There are many who are concerned about the rising religious and cultural intolerance in the country over the past few months. On the other hand, there are also people who put up arguments mentioning that such tensions are not new . But as the diet of people seems to remain central to the present turmoil, shocking developments show how cultural differences are rising.

While people in various parts of the country are being attacked and even killed on suspicion of eating and selling beef , the secular environment of a small town in UP is visibly under threat.

In Mumtaznagar of Faizabad, the annual Ramlila was held in a Muslim neighbourhood and enacted by Muslims and Hindus together, for as long as residents can remember.

But the new controversy around meat and beef has taken it’s toll on this tradition of brotherhood, as Muslims are barred from playing major roles, since “they are meat-eaters”.

While Muslim participants like Tailor Naseem take extra orders to fund the spectacle, A senior committee member told The Times Of India that, “Keeping in view their religiosity, Muslims who eat meat have been replaced by Hindus who, even if they are meat-eaters, turn vegetarians during Navratra. But Muslims continue to play smaller parts.”

Although there are examples where Muslims are offered space for Eid prayers in a Ganesh Utsav Pandal , there are also instances like this one and the objections about Muslims entering Garba venues in Gujara t, which show that the communal harmony preserved for centuries can easily be lost.

The Ramayana, which is enacted in the Ramlila , is a text which is a part of Indian culture to which all Indians are equally attached, sadly this spirit of India is falling victim to a systematic campaign that thrives on communal hatred.

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