"Where's the beef?” – Pune Reacts to Beef Ban

With the Maggi ban in full swing and showing no signs of being revoked, we decided to re-visit some of the State Government’s recent bans. One in particular- the Beef ban, which caused just as much panic and anger among the Punekars. Sharan Garcha spoke to many Punkeras, including the city’s only steak house to see how the ban has affected them.
I spoke to Mayuri Kapasi of MAD House Grill, the owner of the only steak house in Pune on her take on the ban and how it’s affecting their business at MAD House “From the very beginning of us opening up the place, we have been serving Water Buffalo meat and not cow. So there isn’t really a problem for us when it comes to serving our steaks. The beef ban definitely has had some effect on the business. Sales have gone down. And more than just the ban, it’s the after effects of the ban that is making us restaurateurs suffer, because our customers aren’t aware of the meat that they are being served. For this we keep all our certificates in check, because if a customer can have a misunderstanding so can a government official about the beef that we serve here.
She even shared how some of her customers reacted. “There are two kinds of calls that we get every day. One – ‘Are you serving beef? Yes we are. Okay then we are coming.’ And the other – ‘Are you serving cow? No we are serving buffalo. Okay, we aren’t coming then.’ But when we tell them that is exactly what they have been eating every time they come here, they say oh, we aren’t coming. When we see buffalo, people think of the big black buffaloes that they see on the roads. But that’s only because they are misinformed about what kind of meat they are being served.
Meat lovers across the city are extremely disappointed with the ban on beef and many even find this law absurd. Here are some of their reactions to the beef ban:
Sidharth Raveendran,(Musician) – “Culturally speaking, there isn’t too much of the segment that savours red meat in general to begin with, so that keeps us at a disadvantage. However what’s sad is how it is being enforced upon minorities that have a lifestyle which includes beef meat in their diet, from people following heavy-protein bodybuilding diets to the Muslim community that has thousand year old traditions of preparing beef meat for several occasions. It is stripping them of their cultural right to continue their traditional eating habits. That is unjustified. The meat trade is also unjustly compromised and jobs are lost over petty conservative vote bank politics.”
Madhavi Pothukuchi, (Content Writer) – ‘The ban is quite stupid. If it’s hurting Hindu sentiments then ban all meat altogether no? Non vegetarianism is looked down upon in Hinduism anyway. It’s a personal choice, leave it be. Our government just needs an excuse to do something stupid instead of doing something actually useful.”
Tanushree Mohile, (Student) – “According to me this ban is a classic display of the end of secularism. The only logic the government has to ban beef is that it ‘hurts the Hindu sentiment’. What about the Islamic sentiment or the Christian sentiment? What happened to the right of choice?’
Nikhil Upadhyay, (Lawyer) -“I don’t think its right to impose a ban on the food that one eats. it should not be enforced. Everyone has the right to choose what to eat.”
Vasundhara Vats (Mass Communication Student) – “I think it’s just unjustified that we modify law and food habits because of religion. Constitution talks about secularism and reasonable restrictions and I see none of them happening. Also a lot of people are losing their livelihoods because of the ban. Unjustified.”
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