Chennai: Over two months after the Tirupattur district administration triggered a political row by banning beef at the proposed Ambur Biryani Festival, the Tamil Nadu Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes Commission disapproved of the action. The Ambur Biryani Festival, slated for May 13 to 15 was put off citing “rains” as political parties including the ruling DMK’s ally Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi has objected to the ban on beef.
Tirupattur Collector Amar Kushwaha had initially defended the ‘no beef, no pork’ restriction at the first-ever biryani festival saying “one group wanted pork, another wanted beef to be served”. The administration had said only chicken, mutton, fish and prawn biryani could be served.
The SC/ST Commission had served a notice to the Collector questioning why excluding beef would not amount to discrimination on communal lines.
Accepting the Collector’s response that the district administration did not show any caste discrimination by banning beef biryani at the festival, the Commission, however, said in future beef should not be excluded from State-sponsored biryani festivals.
Such exclusion would set a wrong precedent, it said. The district administration should not show any differential treatment in such festivals in future. A copy of the Commission’s order was also sent to the State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and senior officials of all districts.