‘Beef festival’ leads to tension on Osmania campus మే 2, 2011Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Culture, English, Identity, Osmania, politics, students, Telangana, universities.
Tags: adivasi, beef, DABMSA, dalit, EFLU, Veena Satrugna
‘Beef fest’ leads to tension on Eflu campus
TNN, May 2, 2011
HYDERABAD: Tension prevailed on English and Foreign Languages University (Eflu) campus on Sunday following the attack a day before on dalit students of the university by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists. On Saturday, about 15 dalit students were attacked by ABVP activists for planning to conduct a ‘Beef Festival’ on campus.
According to members of Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minority Students’ Association (DABMSA) and Telangana Students’ Association (TSA) who jointly planned to conduct the festival from Saturday with the support of almost all student unions on campus, the ABVP activists barged into the campus kitchen and threw down the vessels in which the beef was cooked.
They also reportedly broke furniture in the mess hall and pelted stones at the college buildings. The two groups of agitated students were dispersed by Osmania University police.
On Sunday morning, the university authorities closed the men’s hostel mess to prevent any untoward incident.
However, a large section of students are reportedly demanding that beef be included in the mess menu. Dalit and OBC students comprise 50 per cent of the student population at Eflu.
The dalit activists said they had taken up the issue of serving beef in the mess hall following a talk given about a month ago by Veena Satrugna, former deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition, on beef being ignored from the “traditional” Indian meal.
The students said that several discussions were held on including beef in the menu during which objections were raised on cooking and serving issues. “We had promised other students that beef would be cooked using separate vessels and would be served outside the mess hall. Our demand is that the exercise be brought under the purview of the mess committee,” said a dalit student and member, DABMSA.
A representation signed by 60 students was submitted to the university authorities requesting that beef be part of the menu.
This is not the first time that such a festival is being conducted on the campus here. The beef fests in the past were conducted smoothly without any opposition from any student groups.
“The university cannot prevent students from conducting such a festival on campus and we are not averse to the idea of the festival and respect the sentiment behind it. The mess hall which was damaged by the students will be reopened after a few days. The university and police are investigating into the violence on campus,” said Nagamallika Gudipaty, dean, School of Communication and spokesperson,