There is a strange dietary debate brewing in West Bengal. We are no stranger to the debate of which state or city has the best snacks or the better biryani and so on. But it is far more unusual to find two vegan groups at loggerheads with each, other, even as dozens of irate Bengalis troll them.
Allow us to explain further.
There exist a Facebook page named Vegans of Bengal that has over 21,500 followers. According to its bio, this is a space wherein "vegan activists of Bengal unite to fight for freedom of animals by applying awareness methods and all kinds of nonviolent direct action methods." And if one logs on to their page, the first pinned post is a call to action to report another page that appears to have stolen their identity. "Some butchers have opened this page with same DP and same name to defame us," begins the outraged post.
The offending copy-cat page however is unrepentant. "Dear fans, it has come to our notice that some people are defaming us by calling us words like "fake" and "parody". We would like to clarify that there is no "real" or "fake" Vegans Of Bengal as THERE IS NO SUCH REGISTERED ORGANISATION," reads their top pinned post.
And while their user handles are slightly different, the posts and comments of this new account have gone viral. While the account has declared solemnly that it is not a parody, most people are convinced otherwise. And indeed, going by some of their posts, one feels compelled to agree.
Take the recent viral post that wanted people to go vegan during Durga Puja and suggested some rather strange alternatives.
And while many are wondering why Navratri and Durga Puja are being used interchangeably, others are incensed that even the harmless and delicious rasgulla could not escape the purge.
Since then, social media has railed almost incessantly against Vegans of Bengal, with the unfortunate original account bearing much of the brunt. Others still have taken to replying to the offending post with pictures of non-vegetarian dishes, the meatier, the better.
"Say it out ALOUD......... Bengali Durga Puja is NOT Navratri. We have our own unique cultural tradition and relationship with Ma Durga and have no quarrel with those who observe Navratri. DONT impose Navratri on us please!! (sic)" wrote one angry Twitter user.
"The cherry on the cake is the pictures - they are rather telling, of who the people behind this page are. So they're asking us to boycott traditional Bangali-Kolkata snacks, like Rosogolla, Doi Fuchka, Roll, and Chop, and embrace West Indian food - Pao Bhaji, Vadapao, Dhokla," wrote another user.
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