Beef was prescribed delicacy for Hindus

Any references to the beef-eating past of ancient Hindus have finally been deleted from Indian school textbooks, after a three-year campaign by religious hardliners. For almost a century history books for primary and middle schools told how in ancient India beef was considered a great delicacy among Hindus-especially among the highest caste-and how veal was offered to Hindu deities during special rituals. The offending chapters have been deleted from new versions of the books which were delivered to schoolchildren last week.
However, the National Council of Educational Research and Training [NCERT], which bears responsibility for the texts, now seems to be unhappy with the changes, which were agreed to by a former NCERT director. NCERT counsel Prashant Bhushan said that ancient Hindus were indeed beef-eaters and the council should not have distorted historical facts by deleting the chapters. “NCERT has committed a mistake by dropping those facts from the textbooks. It is a victory for Hindu fundamentalists who have lodged a misinformation campaign. Historians should unite against this cowardice by the council [NCERT],” said noted Kolkata historian Ashish Bosh.
Much of this current debate began in 2001 when Professor DN Jha published his book, The Myth of the Holy Cow: Professor Jha stumbled upon the facts relating to the presence of beef in pre-Islamic Vedic India two years ago, while researching Indian dietary habits. He says there is plenty of historical evidence to support the theory. An ancient Hindu text, the Manusmriti (200BC to 200AD), lists the cow as one of several animals whose meat can be eaten. A mention is also made, he says, in one of the two great Indian epics – the Mahabharata – which speaks of beef being a delicacy served to esteemed guests


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