KOCHI: Following the objections from Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members over the beef curry added in the menu by Kerala Samajam Frankfurt (KSF) at the Indian food festival organised by the Indian consulate in Germany on Saturday, Consulate General of India (CGI) has intervened to remove the dish from the menu.
VHP raised the argument of 'eating beef is against Hindu culture' and started an online petition titled 'Save culture of cow protection in Indian NRI circles and festivities.' With the increased opposition, CGI's intervention came a day before the event.
With the issue blown out of proportion, the Samajam has published a Facebook post on Monday saying: "All Indian organisations who were part of the event were explicitly asked to present the common delicacies of each state with the only restriction being for alcohol. As per these instructions, Kerala Samajam Frankfurt had prepared the menu based on the common food interests of Kerala and its people. 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." states the Facebook post.
The Samajam also clarified that being a responsible cultural organisation which represents the peace-loving 'God's own country' decided to comply to maintain peace and harmony and above all, to uplift the core value of unity in diversity.
However, one of the members of the Samajam confessed that they were forced to revise their menu. "KSF was vehemently put under pressure to alter our already published food Menu and was asked to remove beef from this list. Ultimately, we succumbed to the pressure to avoid a law and order situation in the city. The reason stated was that the sale of meat of holy cow is a direct attack against Indian culture," he said on the condition of anonymity.
Following the removal of the dish, a section of Samajam members boycotted the event and protested with placards on unity in diversity and freedom for food.
Earlier, many media reports suggested that German Federal Police intervened in the issue and allowed the Samajam to serve the beef curry with Porotta in the fest.