beef ban
A butcher prepares a shop window display at Lidgates butchers in west London February 13, 2013. [Representational Image]Reuters

Students of University of Hyderabad on Wednesday evening celebrated "Beef festival" to protest against the law banning consumption or selling of the red meat in Maharashtra.

At least 200 students gathered at restaurants along with the organiser -- Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) of UoH -- to eat beef biryani and shouted slogans against the ban. Not only did they eat biryani, they even distributed packets of biryani and chilli beef among the students of the University.

The protest was organised in solidarity with the people of Maharashtra and against the suppression of the food culture by the "fascist forces" of India. The students said that beef consumption is common among Muslims and Dalits in India, and if the government tries to suppress any food culture they will protest again and again.

"In a democracy, food habits of all should be respected. Banning beef is a mode of discrimination against the already marginalized communities," The Times of India quoted a student leader of UoH D Prashant as saying.

ASA vice-president Muhammed Ashraf said the ban would majorly affect those whose livelihood is entirely dependent on beef marketing. "There are communities whose livelihood is associated with meat and leather. This ban robs them of their livelihood and we will oppose it tooth and nail," Ashraf said.

Before the "beef festival," the students at UoH organised a screening of a documentary – 'Caste on the Menu' – which was attended by hundreds of students from Osmania University and the Central English and Foreign Languages University.