their Brahmin brethren at The Hindu, in almost the same words, affirmed the ‘vegetarian only policy’ of the Times of India and warned of ‘severe consequences’ if that were to be disobeyed!
Meanwhile, the Dadri lynching has already been followed by two similar events, one in Himachal and one in Kashmir. And RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya also warns of extreme consequences for “sinners” who slaughter cows, in its latest edition.
This is the same Brahmin-savarna media and civil society which have been championing the cause of ‘secularism’ in India, talking about rising intolerance etc. While celebrities cry hoarse and claim to eat beef on the pages of Times of India, the media house itself is busy purifying its premises with brahminical injunctions. This is not just unconstitutional but also a case of discrimination against Dalit Bahujan employees.
If the same media and civil society had exhibited the same ‘secularist’ zeal after Jhajjar, would Dadri have happened? But is the media capable of such honesty? Brahminized media raises loud concerns about cultural intolerance in its pages while practising the same intolerance in its workspaces. But its double standards don’t seem to end there: some internet hindu outfit was found tweeting this a few days ago:
It is being reported that some crony capitalist partners of the current Hindutva regime at the Centre are the biggest exporters of beef in the country. The media’s ethical standards seem as crooked. But the whole issue was always about reinforcing Brahmanic hegemony (and making profits from it, wherever possible) and further marginalizing the Bahujan minorities, wasn’t it? Never about merely beef.