Beef vs pork: Osmania university finds itself in the eye of the storm

Tensions are rising in Osmania University as a group of students have decided to hold a ‘pork festival’ which will coincide with the planned ‘beef festival’ in the campus on December 10.

Solanki Srinivas, one of the leaders of the group organising the pork festival, said that pig-rearing provides livelihood to certain communities, adding that it is a “nutritious food choice”. He also refuted the charge that his student group was organising the event to counter the beef festival, saying, “You eat your food. We eat ours…”

Srinivas’ event will add fuel to the fire that is raging in Osmania University, after Hindutva groups led by a local BJP MLA vowed to disrupt the beef festival.

“Organising a beef festival on the university campus is against the traditions of the college and harms the faith of the majority Hindu community students, teachers and also disturbs the education environment,” Raja Singh, the BJP MLA from Goshamahal, said. He also appealed to in-charge vice-chancellor Ranjeev Acharya to cancel the event and urged her to take action against the organisers.

“Dadri will repeat here if they conduct the beef festival,” Singh said, referring to the lynching of 52-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq.

The organisers of the event — Dalit student groups along with Left wing student bodies like SFI, AISF and PDSU — have lodged a police complaint against Singh, accusing him of disrupting the peace on the campus.