Arunachal: The View of a Non-Beef Eater on recent Govt order regarding removal of the word ‘BEEF’

It is wrong to say that all tribals are beef-eaters. Most Noctes don't savour beef may be because of the influence of Vasisnavism in the past.

ITANAGAR- ( By Denhang Bosai ) After an official order from a Magistrate posted in the state capital regarding removal of the word ‘BEEF’ from restaurants selling beef was out, thousands of beef aficionadoes of our beautiful state have expressed their strong resentment and asked the authority to withdraw the order. We appreciate and respect their views and sentiments.

Now, please have a little patience to know the view of a non-beef eater like me. Kindly don’t start calling  names and be abusive because my view is different from that of  beef-eaters. I shall feel happy if the esteemed readers response rationally and with logics. Thank you.

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It is wrong to say that all tribals are beef-eaters. Most Noctes don’t savour beef may be because of the  influence of Vasisnavism in the past. I feel that since we live in a pluralistic society and ICR being a cosmopolitan city, we should take care not to hurt the sentiments of others.

To each, its own. One man’s food is another man’s poison. There are also many outsiders who reside in the capital, most of whom are non-beef eaters. Beef is eaten in many states but they don’t shout from the rooftop that they eat beef.

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The name of a restaurant like Pakeeza, Rehmat, Taj, is enough to understand that beef is available here. The wearer knows where the shoe pinches. As a non-beef eater, I know the sentiments of those who don’t savour beef due to various reasons.

Just as most restaurants don’t write ‘Mutton Hotel,’ ‘Chicken Hotel,’ ‘Pork Hotel,’ ‘Mithun Meat Hotel’, ‘Fish Hotel etc, I think restaurants that sell beef can avoid writing BEEF HOTEL to avoid hurting feelings of non-beef eaters. Instead of writing beef hotel in big and bold letters, they can display the menu board. I believe, this is doable.

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Most beef hotels are situated right on the edge of the highway, especially in Naharlagun and Nirjuli. So, the big and bold signboards with BEEF HOTEL written on them not only attract the attention of the beef-eaters but also the non-beef eaters, especially those who come from non-beef eating states.

Some beef shops openly display the beef on the roadside. As a non-beef eater, I close my eyes or look the other way while crossing a beef shop. I just don’t feel good without necessarily hating beef. Beef shops may be covered by some clothes and sold little away from the main road.

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I also object to this order. Instead of issuing an official order, the administration can convince the restaurant owners and logically explain to them the pros and cons. They are human being and they can understand the human sentiments.

The administration should strictly relocate the places of slaughter houses and meat shops. They should be invariably little away from the highway or main road and also away from thick human population. Meat and fish attract lots of flies and can potentially spread diseases. Beef-eaters and non-beef eaters, let us understand each other’s feelings and sentiments and avoid hurting each other.

The things which are avoidable and doable can easily be avoided and done. Let us not stir a storm in a tea cup. Let us not be provoked by trivial issues.

There are many more much important issues to discuss and address. Food habit is a personal matter. But we can enjoy our meal quietly without hurting others. We can a little compromise here and there without much fuss or ruckus

Happy beef eating to my friends who love beef.

(The writer is retired Deputy Director of DIPR, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.)


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One Comment

  1. The word “Beef hotel” is written because they specifically sell beef and no other meat. Chicken hotel or pork hotel isn’t written because most of the restaurants sell all the meats.Giving up a very general word just for a tribe’s or a certain group’s sentiment sounds absurd, then if we see from a vegetarian’s point of view we shouldn’t have meat shops and restaurants selling meats at all. So, ending the article saying “food is a personal choice” looks a bit ironic. Today it’s just a word, tomorrow our actual food.

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