JLF 2016: If I want to eat beef I will, says Barkha Dutt | books | Hindustan Times
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JLF 2016: If I want to eat beef I will, says Barkha Dutt

The lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Dadri and the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad are “inflection points” in the contemporary history of India, said senior television journalist Barkha Dutt at a Hindustan Times session at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Jaipur Literature Festival 2016 Updated: Jan 22, 2016 21:32 IST
Abhishek Saha
The lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Dadri and the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad are “inflection points” in the contemporary history of India, said senior television journalist Barkha Dutt at a Hindustan Times session at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
The lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Dadri and the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad are “inflection points” in the contemporary history of India, said senior television journalist Barkha Dutt at a Hindustan Times session at the Jaipur Literature Festival.(Facebook)

The lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Dadri and the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad are “inflection points” in the contemporary history of India, said senior television journalist Barkha Dutt at a Hindustan Times session at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

In conversation with writer Shobhaa De at a session on her recent book The Unquiet Land, Dutt said she didn’t believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi would “necessarily lose” the next elections because of “beef politics” as there is no “alternative”.

Senior television journalist Barkha Dutt posted this photo on Twitter with this caption, “With the absolutely lovely and spunky @DeShobhaa ahead of my session on #ThisUnquietLand in Jaipur.” (Twitter)

At this point, De asked about the suitability of the Congress Vice President. “Rahul Gandhi is probably not that alternative,” Dutt responded. “Arvind Kejriwal is what Rahul Gandhi wanted to become but did not have the guts to be,” she added to much applause from the crowd.

Read: Rohith should have killed those who wronged him, says Dalit leader at JLF

Pointing out that the tag of “anti-nationalism” is often used “as camouflage for promoting hatred” she decried the trend of hounding individuals critical of certain things in India.

Naturally, the focus moved to the BJP’s “beef politics” and how it revealed that the party was “losing control of the narrative”. Liberal politicians didn’t get off the hook either: “No liberal politician in the country stood up and said that we may eat whatever we want”.

Read: Shah Rukh, you are my hero but we don’t deserve you

“If I want to eat beef I will, and I should not be killed for it,” she said adding that she was “disappointed” that actor Shah Rukh Khan had disowned his statement on intolerance to Dutt. He had blamed the comment for the dismal box-office performance of his last film Dilwale.

Dutt also said at the session that she was “disappointed” that actor Shah Rukh Khan had disowned his statement on intolerance. (Twitter)

“I feel Shah Rukh and others at a point in their career where they have nothing to lose should be able to risk and face criticism,” she said.

For more JLF 2016 stories click here.