A dairy owner, neighbour of the Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar in Thrissur's Anthikad, has revealed that the milk cover getting roasted on Twitter for having 'Brahmins Product' and 'Gau raksha, Desh Raksha' emblazoned on its face has been carrying the tags since 2011.
"I have been using the same packet design since I started the dairy plant in 2011," Naryananan Namboothiri, owner of Om Krishna Dairy, said, adding it showed his love for cows.
"I am a farmer who is involved in selling milk for the last 25 years. The cows helped me to grow over the years," he explained.
Namboothiri began with five cows and now owns 40 of them. His dairy, which also procures milk from outside, sells around 7000 litres of it every day.
Namboothiri's clarification came after Twitter was roused by an Asheem PK, who tweeted the cover of the milk packet with the comment: "Kerala is now selling milk with tagline ‘Brahmins product’. Also the text in Malayalam reads ‘Go raksha, Desh Raksha’. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry!!! #smashbrahmanicpatriarchy".
Twitterati were quick to react.
While some argued that Brahmins is the name of a south Indian brand (it incidentally is of a more famous brand whose popularity Namboothiri might have been attempting to cash in on), others demanded an instant boycott.
The outcry comes in the wake of the increasing cow vigilantism reported from various parts and the mob killings associated with it in recent years.
Here are some of the reactions:
Petrol should be tagged Sheikh's Product— Atta Mohammad Shah (@attamohdshah) July 31, 2019
We have these in Bangalore, where everyone eats. pic.twitter.com/h1WvirZDyX— CN (@chetan_naik) August 1, 2019
Some argued wrongly, like we mentioned earlier, that it is a product of the 'Brahmins' group:
"Brahmins product" is something of a legacy names like Brahmins chutney powder, idli powder etc.. atleast I don't feel any problem with it..— Jins Thomas (@thomasjins) July 31, 2019
But goraksha, deshraksha is really a recent sanghish!! And I also do have concerns
Sangeetha, this doodh packet has no logo of the Brahmins company you’re talking about, plus the cow raksha desh raksha part is something which we’ve not seen before— Asheem PK (@peekeymon) August 1, 2019
its a brand of product... has been there... and none in Kerala feels anything awkward...— ashok abraham ദൈവത്തിന്റെ നാട്ടിലെ നസ്രാണി (@ashokabraham) July 31, 2019
However, there were attempts at clarification and even an apology on behalf of the state:
Thought it's a product from Brahmins group. But their website has no mention of milk.https://t.co/scPovgX3Th— Vivek (@ivivek_nambiar) July 31, 2019
And the logo on the milk packet is different. Could be the same group.
Sorry on behalf of Kerala. https://t.co/u4QrhEZoKW pic.twitter.com/Ftnp8BCoCw
Then there was that section of people who got offended by the tweet and dismissed it as 'hypocritical':
If you find no problems with Halal products them you shouldn't find anything wrong with this. #Stopbeinghinduphobic— Santosh (@Sanntt1989) August 1, 2019
Let's try halal product..! That's totally secular.! Fyi Brahmins is very old brand and also sells other products like biscuits, toast, dahi et al.— Моhit (@WhackyCoco) August 1, 2019
(With inputs from the Online Desk)