Periyarist, Ambedkarite and Dalit organisations will host beef and pork feasts in Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts on October 24, Deepavali, to underline their non-acceptance of the popular myth behind the celebration of the festival and to highlight the right to eat food of one’s choice.
Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhakam (TPDK) has planned an event titled “Maveeran Narakasuranukku Veera Vanakka Nigazhchi” to pay tribute to mythological Asura king Narakasura, whose death and victory over him is celebrated as Deepavali.
“Though it is a myth, the story is weaved in such a way that the celebration is done for the killing of an Dalit king (Asura) by a Hindu god. We perceive it as an invasion by Aryans on Dravidians. Beef and pork dishes are served on the occasion to highlight that food should be free from religion,” said TPDK general secretary K. Ramakrishnan.
He added that festivals like Onam and Navaratri/Vijayadasami are also being celebrated to commemorate the victory over Asuras who represent Dalits. The event to be held at TPDK’s Periyar Study Centre at Gandhipuram in Coimbatore will have a feast of beef and pork dishes. Various other programmes have also been planned.
Aathi Thamizhar Peravai (ATP) will host an event at Coimbatore north on Deepavali, which will be attended by ATP founder Athiyamaan and families of the members of the organisation. “The event features a Dravida virundhu (feast) which will have dishes made of beef and pork, which are part of the diet of Dalits. My food is my right. Nobody has the right to question it,” said Kovai Ravikumar, State general secretary of ATP, Coimbatore.
‘Dravidar Thalam’ will organise a similar event at Pethappampatti near Udumalpet in Tiruppur district on October 24. “We, Periyarist and Ambedkarite organisations have been boycotting Deepavali for years. The activities were minimal due COVID-19 restrictions in the past two years. A feast featuring beef and pork dishes is the highlight of this year’s event,” said Ma. Eezhavendhan, Tiruppur district secretary of ATP.