Veg or non-veg?

“House-hunting in Bangalore and running into ‘vegetarian only’ buildings, which is a code for only high caste Hindus,” goes a tweet posted last week by a person looking for a rented house.

The tweet got a barrage of responses on what this “code” really means — whether a landlord’s “right” to shut the doors on some sections of people or tips on areas which are tolerant of food habits, and so on.

This is not an isolated case. In fact, anyone approaching a real estate agent would be left wondering if houses in Bengaluru come with free meals thrown in. For, the first question that comes their way would be: “Veg or non-veg?”

Bengaluru may have transformed beyond recognition over the last two decades, but scratch the surface and some hide-bound practices persist. To this day, a non-vegetarian (often a euphemism for non-‘upper’ caste Hindus, Muslims and Christians) would find it hard to find accommodation in some of the older localities such as Malleswaram, Basavanagudi or Jayanagar. The preference for vegetarian tenants is openly stated in newspaper and online advertisements.

“Several landlords have slammed the doors on my face after learning of my caste,” said Du. Saraswati, a Dalit writer and activist. “If you assume caste is a non-issue in a city like Bengaluru, house-hunting will reveal the real story.”

That’s the first question tenants face while house-hunting

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:27:41 PM |

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