Badian, papad, chole kha ke
Ban gaye ye balwaan
Dekhoji, dekho, mitti ke pahalwan.
(They feed off papads and nutri-nuggets
They think they are tough nuts
Oh just look at these weak little mutts.)
WHEN that Pakistani propagandist ditty hummed across the airwaves and into Indian homes during the 1971 war, there weren't many Indians who disagreed with its basic premise. Namely: meat equals muscle. No longer. Today innumerable urban Indians of diverse ages, castes and communities would contest that contention. Indians who find less merit in meat and both vigour and virtue in vegetarianism.
Like Delhi-based Vasant Valley school student, Aditya Roy, 9, who shocked his beef-chewing, fish fond parents when he pushed away the pepperoni pizza he'd always tucked into with great relish. "Don't want meat," he mumbled. "It's cruel to eat animals". Six months on he's remained resolute, spurned the family's attempts to feed him mutton cutlets masquerading as potato croquettes and continues to favour tinda over tandoori chicken at meal times.