Sanju wrote:The same family lore that has been kept alive to this day in my family about Tipu the Butcher, butchering our family in Malabar and one female family member being asked to escape to southern lands with a Karnavar (typically the oldest male member/head of the family, but also used to refer to an older man in the family).
Dileep wrote:When I was a kid, Hindus didn't eat beef. Only 'mappila' hotels sold beef, and hindus didn't eat there. At my village, there were no Muslims. Only Hindus and Xtians (the orthodox kind).
Tipu the butcher made his entry into what is today's KL through the northern areas; what are today's Wayanad Dt, parts of Kannur Dt and Kozhikode Dt. His terror march was mainly through what is today's Malappuram Dt, Palakkad Dt, and some parts of Thrissur Dt. Draw a line based on the Muslim population density of an area, and and you would pretty much trace the route which Tipu the butcher took. In the Cochin-Travancore state border his move was stopped after the Travancore army opened the bunds flooding the river and washing away the bulk of Tipu's cavalry. Tipu's father Haider had also reached Palakkad via a different route; that was via Dindigul, TN some time earlier.
Now on the topic of beef. Beef was off limits to pretty much any Hindu household who had some social standing. Cooking of beef in the home's kitchen was a strict no no, and rarely did the women of those days knew how to cook it. "Beef eating" became popular when perhaps eating out became popular, or was an easier option for many people. KL men always used to go outside the state to make a living. Chennai & Mumbai were prime destinations, and I am sure KL men would naturally adapt to the food habits of those states. But it should be during the 1970s that men also had to move around within the state (due to more local jobs eg: banks etc.). And from then on "beef eating" started becoming more common.
One thing I have noticed; good vegetarian hotels at that time only existed in big & small towns. In other remote areas, the hotel menu was based on what the local population wanted. And many such places were hilly & forested lands where the settlers were mainl X'ians and Muslims. So for people who were posted to such areas (due to their jobs) natuarally had to use all food options to stay healthy. And beef also had this taboo attached to it; so many youngsters tried it out to prove that they are different. And today the hotel industry in KL have a very sizeable presence of Muslims and X'ians and naturally this dish is now a standard in pretty much every non-veg hotel. Hindu caterers are now focusing more on the "Vegetarian/Brahmin style" dishes to show their uniqueness.
My sample size is limited, and I am willing to be corrected. But my understanding is that even today majority of KL Hindus will never cook beef at home
. They may have beef dishes from hotels though. I have kind of developed a metre to figure out the Hindu-ness
in KL based on beef
. People who don't eat beef, obviously mean pious Hindus. People who eat beef, but their parents don't eat it. Such folks too come from pious Hindu families, and the young chap's love for beef is an "acquired" one. The above two categories may be from communities who were royals or people associated with temple duties. People who eat beef, but don't cook it at home (or in their own kitchen). In many such families women don't actually cook beef, men do it. They too are Hindu believers only, but may be less orthodox in their religious thought processes. The last category are folks (men & women) who prepare, cook and eat beef just like any other dish. They may be Hindu believers or may not be at all.
I think this is what was called "Military Hotel" in Mongolia. No one would tell me exactly what these were, but they wouldn't take me there either.
Military Hotels actually is a proof that Hindus did NOT eat beef
. Military Hotels were non-vegetarian hotels, which had meat dishes but not beef. The logic was that Military men (even Hindus) were avid meat eaters, but due to religious taboo will never eat beef.