THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the “beef fry” tweet on the official Twitter handle of Kerala Tourism triggering a major controversy, tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday categorically stated that there was no attempt to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments.
The minister said there was a deliberate attempt from certain quarters to add communal colour to the tourism department’s tweet, highlighting Kerala’s popular delicacy beef ularthiyathu. Kerala government, the tourism department and the Left came in for sharp criticism by a section of Twitterati, who alleged that the tweet on “beef fry” was deliberately posted on MakarSankranti.
Surendran said the people criticising the beef tweet were trying to give a communal colour to the whole issue by posting pictures of pork and daring the tourism department to upload such pictures too. “There are several pork dishes which are already on the tourism department’s website,” the minister said and added that in Kerala cuisine is not linked with religion.
The controversial tweet: “Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, beef ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala,” evoked sharp reactions. Many felt it was needless.
But the minister on Friday stood firmly by the tweet.
“Tourists arriving in Kerala enjoy all dishes, whether it is pork, beef or fish. The whole controversy has been triggered by fanatics who want to communalise everything,” he said.
The minister said each recipe including that of pork delicacies have been uploaded on the official website of the department. Kerala tourism has huge following on social media with 35 lakh followers on Facebook, 18 lakh on Twitter and two lakh on Instagram. No other state in India has more followers than Kerala. All items including food are marketed by tourism department on the social media, he added.