Hyderabad: The proposed beef festival in Osmania University is stirring up emotions with students and Hindu groups vying for yet another confrontation over the growing 'intolerance' in the country. The present confrontation has the potential to spill onto the streets and lead to violence on the campus of Osmania University.While the Goshamahal BJP MLA Raja Singh Lodha approached the Hyderabad Collector to stop the proposed beef festival on the campus, students gave a memorandum to Assembly Speaker S. Madhusudanachary demanding the suspension of the MLA.
With beef eating becoming a national issue following the Dadri incident where a man was lynched to death for eating beef, the issue is growing into a major controversy in the country. Perhaps to state their secular credentials in this regard, students of Osmania University have announced a beef festival on the campus on December 10.
Following the announcement members of BJP and Hindu Jan Jagruti Samithi have demanded cancellation of the beef festival. Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh Lodha and Samithi members submitted a memorandum to the Hyderabad district collector in this regard on Monday. Later addressing the media, they said that the peaceful atmosphere of the campus will turn violent with the conduct of beef festival. They alleged that controversial political
leaders and writers have been invited to the festival. They attacked the very concept of conducting a beef festival stating that it hurts the sentiments of some communities. They also questioned the timing of the festival in the present surcharged atmosphere in the country.
The Samithi leaders reminded that in 2012, the beef festival witnessed violence and clashes between students that resulted in several of them being admitted to hospitals. Also buses were burned on that occasion, Raja Singh said and urged the government to intervene and stop the conduct of the festival.
Meanwhile, the MLA has called on Hindutva organisations to participate in 'Chalo Osmania' programme on December 10. The call to the organisations was posted on his Facebook page that states that the 'Chalo Osmania' programme aims to stop the Beef Festival. The Facebook posts have enraged the students who argue that Raja Singh is spreading false propaganda regarding the festival and also provoking people. Demanding the suspension of the MLA from the state Assembly, they submitted a memorandum to the Speaker Madhusudhana Chary on Monday.
They contended that no one has a right to impose restrictions on the eating habits of the people. They also filed a complaint in Osmania University police station against the MLA that he is provoking people against the beef festival.
While the beef festival is still some time away, the government has a role to play in controlling the smouldering emotions from now.