Politics of meat at the root of 'us and them' divide, says Ranganath Kantanakuntetext_fields
Bengaluru: Speakers at the Jana Sahitya Sammelana drew the spotlight on using food, specifically meat, to divide and oppress people across the world. The politics of meat was discussed to showcase how beef is used to spark tension, conflict, and violence.
Writer and poet Ranganath Kantanakunte said the transportation of meat is being criminalised to push the 'us and them' narrative against Muslims. It is leading to a society fragmented on the basis of religion. "The enforcement of cow slaughter ban law in Karnataka is leading to attacks against the people transporting beef. Possession and sale of beef are also punishable by the law. It is a form of discrimination against Muslims and other minority groups who rely on the beef industry for their livelihood," reported The News Minute.
He further explained that Shudra communities are also being targeted with the new law because they are designated as the "lowest rung in the Hindu caste hierarchy." Meat is common in Shudra communities. "The emphasis on vegetarianism, which is being promoted as a superior way of life is aimed at dividing people based on their food choices," he added. He called the beef ban "anti-people."
Speaking about the division between those who eat mutton and those who eat beef, writer Pallavi Idu said it is the result of cultivating a superior-inferior mentality based on food choices.
Jana Sahitya Sammelana held in Bengaluru on Sunday is an alternative literary festival by those who are unhappy with the exclusion of Muslim writers from Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held on January 6, 7, and 8. The Kannada Sahitya Sammelana is an annual event organised by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, an entity funded by the state government. This year's panel did not include any Muslims which drew flak.