A recent news which led to the backlash by the elite liberals was the issue of forced vegetarianism in the flights of Indian airlines. To state the facts, mostly the government employees take up trips in Indian airlines. Also those trips are funded. Most of the people look for airlines with cheaper flight tickets for their personal trips. But what about the centrally funded research institute which is resorting to forced vegetarianism? Unfortunately, I am talking about IIT Roorkee. Although IITs as a whole are Brahminical in most of the places with the upper caste professors dominating, being the majority, IIT Roorkee can be said to be the extreme of all of them.
The day I went for the interview at IIT Roorkee, I had to stay in their guest house. As I was not aware of the norms, I went to a canteen for food, inside the campus. When I asked for a chicken burger, the shopkeeper gave me a dirty look. Here non-veg means eggs. I came to know that no canteen or hostel mess inside the campus serves chicken or any other non-veg item. There is just one restaurant in the Khosla International Guest House that serves non-vegetarian food, which is, of course, highly priced. So are the restaurants serving non-veg food outside the campus. For a student coming from a household where non-veg food is a daily thing, they have to resort to vegetarianism.
Finding it really hard to accept this reality, I googled whether there are any places for cheap non-veg food inside the IIT campus. But then I ended up finding a news link which said that the RSS activists have accused IITs as a hub for anti-India and anti-Hindu activities for serving non-veg.
Talking to the students, I found that the majority of them are non-vegetarians. A few of them explained that it had been like this since IIT Roorkee is just 30km away from Haridwar, which is a Hindu religious place. Students from different states, religion and caste backgrounds join IIT Roorkee every year. Vegetarianism is forced on all of them.
As a centrally funded science research institute, should IIT Roorkee not cater to the needs of the students coming from diverse backgrounds? Seems like IIT Roorkee is making intolerant vegetarian religious engineers who cannot see other fellow Indians having non-veg food in front of them.