Ambur biriyani fest off table, no-beef order gets SC panel, parties’ goat

The Tirupattur district administration on Thursday decided to call off the much-touted Ambur Biriyani Festival slated to be held on May 13 and 14 in the town citing heavy rain forecast.

Published: 13th May 2022 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2022 05:36 AM   |  A+A-

Biryani.(EPS File photo for representational purpose)

Biryani.(EPS File photo for representational purpose)

Express News Service

TIRUPATHUR: The Tirupattur district administration on Thursday decided to call off the much-touted Ambur Biriyani Festival slated to be held on May 13 and 14 in the town citing heavy rain forecast. The decision comes after a few parties raised objection to exclusion of beef from the festival and decided to distribute free beef biriyani outside the venue. Beef biriyani is widely sold in Ambur and its exclusion is seen by locals as a cultural exclusion of SCs, STs and Muslims.

While a press release from the district administration said the festival planned at Ambur Trade Centre, an indoor auditorium, has been temporarily called off as the IMD has forecast heavy rain on May 13 and 14, the State SC/ ST Commission has slapped a notice on Tirupattur Collector seeking explanation as to why exclusion of beef cannot be treated as discrimination.

“In the press note, you have specifically stated that beef biriyani shall be excluded. The panel has chosen to take up the matter for enquiry as a practice of untouchability in the form of discrimination against SC/ST and Muslim population which accounts for more than two lakh,” the notice said.

The development comes after the decision to not permit beef biriyani sparked a war of words, with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and a few Muslim parties planning a protest demanding inclusion of beef and the Hindu Munnani demanding cancellation of the festival calling it incompatible with the nation’s culture.

“Serving beef is the issue, not rain. We requested the Collector to add beef but he declined. We then asked hotel owners and butchers to protest the decision,” said Om Prakash, VCK State deputy secretary from Ambur. “Some people are demanding to add beef, but we suspect that beef will be mixed with other biriyanis. A few other groups want pork biriyani. This will disrupt peace in Ambur,” J S Chidhamabarm, Hindu Munnani Ambur town president, had said in his petition to the Collector. 

‘Beef, pork avoided keeping in mind religious sensibilities’

“Both beef and pork biriyani were avoided keeping in mind religious sensibilities, Collector Amar Kushwaha told TNIE. Those interested in consuming them can purchase and have them outside, there is no restriction,” Kushwaha said.

Though Tirupattur administration decided to conduct the biriyani festival in Ambur, well-known for its spicy biriyani, to boost the pandemic-hit local economy, the decision to avoid beef was taken fearing law and order issues, sources said.

The festival is one of many measures taken by the district administration to revive local economy.

NOTICE SERVED ON TIRUPATTUR COLLECTOR
The State SC/ ST Commission notice served on Tirupattur Collector seeks explanation as to why exclusion of beef cannot be treated as a matter of discrimination against SCs, STs and Muslims. “Both beef and
pork were avoided keeping in mind religious sensibilities,” Collector Amar Kushwaha told TNIE



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