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

Must Read

Studies on sexual harassment complaint committees over the years highlight how committees, even when instituted, often do not function as they should. 
Two judgements in August 2017 came under the scanner for the language they used to define consent and talk about survivors of sexual assault.
Though atheism has been socially prevalent in India, it has remained a grey area in the legal context. There are no specific laws catering to atheists and they are considered as belonging to the...
Several unconstitutional laws in India repress its citizens. A reading list from the EPW Archives.
The prevention of torture has been one of the key human rights developments in the last decade. With India’s strong stake for a seat at the security council, the issue has assumed importance. However...
Reform is long overdue in the Indian Administrative Services, but how should the government go about it? 
This analysis of electoral data from the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer’s website and the single-person household estimates from the Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy, New...
Back to Top