Besides the nawabi culture and the monuments of the bygone Avadhi and British eras, Lucknow is famous for two things – chikan embroidery and kebabs.
And it is not just any other kebab that people of Lucknow or anyone visiting the city can give an arm for. It is the famous kebabs of Tunday Kababi.
Around 112 years old, the kebabs of Tunday have made the establishment the gastronomic address of the city. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Lucknow without Tunday Kababi is like France without cheese or Italy without pizza.
So when news of the shutdown of Tunday Kababi started doing the rounds, the hearts of the people of Lucknow and those who have had the pleasure of having this mouth-watering delicacy were expectedly shattered.
A section of the media reported that following the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh in the last few days there has been a severe shortage of beef leading to the closure of one of the outlets of Tunday Kababi in the city.
Sensational headlines screamed the end of the iconic eatery and pinned the blame on the UP government’s crackdown on abattoirs.
It is true that the crackdown on the illegal slaughterhouses will have an impact on the supply of beef but it should be noted that the crackdown is against illegal abattoirs only.
Uttar Pradesh: Police in Aligarh have sealed an illegal slaughterhouse, further investigation underwayAdvertisement
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 21, 2017
— Anupam Pandey (@AnupamkPandey) March 22, 2017
Media Houses seems to be unaware of the word “Illegal”. Their headlines forgets to mention “illegal slaughter house ban”.
— Vivek Bansal (@ivivekbansal) March 23, 2017
Reports say that the Akabari Gate outlet of Tunday Kababi in the city was closed on Wednesday due to scarcity of buffalo meat with which they make the beef kebabs. But the eatery was reopened on Thursday and continued selling mutton kebabs.
At the same time, the Aminabad outlet of the famous eatery continues to do business selling kebabs made from mutton, which are delicious no less.
The reports say that the beef kebabs are a “huge pull for customers” indicating that customers prefer beef kebabs over other kebabs of Tunday. The fact is that all the kebabs made by Tunday, whether mutton or beef, are equally famous and preferred by meat lovers.
The reports tried to put the blame on the newly-elected BJP government. They do mention that the state government is going after illegal slaughterhouses. So is it bad to shut down slaughterhouses when they are illegal?
The shortage in availability of beef will lead to a rise in prices of the beef kebab, which are almost half to that of mutton kebab. However, it won’t lead to the closure of any eatery selling kebabs in Lucknow or Uttar Pradesh because mutton and chicken delicacies, too, are a part of cultural identity of the state.
But let us come down to the point: The abattoirs being shut down are illegal. Reports say that there are 316 such slaughter houses across Uttar Pradesh. This means that previous governments allowed the flourishing of such places. So why is the media not highlighting the crime of the previous governments?
And what about organizations such as PETA and those defenders of animal rights who were, until recently, so vociferous in their demand of banning Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu? Perhaps to them killing of cattle for beef is not abuse but any measure that helps in cattle breeding is.