NEW DELHI: An e-mail requesting non-vegetarian students to use separate plates at IIT-Bombay hostel has raked up a controversy. The email, sent on January 12 to all the students using mess facility at hostel no. 11, said several vegetarian students had raised objections about plates used for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food being mixed. The email was dispatched by the mess coordinator, who is also a student, of the hostel that houses around 300.
“I am getting complaints from many students who want students who eat non-vegetarian food to use separate plates. Therefore, this is a request to all non-veg eaters to please only use the tray-type plates meant specially for non-veg dishes during dinner. Please do not use the main plates for non-veg dishes,” said the email.
The email created a storm on social media, with many calling it “outrageous” due to the “segregation”. The term “main plates”, supposedly used for the vegetarian dishes, was seen as a ploy to make vegetarian diet the preferred one and to push right-wing Hindu agenda, said one of the comments.
Clarifying its position, the mess council made a statement saying the email was only sent to restate a rule which is already in place and insisted that it was not meant to offend anyone.“All hostels anyway have separate plates for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. So, I don’t know why this email was sent in the first place. What’s worse is that it is also being misunderstood by many,” said Soumyo Mukherji, dean, student affairs, IIT-B.