Jawaharlal Nehru University students may never have a beef-and-pork festival on their campus, but some among them seem happy that the controversy has spawned a debate on larger issues such as equality.
The Delhi high court on Wednesday asked the varsity authorities to ensure that no such festival is organised on September 28 or in the future.
“The envisioned festival was not just about the food. We are fighting for equality. We are not going to do anything illegal or undemocratic. We want to have a debate about the right to eat one's food we will hold a meeting soon to decide what the further course of action will be,” a member of the newly formed Committee for the Democratic Right to Choice of Food said.
“We will be meeting soon to decide on what to do next,” the committee member said.
It is unclear how the students planned to get the beef for the festival, especially because cow slaughter and storing and serving beef is illegal in the Capital.
“The question is not where we would get beef from. It is about starting a debate. People should be talking about why, on a campus such as JNU where there are many students from the southern and the northeastern states, beef and pork are not available,” said Abhay Kumar, another member of the committee, who contested the JNU Students’ Union elections.
The festival had featured prominently in Kumar’s campaign and he emerged third in the election for president.
“We have heard that some five-star hotels and upscale malls in Delhi sell beef. We would have got the beef from the same channels as them,” he added. The committee has now approached the JNU Students’ Union to pass a resolution in the matter.
“We are also taking legal advice. The Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994, is fascist in nature and we question it. We want both beef and pork to be served in the Northeast dhaba at least,” another committee member said.
The JNU administration had put up a notice on Monday saying that no such festival will be allowed on the campus.
Among those who had protested the festival were right-wing groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.