IIT-Mandi director faces flak for linking meat eating to Himachal Pradesh crisis

By, Dharamshala
Sep 07, 2023 11:47 PM IST

A video clip of Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, director Laxmidhar Behera is going viral on YouTube and microblogging website X (formerly Twitter), in which he is telling some students, who it appears are sitting in an auditorium, to stop eating meat to become good human beings

Director of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, Laxmidhar Behera is facing a significant backlash on social media after he claimed that the recent cloudbursts landslides in Himachal were due to “meat-eating”.

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HT Image

A video clip of Behera is going viral on YouTube and microblogging website X (formerly Twitter), in which he is telling some students, who it appears are sitting in an auditorium, to shun meat-eating to become good human beings.

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“To become good human beings what do you have to do?” he asks and then states “no to meat eating.”

“Himachal Pradesh will have a significant downfall if the innocent animals are not butchered. You are butchering them, the innocent animals,” he said in the video.

“That has a symbiotic relationship with the degradation of the environment as well. Which you can’t see now but it will have. It is having. The mass-scale landslides and so many other things, cloudbursts, that you see again and again. These are all the effects of this…cruelty,” he added.

The date and venue of the event could not be confirmed. Also, the IIT authorities and Behera could not be reached for comments. The video was uploaded on YouTube by a user MoutainbodyHP.

Meanwhile, geologist and dean of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP), Ambrish Kumar Mahajan said the recent disasters were the result of geological reasons coupled with anthropogenic factors.

“I can’t comment on what someone has said. However, the disasters in Himachal were due to geological and anthropogenic activities,” said Mahajan.

There is a lot of tectonic plate movement in this region. The ecology of the region is fragile. Secondly, the state witnessed a long spell of rain causing the soil to super-saturate which led to landslides. The cloudbursts are also a weather pattern having some scientific reasons, he said.

Then there are anthropogenic reasons like construction activities and muck dumping etc., added Mahajan.

Meanwhile, Behera is being roasted for his statement on social media.

Rahul Siddharthan, who shared the video on X wrote, “Director of an IIT. Why is Himachal having landslides? Because of unplanned construction/deforestation/climate change/all of the above? No. Because of meat-eating. Is he saying farming animals leads to deforestation? No. He says it leads to cloudbursts.”

Another user @Ckj Mumbai wrote “Indian Institute of Technology Mandi is one of eight new Indian Institutes of Technology established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. This is the quality of the newly opened IIT. Pity the students who will graduate with a degree in entire engineering.”

“He will be the next Science and technology minister in this dispensation! But if farming animals is bad then how will they get gobar to cure cancer?” wrote another user.

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