India Today, September 4, 2019
Cow vigilantism and resultant moral policing have found their way to Germany.
An Indian food fest in Frankfurt, Germany in which an association of Keralites was participating came under fire from Hindu groups for serving beef at the event.
On August 31, the Consulate General of India had organised the Indien Fest. During the event, cultural organisations from different Indian states were asked to serve food popular back home. The only restriction was that they could not sell alcohol.
The Kerala Samajam Frankfurt, which was taking part in the food fest, chose to put beef curry and parotta — a delicacy in Kerala, on the menu.
However, some right-wing Hindu organisations raised objections over the menu, saying that serving beef was a “direct attack on Indian culture” and threatened to create a ruckus during the festival.
The Hindu groups also started an online petition on change.org titled, “Save culture of cow protection in Indian NRI circles and festivities”. The petition was later deleted.
The Kerala Samajam Frankfurt shared a statement on Facebook about the incident. It said that the Consulate General asked the group to remove the beef dish and the group complied to maintain peace.
“When some people with vested interests raised an objection and threatened to make ruckus during the event, CGI Frankfurt kindly requested us to revise our menu so that the event could be held without any incidents,” the group wrote on social media.
“As per CGI Frankfurt request, we as a responsible cultural organisation decided to comply to maintain peace and harmony and above all, to uplift the core value of INDIA – “UNITY IN DIVERSITY”,” it added.
Later, the KSF boycotted the Indien Fest and held a silent protest in Frankfurt against the outrage.
Plato Pathrose, a member of the Malayali community in Germany wrote on Facebook, “We consider the cow to be an animal and not as our mother. We believe in unity in diversity and we will not blame anyone for eating beef rather we will look if the other person has something to eat.”
“Please don’t believe that what you follow is the whole Indian culture, you can find many different ways of living if you travel within India and how could you say that your culture or your food should be the one other people should follow,” he added.
Some media reports had suggested that a scene had been created at the Indien Fest and the German Federal Police had to intervene but the KSF categorically denied any such incident.