Who Eats What in India? A Quiz

Who eats what in India is becoming an increasingly political and public issue in the wake of vigilantism over beef and legislations banning cow slaughter

Balmurli Natrajan, an anthropologist and Suraj Jacob, a political economist in their paper in the Economic and Political Weekly question commonly held perceptions about food habits in India. 

This short quiz is based on some findings from Natrajan and Jacob’s article, "Provincialising Vegetarianism - Putting Indian Food Habits in Their Place".

How much do you know about India’s food habits?





By analysing large-scale survey data, the authors found that the extent of overall vegetarianism is much less—and the extent of overall beef-eating much more—than suggested by common claims and stereotypes. The generalised characterisations of “India” are deepened by showing the immense variation of food habits across scale, space, group, class, and gender.

They argue that the existence of considerable intra-group variation in almost every social group (caste, religious) makes essentialised group identities based on food practices deeply problematic. In a social climate where claims about food practices rationalise violence, cultural–political pressures shape reported and actual food habits, Indian food habits do not fit into neatly identifiable boxes.

Click here to read their complete paper

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