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(IN) My grandpa’s battle for vegetarianism

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    [Hindustan Times - opinion] When a Bengali stops eating fish it becomes news. My dadu (grandfather) decided to be a vegetarian in our suburban Calcutta home in
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2007
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      [Hindustan Times - opinion]

      When a Bengali stops eating fish it becomes news. My dadu
      (grandfather) decided to be a vegetarian in our suburban Calcutta home
      in early 1970s and the whole neighbourhood and all our relatives were
      shocked. Most of his well-wishers were worried about his chances of
      survival without high-protein diet in his late sixties. The fact that
      majority of the Indians are hale and hearty on vegetarian diet is
      never enough justification for Bengalis. The vegetarians of "cow belt"
      and "curd belt" are always ridiculed by the Bengalis.

      My dadu opted for vegetarianism not due to any change of heart or
      faith but simple personal health. Like all bhadralok Bengalis he was
      on a regular machh-bhat diet and was suffering from myriad digestive
      disorders. When neither homeopathic nor allopathic system of medicine
      could cure him completely he started experimenting with his diet. As
      he gradually switched over to vegetarian diet, it made wonders to his
      health.

      Trouble started, when rejuvenated, he started championing the cause of
      vegetarianism and started lecturing all and sundry. He even raised
      doubts about the benefits of fish-based diet. Now that was pure
      blasphemy for Bengalis who swear by fish that lies at the roots of
      Bengali intellectualism!
      ...
      Vegetarianism is a global fad now, after getting western endorsement
      to a century-old Indian concept now even many Bengalis pay lip service
      to the cause of vegetarianism. But fifteen years back when dadu died
      he was a disillusioned man, no Bengali true to his fish took him
      seriously.

      Nandini Dutta can be reached at nadutta@...

      --
      full story:
      http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=5fd42330-50e3-4813-9551-d7bf1293fa37&&Headline=My+grandpa%e2%80%99s+battle+for+vegetarianism

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