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#Pork Vs Beef: Twitterquake as Indian State's Tourism Department Promotes Cow Meat Dish

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New Delhi (Sputnik): A post by the Kerala Tourism Department has exacerbated a pork-versus-beef debate by featuring a picture of its popular beef dish. While the Muslim population abstains from eating pork, calling it blasphemous, the majority Hindu population considers cows as sacred and opposes the slaughter of the animal.

The Tourism Ministry of the Indian state of Kerala came under fire after its official Twitter page posted a picture of a beef dish called “Ularthiyathu” in order to promote it.

While retail of beef is banned in certain states in the country due to religious sensitivity of millions of people in India towards cows, a section of netizens was left stunned and irked by Kerala promoting beef, unmindful of the religious sentiments of the public at large.

Cow slaughter and the sale of beef is banned in several Indian states, including the national capital city of Delhi. However, Kerala, along with some north-eastern states, have no such restriction.

The controversy led to a #pork trend in India, with over 27,000 mentions as people slammed the tourism department and asked them to promote pork dishes instead, but which is forbidden among Muslims. 

The controversial debate on beef bans triggered a Hindu-versus-Muslim issue, as the latter dominate the meat trade in India. Muslims also share similar sentiments with respect to pork, as it is forbidden under Islamic laws.

Many who have vehemently opposed promoting beef said that tourism to Kerala should be boycotted and Keralites should not be allowed in temples.

However, there were some who held an opposite view and supported the Tourism Department of Kerala.

The protection of cows, considered sacred by Hindus, continues to be underpinned by vigilantism led by fringe groups. The country has also seen several mob lynching incidents in which men, mostly Muslims, have been beaten by mobs on the suspicion of cow smuggling or for eating beef.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government has called for ban on cow slaughter and the trade in many states, like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, amongst others.

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