Kerala Tourism was in for some trolling on social media Wednesday after it decided to share the recipe of a beef dish on a day that incidentally happened to be the Hindu festival of Makar Sankranti.
The official Twitter handle of Kerala Tourism shared an image of a "beef ularthiyathu", a traditional dish from teh state that of made using "tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves".
Calling the dish a "classic", Kerala Tourism addressed the dish as the "stuff of legends from the land of spices, Kerala".
Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala: https://t.co/d7dbgWmlBw pic.twitter.com/aI1Y9vEXJm— Kerala Tourism (@KeralaTourism) January 15, 2020
It further shared a link to the recipe on the corresponding page of the Kerala Tourism website which has an exhaustive list of recipes of classic Kerala cuisine.
However, the post did not sit well with many on social media. Right-wingers instantly noted that the image was shared on Makar Sankranti or Maghi, a Hindu festival devoted to the worship of the the deity Surya. Trolls were quick to accuse Kerala Tourism's twitter handle of indulging in communalism and willful insult of Hindus on a day auspicious to them.
Some even threatened to stop visiting Kerala altogether.
are you out of your mind? on Pongal and Sankranti when we revere Cows, Oxen, and Cattle for their contribution to mankind's easy existence and culture...on one hand we have Gangireddula meLam in Telugu states, Jallikattu in TN, and Kambala races in Karnataka and you showcase this— kaivalyam (@Telugutalli) January 16, 2020
So Kerala Tourism officially declares it’s not a destination for Hindus. Great going mallus. Are you just trying to rub it in? You’ll pay. Karma will catch up...— Atul Mathur (@polpho) January 16, 2020
No more kerala visit. Thanks.— Debasis Padhi (@DebasisPadhi79) January 16, 2020
Angry netizens accused the page of deliberately maligning Hindus, who do not consume beef as it is forbidden by their religion. But the anger soon took a communal turn when trolls started asking Kerala Tourism's page to post images of pork instead, which is forbidden in Islam.
Try promoting Pork also. you will get a taste of your medicine.Shameless!— प्रशान्त पटेल उमराव (@ippatel) January 16, 2020
This is nothing but provocation. You people don't want people from North India to visit Kerala? Why this beef promotion? People visit to Kerala just to eat beef? Try promoting Pork for a change, you will get a taste of your medicine.— Pramod Kumar Singh (@SinghPramod2784) January 15, 2020
Nevertheless, the post has over 7,000 likes and counting and is probably one of the most popular tweets on Kerala Tourism's page ever.
However, many came to Kerala Tourism's defense, claiming that in Kerala, people ate both pork and beef equally.
Come to Kerala. You can see Beef and pork are served in the same restaurant. We Malayalees eat beef and pork. If you don't like it? Don't eat. Simple as that.— Joel Joseph (@JoelJosephMCT) January 16, 2020
No one shall get upset with beef. Pork is also available in Kerala in plenty. There are many pig farms in villages.— JMK (@jeevanmk72) January 15, 2020
Kerala Tourism's website also includes recipes for pork dishes including 'pork peralan' and 'pork with lala ularthiyathu'.
While Kerala Tourism's tweet may have been a coincidence, the bigotry displayed my certain sections of social media surely isn't.