Kerala, Karnataka ‘fight’ over a plate of beef

Replying to Kerala Tourism’s tweet, Karnataka Tourism minister C.T. Ravi tweeted a picture highlighting the famous vegetarian dishes from the state. Photo: Photo: PTI File

A simple tweet about a beef recipe from Kerala tourism turned into a social media war on Twitter. First, many users showed their displeasure as the Tweet appeared on January 15, Makara Sankranti. (On January 15, Kerala Tourism tweeted out a picture of Beef Ularthiyathu, a regional favourite).

This immediately stirred up a controversy, with many people saying Kerala was opening one more war front with the Centre, in the anti-CAA context. Notably, Kerala had organized a beef festival across the state when the Centre imposed restrictions on cattle trade and slaughter.

Replying to Kerala Tourism’s tweet, Karnataka Tourism minister C.T. Ravi tweeted a picture highlighting the famous vegetarian dishes from the state and said, “Welcome to Karnataka.”

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Ravi’s initial tweet had created confusion as he texted the message ‘Welcome to Karnataka’ inadvertently under Kerala Tourism’s beef recipe which read: “Tender chunk of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala,” the Kerala Tourism tweeted along with the link to the recipe.

Also read | Chew this: Kerala tourism posts picture of beef dish, Twitter aflutter

It appeared as if the Karnataka Minister was supportive of the beef affair. Some hours later, CT Ravi posted another tweet which read, “Welcome to Karnataka to bring out the Vegetarian in you. Enjoy the flavors of Tulu Nadu – Pathrode, Kotte Kadubu, Halasina Hannina Gatti, Avalakki Upkari, Badanekayi Mosaru Gojju and a whole lot of authentic food to hit your taste buds.” The tweet was posted along with the pictures of the dishes.

He further added, “Come on, friends how can you even think that I will support beef. It is against my belief and faith. I realized that many of you were hurt with the Kerala Tourism tweet. My tweet was a sarcastic and silent form of protest against it. Hence, I welcomed you to visit Karnataka.”

However, many Twitter users were quick to point out that there are several non-vegetarian dishes made in Karnataka that could give the beef dishes of Kerala a run for their money. They also urged the minister to highlight the diversity of dishes eaten in the state.

One user, Gautham Machaiah, tweeted, “You should compare apples to apples. If there is any dish in Karnataka which can give a stiff competition to Kerala beef fry, it is Coorg pandhi (pork) curry.”

Tweeps said Karnataka was not only famous for vegetarian dishes, but also for non-vegetarian food and pointed out the different places famous for non-vegetarian recipes.

It did not just stop there, Karnataka BJP general secretary Shobha Karandlaje slammed the Kerala government for the ‘beef dish’ tweet. She said the Kerala government had declared a war against the Hindus of Kerala.

“Kerala communist govt have declared a war against Hindus of the state! Kerala Govt is taking a ride on Hindu sentiments by glorifying Beef on MakarSankranti day. Sick mindset of Commies of Kerala is out for display. Communism is a disease, shame on u @Kerala Tourism,” she tweeted.

After the BJP came to power last year, CT Ravi said the Karnataka government was planning to introduce a bill to ban the slaughter and sale of cattle in the state.

Earlier in 2010, BJP moved a Bill, the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, that was passed by both Houses of the state legislature. However, it did not receive Governor HR Bharadwaj’s approval and was pending with the President.

Also read | ‘Sorry, meant no offense,’ says Kerala govt on ‘beef fry’ tweet row

Currently, according to the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation 1964, there is a ban on cattle slaughter in Karnataka. The law only allows slaughter of bulls, bullocks, male-buffaloes and allows slaughter of female buffaloes aged above twelve years, or if they are no longer fit for breeding or cannot give milk.

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