Beef Festival Cancelled In Kolkata After Threat Calls

I was wondering, someone actually dared to arrange a Beef festival? Arjun Kar, the founder of Accidental Note dared to arrange a Beef Festival at Cafe Sudder in Kolkata on the 23rd of June. Within weeks the festival had to be canceled because Arjun received over 300 calls with death threats to him and his team.

Image Credits: The Accidental Note

Beef has always been a controversial food item, it has been banned in a lot of parts of our country but Kolkata is not one of them which is why Arjun Kar and his team went forward with the idea. Initially, Arjun had posted the idea of a Beef festival on his Facebook and the response was overwhelming, a lot of people showed interest in this crazy festival. But there were also a lot of negative comments that came their way. But they thought this negative response was manageable and the controversy revolved around the word ‘Beef’.
The next day they decided to change the name from Beef Festival to Beep Festival. They thought this might somehow bring peace and bring down the negativity. But it did not help them and they still were criticized a lot.

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The very next day, they had to cancel the entire festival. This drastic step came after Arjun received over 300 calls which were not just about the festival inquiry but they were also threat calls and hate-filled messages. They mentioned direct life threats to Arjun and his teammates. These could be easily just a threat via the internet or call. But Arjun and his team were worried about the number of people that were going to turn upo to this festival. They did not put anyone’s life at risk.

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Even though the company very consciously planned it after the elections to avoid any kind of issues that might arise because of this one festival, they still had to scrap the whole thing.  The Facebook post by The Accidental Note said that if it was just political tension they would have somehow managed it, but it was beyond that.

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They did not want to put the life of people who were coming to enjoy good food at risk. In the post, they clearly mention that they would not have managed to provide security for all and if anybody would be harmed they would find themselves personally responsible for it.

It was supposed to be a fun-filled event with a variety of pork and beef dishes at the festival but it took a very different turn. We are all aware that beef has sentimental value attached to it and people in our country have been worshiping cows for ages. So anyone who would even support the idea of eating beef was immensely criticized. I understand criticism but you go ahead and give people death threats that are just completely unacceptable.
There have been several crimes related to cow vigilante violence and mob lynchings in the past five years and the number has drastically increased.

Mrunal Mahajan
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