Kozhikode's Paragon restaurant moves Cyber Cell against negative campaign

The terminologies were created after the circulation of a falsely-interpreted video footage.

Published: 20th November 2021 06:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2021 06:16 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image of a restaurant.

Representational image of a restaurant.

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: The Kozhikode-headquartered Paragon group of restaurants has approached the Cyber Cell against using its name in the campaigns citing ‘spit food’ and ‘spit-free food’ doing the rounds on social media. The campaigns, mostly through WhatsApp, segregate restaurants in Kozhikode that serve ‘spit food’ and ‘spit-free food’. The terminologies were created after the circulation of a falsely-interpreted video footage.

The first WhatsApp campaign material in that regard appeared on Thursday in the name of ‘Soldiers of Cross’, which names 15 restaurants in Kozhikode, all owned by Hindus, serving ‘spit-free food’. The list contains Paragon restaurant and three branches of Salkara, a sister concern of Paragon. In response, another campaign soon appeared exhorting Muslims to boycott the Paragon group of restaurants.

“We didn’t realise what was going on using our name. We have been serving food to people from all castes and creeds for more than eight decades. Though the campaign materials are doing the rounds in various names, we don’t know who’s behind it. We aren’t sure whether it has been instigated by religious intolerance or business rivalry. So we have approached the police,” said Paragon owner Sumesh Govind.

False interpretation of video

The origin of ‘spit food’ has been traced to a video clip that appeared on the Twitter handles of Hindutva elements earlier this month. The footage shows a Kerala Muslim cleric leaning towards a plate of biriyani, which was termed as ‘spitting to make the food halal.’ But many fact-checking news websites have already busted the false narrative, establishing that the cleric was not spitting but blowing air into the first plate of food (to make it holy) before serving it to guests, according to the ‘Fatiha Jalana’ ritual. It is learnt the cleric in the video is Ullal Qazi Fazal Koyamma Thangal and the occasion was the ‘Uroos’ at the Tajul Ulama Dargah in Payyannur. 



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