There have been widespread protests in West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu about new government rules that ban the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. Impromptu beef festivals have been organised; three overzealous youth Congress workers were suspended for slaughtering a calf in public, earning a Twitter rebuke from Rahul Gandhi; a student at IIT Madras was badly beaten. Some in the media have described the beef festivals as unnecessary and even silly, as if eating food legally is a provocation. Amusingly, so exercised were some on social media that the long-forgotten idea of Dravida Nadu was resuscitated on Twitter in which four southern states secede from the Union and form their own sovereign nation. “I implore my fellow Southerners,” tweeted Shashi Tharoor, “not to express an anti-national idea”. But with hackles already raised over the supposed imposition of Hindi and fresh suspicions about dietary interventions and the Centre’s agenda, this is one beef that’s not going away.