Guest post by KRISHNANUNNI HARI
This essay emerged as a response to the following question that was raised during a Q&A session that I had run on social media:
“How does one tackle people who amalgamate veganism with upper caste vegetarianism?”
The immediate answer to this is that veganism avoids all animal products and all forms of animal ab/use, and hence cannot be amalgamated with vegetarianism and its caste baggage.
Such an answer, however, ignores crucial cultural issues that determine how Animal Rights (AR) and veganism are perceived, co-opted or taken forward in Indian society.
Vegetarians, contrary to what Right wing Hindutva will have us believe, comprise less than 40% of the country’s population. Jains, most Sikhs and Brahmins and some rich urban forward castes make up the vegetarians in India1. Vegetarianism in India is connected to social power and caste hegemony, unlike its counterpart in the West, where it is an ethical lifestyle and a social justice movement.
Continue reading Exploring Possibilities for Critical Alliances Between Animal Rights and Bahujan Politics: Krishnanunni Hari
[We at Kafila are absolutely horrified at the abuse directed at poet and activist Meena Kandasamy for expressing her views on twitter regarding the beef-eating festival at Osmania University. That supposedly ‘neutral’ educational institutions replicate upper-caste Hindu dietary taboos, is no surprise, nor that the ABVP reacted with its customary violence to that questions upper caste privilege. What is shocking is the attitude of the Vice Chancellor and the sexist, misogynist, violent speech directed at her on the web. It is telling that those who take such umbrage at the eating of cows, think nothing of advocating the public rape of women. Below is a statement issued by the The Network of Women in Media condemning the hate speech directed at her. We stand in solidarity with Meena Kandasamy.]
The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), strongly condemns the violent and sexist abuse unleashed on poet, writer, activist and translator Meena Kandasamy, presumably in response to her posts on Twitter about the beef-eating festival at Osmania University, Hyderabad, on 15 April 2012 and the ensuing clashes between groups of students. Continue reading NWMI Condemns The Violent Abuse Of Meena Kandasamy