For a while now, liberals in India have been taking the higher moral ground when it comes to discourses on values of equality, justice and liberty, damning any and every one who fails to meet their righteous standards.
And while popular belief associates fundamentalism with right wing idealists, lately the trends have reversed. Only yesterday, writer Joe D'cruz's publisher refused to release his book owing to his 'Pro-Modi' views, that, ironically, they believe to be 'fascist'.
Taking a similar high road, is the Chennai-based news organisation The Hindu known for its fire brand journalism and the left liberal views they judge others by. Often, through their elaborate writing and lengthy editorials, they have condemned those who do not abide by their progressive standards.
However, when it came to applying the same values within their organisation, the prolific news house fell short. In an alleged advisory issued to their employees, The Hindu has forbidden his employees from “bringing non-vegetarian food” in their canteen.
A copy of this supposed notice, that has gone viral across social media, informs that the said rule is, in fact, not a new addition, rather an already existing 'rule'. It unabashedly explains the reason, stating, “All are aware non-veg food is not permitted in our Canteen premises as it causes discomfort to the majority of the employees who are vegetarian.”
The Hindu asks non-veg employees to stop bringing meat into the canteen. (via Bobby Kunhu, FB) pic.twitter.com/Mg4hFyl9Dd
— aby (@abytharakan) April 14, 2014
Needless to say, the online community reacted very strongly to this:
The Hindu might as well hav put up employment notice sayng "Only brahmins need apply" hehe "But we wl continue 2 fight fr th downtrodden" ;p
— manjula narayan (@utterflea) April 15, 2014
A Gandhian protest would be using @the_hindu as wrapping paper at all roadside kebab shops.
— Varun (@varungrover) April 14, 2014
The Hindu bans meat from its canteens and dining halls, renames itself, The Brahmin
— Meena Kandasamy (@meenakandasamy) April 14, 2014
People also expressed anguish in a Reddit thread. “Banning is not inclusive. It display arrogance. If they wanted to find a workaround, they could have created separate time or place for the two sections,” shared user ashwinmudigonda.
Malarvizhi Jayanth, an “insider” who is believed to have initiated this debate online, narrates, in her blog, “The normal-food eaters can’t eat their food in the canteen, because the smell of their non-Brahmin food is offensive to the nostrils of their twice-born colleagues. They can’t eat inside the reporting section’s room, without remarks along the lines of “Which walking, swimming, flying thing are you eating today?” Some twice-born colleagues would ask this same question practically every time one unfortunate normal-food eater opened her tiffin box in office.”
Despite the online backlash that could be potentially damaging to their image, The Hindu has so far not provided any statement giving credence or denying the much deliberated notice.