On Monday, BJP leader Satya Ranjan Borah protested against tigers in the Guwahati zoo being fed beef. The right wing leader gathered a group of protesters and blocked the main gate of the zoo when vehicles carrying beef for the tigers were trying to pass. He added that the carnivores can be fed the surplus Sambar deer in the zoo, instead of beef. Sambar deers are, however, among the protected species under the Indian Wildlife Act.
As the fresh controversy on beef policing made headlines, down south in Kerala, meme makers set out to create content on the incident, using Malayalam cinema and pop culture references.
A meme from the 2015 film Amar Akbar Antony depicts Jayasurya as the disillusioned tiger who says, “I am not going to continue eating food which doesn’t have beef. I am going to leave this place.”
To this, the pashu (Malayalam) or cow depicted by Indrajith says “Eda Kadu nee serious aano? (Hey Tiger are you saying this seriously?” and the Tiger says “Yes, I am serious,”. This is followed by the punch dialogue where Indrajith (Cow) says “Then can I take your position as the national animal?.”
Most Malayalees will remember this funny scene from the 1998 fim Harikrishnans, where Juhi Chawla cooks the spiciest food for Mohanlal and Mammootty. The meme shows Juhi Chawla asking Mohanlal if the ‘spice in the sambar is okay?”, to which he responds that it is balanced. She then asks Mammootty if the “salt in the yogurt is fine,” to which he responds “it is balanced. Both Mammotty and Mohanlal faces have photoshopped heads of Tigers - Tigers eating Sambar and curd as they can no longer eat beef.
This meme shows Mammootty and Sreenivasan who are portrayed as two tigers engaged in a serious conversation on food. The year is 2040 and the tigers and Sreenivasan is the Grandpa Tiger. Mamootty - the tiger cub - asks Sreenivasan “what did you eat in your childhood?” to which Grandpa Tiger says “Nothing specific. We used to kill and eat Buffalo or goats,”. To this the cub replies “what a weird life, wasn’t it?”
This shows Gopika, a dying zoo keeper, on her death and attempting to speak to the Tiger (Suresh Gopi). Gopika (zookeeper) manages to say “Bee” and the tiger asks “Beef?”, to which Gopika replies “Beetroot fry and rice.”
A meme from the 1993 classic Meleparambil Aanveedu, the picture shows Jagathy, Vijayaraghavan, Narendra Prasad and Jayaram sitting down to eat dinner. They are served chilly instead of meat.
This picture depicts Cochin Haneefa as the young tiger who has escaped the zoo and reunited with his parents in the wild.
Tiger Dad (depicted by Narendra Prasad): Son, we have cooked your favourite deer. Please Eat.
Young Tiger (Cochin Haneefa): “I have relinquished all this father.”
Tiger dad: “What?”
Young Tiger: “I adopted the Gandhian life in the zoo. I have given up on fish and meat. Now I am vegetarian.”
Another meme shows Suraj Venjaramoodu as a lion watching a picture of raw beef on his mobile screen and crying and eating grass (joke is that cats are no longer served beef in zoos now).
A meme from the 2001 film Ravanaprabhu shows Innocent as a cat owner who buys a cat for Rs 5 lakhs off the internet. He gets a Tiger cub instead and says “oh this is profitable.”