ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Spectres of Food on Bengal’s Politics of Identity

To Eat or Not To Eat Beef

Politics around food has been drawing scholarly attention, especially after state governments run by the political right-wing banned food items. This article draws upon local culinary practices in Bengal and its cultures of food. It shows how food and eating habits are not just important in creating a politics of solidarity among Muslims and Dalits, but they are also important in the creation of a predominantly caste-Hindu Bhadralok "habitus." The article also draws attention to limitations of such political liaison between Dalits and Muslims on the basis of shared food habits. Drawing upon Pierre Bourdieu's idea of "cultural capital," this article shows how dominant communities construct their unmarked claims on being progressive and modern by consuming and avoiding the same food item, depending on social, political and historical contingencies.

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