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This article explores the connection between food and utopia within the Dalit student movement. Research data was gathered during the multi-stage ethnographic fieldwork in the university campuses in New Delhi (Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi) and Hyderabad (Osmania University, the English and Foreign Languages University) during 2013 and 2014 (total seven months). Seeking to demonstrate the centrality of the beef symbolism in the local Dalit student movement in Hyderabad, this article provides a content analysis of “Beef Anthem”, written and performed by Dalit student activist NS Chamar, contextualizing it with fieldwork observations and interviews with the Dalit activists. This article uncovers multilayered meanings and strategies surrounding beef issue allowing one to understand how through the symbol of beef, the Dalit activists in Hyderabad reimagined themselves and strategized their movement in the context of the strengthening right-wing politics.
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