The hottest question in Jawaharlal University right now is whether beef and pork should be served on campus. A movement called the ‘JNU Beef-Pork eating campaign’ is gaining momentum among the students, and while some advocate the initiative for ‘freedom of food’, others slam it on religious grounds.
“Till 1999, beef used to be served at Francis canteen in JNU. It was not allowed on campus thereafter. These items are staple food for many students who come from different parts of the country. It’s their democratic right to eat it,” says Prakash Kumar Rai, a JNU student. “When these food items are openly served in other parts of the country, why not here? JNU has students from all over,” says Premjish Achari, a student of School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU.
The campaign, started by a student group called The New Materialists, initially kicked off on Facebook and has now garnered support from various other groups. The supporters had a public meeting on the campus recently, which was also attended by some members of the staff. “We have support from teachers. We want the government to think about it,” says Achari.
Others, however, think it inappropriate. “I think it’s utterly irreligious and stupid to lobby for such a cause,” says a student on conditions of anonymity.