Why is iD dosa batter giving communal trolls indigestion?

Bangalore based iD dosa batter makers brave communal campaign and misinformation, issue statement saying batter contains rice, urad dal, fenugreek and RO-water 

iD Dosa

As an essential part of their hate agenda, communal forces continue to spread dangerous misinformation and lies, especially when it comes to food. The latest has been a hate campaign spreading a dangerous lie over Whatsapp and social media, that the dosa batter made and sold by the popular iD startup contains ‘cattle bones and calf rennet’. 


The company took to its social media page to reassure customers that this was not the case. It said:


As anyone who has cooked or even eaten a dosa, one of the most popular foods across the country, knows, the batter is just made of water-rice-lentil-fenugreek seed that is left to ferment naturally, cooks add salt before preparing the idli or dosa according to their taste. A dosa batter is not just vegetarian, it is actually vegan.

However the recent hate drive has accused the popular company of using animal products and urged ‘every single Hindu’ to boycott it. Why? Because the founders of this Bangalore-based company are Muslims. It was in 2005, that iD was founded by five cousins, with a small store/office. Its website shares its intent “to ensure that people the world over get access to fresh, nutritious & delicious Indian food. With an unwavering vision to preserve traditional, home-made cuisine & a focus on making the process of cooking fun & effortless.” And the ready-to-use and easily available batter, and now coffee extract, has helped iD grow at a massive rate, it is now available across India, UAE & the US. 

Cooking up hate against Muslims

It is the Muslim identity of its founders and their massive success, that has given right wing bigots all the fodder they need. The communal campaign has accused the company of using cattle bones and calf rennet in its products and urged “every single Hindu” not to use them. According to news reports, the communal harassment was “started by Chennai-based Twitter user Srinivasa S.G.” Like his ilk, his social media bio claims that he is an armed forces veteran and a “proud Hindu/Indian”. His false claims about the food sold by Bangalore-headquartered start-up iD Fresh Food (India) Ltd, has been shared widely, commented upon and also circulated on WhatsApp, forcing the company to put out its statement rubishing the fake claim. 

According to a report in the Telegraph, Srinivasa apart from the false claims has also targeted the company’s Muslim founders and stated that they employ only Muslims and asked if “it is Halal certified?” He then goes on to identify the founders, P.C. Mustafa, Abdul Nazer, Shamsudeen T.K., Jafar T.K., and Noushad T.A. They are all well known as young entrepreneurs who have been featured in many business stories for their own inspirational journey. Mustafa’s father was reportedly a labourer, and the family hailed from a village in Kerala’s Wayanad district. Mustafa then rose from poverty, earned high educational degrees, worked abroad and also founded iD Food with his cousins.



The right wing cannot digest a Muslim’s success?

It is not as simple as that. According to news reports “iD Food raised Rs 35 crore from its first round of funding from Helion Venture Partners in 2014”, and “another $25 million (Rs 170 crore) from Premji Invest headed by Wipro founder Azim Premji” it has grown from strength to strength since then. However, targeting them with false propaganda is done so that it not only impacts the products sale, but also that it has a ripple effect and encourages more hate against Muslim’s running any food business. 

The pyramid of hate

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) Secretary and human rights defender Teesta Setalvad explains how minute biases and prejudices like looking down on one’s appearance, their mannerisms, how one chooses to pray, has the capacity to consume us within a society. “It is these biased attitudes of stereotyping, insensitive remarks, fear of differences, non-inclusive language, micro aggressions justifying biases by seeking out like-minded people, that takes shape in the form of hate,” says Setalvad. This prejudiced attitude is the first stage in the pyramid of hate.



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