Saturday, May 10, 2008

British Airways takes beef off the menu

For decades the national dish has been a staple meal on the national carrier.
But now British Airways has taken beef off the menu for economy passengers amid concerns about its "religious restrictions".
The airline has instead switched to a fish pie or chicken dish option for the so-called "cattle class" passengers.
BA's second-biggest long-haul market is to India, where the majority Hindu population do not eat beef because of their beliefs.

The decision to scrap the nation's favourite fare was described as a "great shame" by the English Beef and Lamb Executive, formerly part of the Meat and Livestock Commission.
A spokesman said: "It is regrettable that Britain's flag carrier is not proposing to serve Britain's national dish.
"It is a meal we are rightly proud of. Roast beef and beefeaters are symbols or Britain used to promote tourism.
"Our beef is also much in demand overseas. It is predominately grass fed and highly praised for its flavour.
"It is obviously up to British Airways to decide what they serve on flights, but beef is an ideal meat for making into airline meals." A BA spokesman said the it stopped serving beef to economy class passengers last month.
He added: "We can only serve two options and beef and pork obviously have religious restrictions.
"We have to try to use two meals which appeal to as many customers as possible. This summer season we are offering customers in World Traveller on most longhaul flights a choice of chicken and tarragon or fish pie.
"We also look at trends from major supermarkets to see what types of meals are popular and fish pie style meals are selling well at the moment.
"These two meals proved popular in tasting tests and are also proving popular on board.
"It has nothing to do with the fear of causing offence - we always offer alternative meals for people with special dietary requirements if they order in advance.
"We are still serving beef based meals on certain menus in First Class and Club World and are currently deciding on whether or not to use beef on the menus for World Traveller customers for the winter season."
The Hindu Council UK said: "The Hindu community will welcome this decision and the news it has been made partly because Hindus don't eat beef.
"Hindus have a great deal of respect for British culture and are well integrated into the British way of life, so it's good to see evidence of how they are literally flying the British flag by choosing British Airways.
"That said, Hindus are tolerant of the beliefs of others and do not expect everyone to stop eating a food because they do not eat it."
In the past three months world beef prices have risen from about £2,500 a tonne to more than £4,000 a tonne, largely because of the weakening dollar and rising feed costs.
BA also said that cost is not a reason for the decision to stop serving beef.[thisislondon]

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tallapaka village into a religious tourist and spiritual centre

KADAPA: Tallapaka village in Rajampet mandal, the birthplace of saint-lyricist Annamacharya, who scripted 32,000 sankeertanas in praise of Lord Venkateswara, will be developed into a religious tourist and spiritual centre, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams chairman B. Karunakar Reddy announced on Thursday.

Similarly, Annamacharya Aradhana festival will be held with grandeur at Tallapaka from next year, on the lines of Thyagaraya Aradhana festival at Tiruvayur, Mr. Reddy said in a meeting at Rajampet RDO office on Thursday evening to review arrangements for the 600th Annamacharya Jayanti celebrations slated from May 19. TTD was making all out efforts to popularise Annamacharya keerthanas, he said.

Stating that William Shakespeare’s native village was developed as a tourist attraction the world over, Mr. Karunakar Reddy remarked that Annamacharya was a greater litterateur and said Tallapaka, his native village, would be developed as a spiritual centre on international standards. His 108-foot statue would be inaugurated during the Jayanti celebrations.

Nearly 20,000 cultural artistes and bhajan troupe members would participate in ‘Nagara Sankeertana’ rally from Rajampet to Tallapaka on May 19, he said.

It would be followed by a musical programme with about 600 musical artistes including Mangalampalle Balamuralikrishna. ‘Thirumanjan Seva’ would be held on lines of the one at the Tirumala temple.

Unjal Seva would be performed on May 20. Film actress Shobana would stage a classical dance show and Suseela, S.P. Balasubramanyam, Sailaja and eminent singers would give a programme. Venkateswara Kalyanam would be performed on May 21 and a programme by Vempati Chinasatyam would follow.

Arrangements were being made for 40,000 devotees a day, the TTD chairman said.[Hindu.Com]