"Vegetarians Only" posters at IIT Bombay: Students allege food discriminationtext_fields
Mumbai: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) students have raised their voices against food discrimination at the campus after posters discouraging non-vegetarians from sitting in the canteen were put up on the walls of one of the hostels.
The posters stating “Vegetarians only are allowed to sit here” were sighted on the walls of the canteen of Hostel 12 at the prestigious institution last week, and a photograph of the same went viral on social media.
An official from the institute claimed that there are no fixed seats for people consuming different categories of food and the institute is unaware about who put up the posters in the canteen.
Representatives of the student collective Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) condemned the incident and tore the posters.
“Though RTIs and emails to the hostel's general secretary revealed that there is no policy for food segregation at the institute, some individuals have taken it upon themselves to designate certain mess areas as ‘vegetarians only' and force other students to leave that area,” the AAPSC said in a tweet.
Following the incident, the hostel's general secretary sent an email to all students saying, “There is a counter for Jain distribution in the hostel's mess, but there is no designated sitting space for those who consume Jain food.”
There have been reports of individuals forcefully designating certain areas of the mess as ‘Jain sitting space’ and not allowing individuals who bring non-vegetarian food to sit in those areas”, the general secretary wrote.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and no student has the right to remove another student from any area of the mess on the grounds that it is reserved for a particular community. If any such incident is repeated, we will be forced to take strict action against those involved,” he stated in the email.
Earlier, a similar incident sparked controversy in 2018 when an IIT-B hostel circular asked non-vegetarian students to use separate plates.
With inputs from PTI