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JNU to have a KFC kiosk on campus, but with a difference

31, Aug 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which had always faced opposition from left-wing student unions against opening of kiosks by MNCs like McDonalds, Barista or Café Coffee Day, is finally going to have a KFC kiosk operational on campus from this Friday. But there is a twist in the tale – KFC at JNU won’t be a franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken but it would be the inaugural outlet of a new brand – Kommunist Fried Chicken.

Brand New Left
Brand New Left

Kommunist was the name of a magazine founded by Lenin as well as the name of a Soviet newspaper that was the official theoretical and political organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. By branding a fast food joint with the same name, left-wing activists hope to impress the younger generation and influence them with the communist philosophy.

“We are experimenting with our strategy. Although we have always won campus elections, the last general elections were a huge setback for the leftists. We indulged in some introspection and concluded that we need to reach out to the younger generation and educate them about the great communist ideals. We believe that even BJP paid the price of not engaging the younger generation, so we thought to make the first move and catch them young.” a student leader belonging to the left-wing student organization AISA said.

KFC at JNU will serve mainly fried chicken along with other refreshments, but it will follow rules inspired by the communist philosophy.

“Chickens will be slaughtered regardless of their color, creed or class. If you go to the free market outside, a desi chicken costs more than the poultry one, but we won’t have any such class or ethnic distinction at KFC. Everyone is equal in our eyes, be it humans, animals or chickens. We would cull and fry them without any partiality or prejudice. That also means that all kinds of fried chicken will cost the same to the students.” Dipankar Dasgupta, the chef of KFC informed.

The kiosk will be owned by the JNUSU (JNU Students’ Union) and it will not allow any privately owned franchisees for new outlets that might be opened outside the campus. Any campus or institute willing to open a new outlet of KFC will need to wholly submit to JNUSU for the operations and management of the outlet.

In deference to minority rights and secularism, KFC at JNU will make it public whether the chicken used in a bucket was slaughtered in halaal manner. But it has rejected demands by ABVP, the student organization affiliated to RSS and BJP, that the kiosk should serve Jain food to vegetarians and also make public whether the chicken was slaughtered in jhatka manner. ABVP has called for mass protests in front of the main entrance of JNU against the decision.

Common students on campus are a bit wary as the move has already got mired in student political maneuverings. But most of the students hoped that it was a step in the right direction and would pave way for opening up of further kiosks on the campus, which would save them daily auto-rickshaw fares that they spend to visit the nearest PVR to have coffee and snacks.