A Hindu in Independent India Refusing to Receive Food Delivered by a Muslim Reminds One of Hindu Tea and Muslim Tea in Pre-independent India
The reply of Zomato that there is no religion in food and food is religion is quite apt and it asserts and affirms the idea of India which is above all religions.
Bhubaneswar: A Hindu in Independent India refusing to receive food delivered by a Muslim reminds one of Hindu Tea and Muslim Tea in pre-independent India.
In pre-independent India and even in 1950s, the vendors in railway stations used to sell tea by shouting Hindu Tea and Muslim Tea. Mahatma Gandhi used to write on that practice of classifying tea as Hindu and Muslim tea and indicted such classification in very strong terms. That was indicative of the division of a beverage like tea in the name of religion. It was thought that the practice of selling tea as Hindu tea and Muslim tea would stop after independence. But it did not stop. Rather the practice continued and the issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha and a lady Member Shrimati Seeta Parmananda protested in the House and urged the railway authorities not to allow people to sell tea as Hindu tea and Muslim tea. Slowly the practice came to an end. In twenty first century India now we hear about a case involving a citizen in India refusing to take food he ordered because it was delivered by a Muslim. It is an abominable outlook to see food from the perspective of religion.
It is indicative of the communal and divisive venom deeply making inroads into the psyche of people whose thinking and actions and above all identity are determined by religion and religious prejudices. The reply of Zomato that there is no religion in food and food is religion is quite apt and it asserts and affirms the idea of India which is above all religions. The response of Zomato inspires and invigorates all those who are engaged in their own ways to enrich and defend our composite culture which is the sheet anchor of India.
The author has served as Officer on Special Duty and Press Secretary to President of India late Shri K R Narayanan and had a tenure as Director in Prime Minister’s Office and Joint Secretary in Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Views expressed are in his personal capacity.