In recent times, Sudha Murty, a renowned philanthropist and author, has faced scrutiny for her comments made on various reality shows and public platforms. Just recently, during an episode of Kunal Vijayakar's show, 'Khaane Mein Kaun Hai?', it was reported that she mentioned, when she travels abroad, bringing her own set of cutlery and food due to her strict vegetarian dietary preferences.
This remark didn’t go down with some people on the internet. They questioned her intentions and even called her a casteist. One of the users tweeted,
‘They say if you want to know about a person, let them speak. The more this couple speaks, the more weird and casteist they sound.’
Questioning the ‘casteist’ remark on Sudha Murthy, writer-storyteller, Neelash Mishra tweeted,
Um, how is this casteist?
I am vegetarian. When I dine my friends ensure that the serving spoon used for my food isn’t used for non veg food. Non vegetarians might not understand this but it is so.Advertisement
If she wants to take her own cutlery as well, fair enough, what’s wrong in that?
There exists a clear distinction between vegetarians and non-vegetarians, which originates from Puritan ideology. The argument suggests that this Puritan concept of vegetarianism is intertwined with religion and further manifests as casteist notions in India. Sadly, individuals from marginalized communities often face discrimination and even violent acts, such as lynching, due to their consumption of meat or non-vegetarian food.
While some argue that this is a personal choice, which it is. But, it is indeed being discussed on public forums and normalized without a full understanding of its origins. Moreover, our dietary choices are often influenced more by our religion and upbringing rather than solely being driven by compassion towards other animals or other beings.
One of the users explaining the difference wrote,
Because there is a difference between "don't put the same serving spoon in a veg and non-veg dish to serve it" and "my veg serving spoon shouldn't touch even a washed non-veg cooking utensil because that's impure". See the difference? The 1st is acceptable. The 2nd is casteism.
As per The Indian Express, she said,
“I am adventurous in my work, not in my food. I am in fact scared. I am a pure vegetarian, I don’t even eat eggs, or garlic. What I am scared of is, is that the same spoon will be used for both, vegetarian and non vegetarian food. It weighs on my mind a lot! Hence when we go out, I only search for veg restaurant. Or, I carry one bag full of eatables. I carry ready-to-eat stuff, that you have to just heat in water, I carry poha.”
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