As you probably know, one of the triggers for the first-rate revolt of 1857 (or the First War of Independence or the Mutiny, depending on your angle) became a story that spread across India. According to folks who claimed to be understanding, the British military had coated cartridges with animal fat. Soldiers needed to chew off the covering of the cartridges to use them. This meant that they ended up consuming bits of animal fat.
But, or so went the tale, the fat came from cows and pigs. So foot soldiers must now eat red meat fat and pork fats. These indignant Hindus and Muslims led to revolts in army devices.
The British said that no pig or cow fat was used and that the story became a rumor. But when it comes to the politicization of food, facts regularly matter for much less than perceptions. (And it’s entirely feasible that the Brits have been lying, besides!) Much of these days’ so-referred meal records tend to be simplest about the notion. The truth seems to matter much less and much less.
In truth, I am starting to trust that, at no point, because 1857 has meals been as politicized as it’s miles today. The renewed furor about red meat eating is commonly political. The conflict between khichri and biryani is truely now not about rice dishes at all. It is ready so-known as Hindu meals and Muslim foods. And the controversy is extended best for political reasons.
In popular creativeness, a positive cool animated film of Indian food behavior persists. According to this model, suitable Hindus were constantly vegetarians. Meat ingesting changed into a brilliant sin. Beef consumption changed into an even greater evil. Then, alongside came the Mughals. They promoted meat ingestion. They took their biryanis all over India and contaminated the pure vegetarian Indian subculture.
By prosecuting folks who consume beef and honoring vegetarianism, we are advised that our usa is going again to ancient Indian traditions. We were restoring this incredible Hindu kingdom when gods walked the earth, and peace ruled the land.
The trouble with this caricature is that nearly every reality is incorrect.
First of all, India was in no way vegetarian united states. Whether you went North or South in historic India, the kings generally ate meat. (So did the gods in our epics.) Ancient Indian rulers did no longer eat meat or fowl. They ate tortoises, deer, peacocks, and other birds and animals.
Even throughout the Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the world’s oldest city civilizations dating back to a few,000 years before delivering Jesus Christ, animals were raised and slaughtered for food. During the Vedic length, non-vegetarianism changed into common. Even Ayurveda, which we regard now as an in basic terms Hindu vegetarian phenomenon, recommended remedies primarily based on meat.
The popularity of vegetarianism came from the Jain, as opposed to Hindu, tradition. Even the Buddha (who came after Mahavir and Jainism’s founding) did not insist on vegetarianism. (Indians are continually shocked to learn that the Dalai Lama eats meat; he ate beef until his doctors instructed him to head easily on pork.) Ancient texts, inclusive The Arthashastra, contain many references to meat consumption. So, the view that historical Hindus had been all vegetarians is a fable.