Tamil Diplomat

Kerala unit has a bone to pick with VHP

There are signs of differences between the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its Kerala unit on beef-eating, in the context of the police “raid” on Kerala House in the capital for allegedly serving beef on the menu.

A day after the Delhi police swooped down on Kerala House in response to a complaint by a Hindu Sena activist that beef was being served in the canteen there, the Kerala unit of the VHP accused the complainant of trying to defame the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

VHP Kerala chief SJR Kumar was reported by PTI as saying: “We are not against serving beef in Kerala House. We have not created any row over serving beef in hotels in Kerala or State government guest houses, including New Delhi’s Kerala House.”

He also hit out at the complainant: “We don’t know anything about them. Their aim was to tarnish the image of the Modi government, which has earned global reputation for the good works being carried out in the country. Sangh Parivar organisations will never try to tarnish the image of the Modi government. The Kerala House beef episode is the handiwork of organisations like Hindu Sena. We condemn it.” When contacted by The Hindu, VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain had a different take.

“Beef is not banned in Kerala. But Kerala House is in Delhi, where beef is banned. The government has to follow local laws. So, the complainant Vishnu Gupta has fulfilled his duty as a citizen,” Mr. Jain said.

He said that a public campaign in States like Kerala and parts of the North-East where people ate beef to convince them to leave it was the need of the hour. Eventually, it could be followed up with a ban, he said.

“The question isn’t to change food habits. Non-vegetarians can eat other meat. It is necessary to tell them that the cow is scientifically proven to be a useful animal,” Mr. Jain told The Hindu.

Mr. Jain was not convinced that buffalo meat, rather than cow meat, was on the menu at Kerala House. “Beef always means cow meat,” he said.