Eating meat and fish and then visiting a temple? “Oh, what blasphemy!” “What kind of a Hindu does that make you?” “Deliberate act to hurt Hindu sentiments.”
We aren’t saying any of this. This is what BJP’s National General Secretary CT Ravi had said when he was taking potshots at Congress leader Siddaramaiah in the past, accusing him of eating meat and visiting temples. Now, he finds himself on the same — non-vegetarian — side of the table.
On Wednesday, 22 February, photos of CT Ravi, the BJP MLA from Chikkamagalur, went viral — and with reason.
The photographs, said to be from 19 February, showed CT Ravi relishing a meal of fish and meat in Bhatkal along with party colleagues at local MLA Sunil Nayak’s residence.
So what, you ask? Well, there was another photo, taken a few hours later — that of CT Ravi and his entourage visiting the renovated holy Nagabana in Bhatkal.
Eating meat and visiting a temple has been deemed blasphemous, and a deliberate attempt to hurt Hindu sentiments by several leaders of the BJP, including CT Ravi himself, when attacking leaders of other parties.
Temple visits after meat consumption was used as the single-most impactful negative propaganda against the likes of Siddaramaiah in the past to paint a picture of Opposition leaders as “anti-Hindu”.
Not the ones to lose this golden — or should we say “meaty” opportunity — leaders of Opposition parties like JD(S) and Congress have lashed out at CT Ravi for his “hypocrisy”.
Interestingly, another key leader of the BJP was caught in a meat controversy a few years earlier.
BJP’s Kerala unit chief K Surendran, whose photo eating beef had gone viral, had tried to justify that he was eating onions and not beef. CT Ravi did nothing like that. He said that he indeed ate meat but justified that he didn’t enter the temple. “I ate meat but I didn’t enter the temple. I stood outside the temple, on the road and offered prayers,” CT Ravi said. Photos and videos from the temple, show otherwise.