Beef lynching

Meat unit equity: Company filings show why BJP's Sangeet Som should quit politics (like he promised)

The MLA vowed that he would quit politics if his association with Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited was proved. Here is the evidence.

On Friday, the Hindustan Times reported that Sangeet Singh Som, the Bharatiya Janata Party member of Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly from Sardhana, along with two others, had acquired land for a meat-processing plant in Aligarh.

The report said that land for the company Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited was purchased by Som, who happened to be one of its three directors, along with Moinuddin Qureshi and Yogesh Rawat.

Al Dua Food Processing Private Limited, on its website, describes itself as a “leading producer and exporter of “HALAL MEAT” from India” and a specialist in the export of “halal buffalo, sheep/lamb, goat meat and hides”.

Som, who had visited Bishara village in Dadri tehsil earlier this month and said the UP government was shielding cow killers, responded to the newspaper's questions and "admitted that he had purchased the land a few years ago but claimed that he was unaware of being appointed as a director of the company".

According to the report, Som said: “I am a Hindu hardliner hence there is no chance of getting involved in activities which are against my religion.”  

Som was also quoted as saying that he would quit politics if his role in the factory was proved. Maybe he should.

Al Dua's statutory filings with the Ministry of Company Affairs show Som was a director from the time the company was founded in 2005 and remained on the board until 2008. Further, this is not the only meat exporting firm that Som has been involved with. There is also Al-Anam Agro Foods.

But let's take a look at Al Dua Food Processing first.

Som, as this screenshot of the company's 2007 annual report shows, was a director at the company. Based on Al Dua's filings, Som was a director between 2005 and 2008. 


The address listed against his name is KA-64, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad. That is the same address he provided in his election affidavit for the 2012 elections in Uttar Pradesh.  This is what he says on page 14.


That is not all. Som was also a shareholder in Al Dua. Between 2005 and 2008, the company had three shareholders – Som, Mainnuddin Qureshi and Yogesh Rawat. Each of them held 20,000 shares.


Apart from these, Som briefly partnered Mohammad Kamil, the managing director of MK Overseas, a meat-processing company that acquired a majority stake in Al Dua in 2012, in another meat-based enterprise. That was a company called Al-Anam Agro Foods.


This company is listed as an approved meat-processing plant on the website of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

The main objects to be pursued by Al Dua as per its Memorandum of Association is clearly listed as : "to carry on the business of manufacturers, producers, processors, buyers, sellers of and dealers in meat, meat products and preparation of all kinds, nature and description".


It is signed by three subscribers: Sangeet Som, Moinnuddin Qureshi and Yogesh Rawat on December 19, 2005.

Other contradictions

His affidavits throw up other puzzles. For instance, page 8 of the election affidavit he filed for the 2012 UP elections pegs his highest educational qualifications as intermediate (12th standard). However, his affidavit for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections says he holds a BA from the KK Jain Degree College, Muzaffarnagar.

Som had been booked under National Security Act on 24 September 2013 for making speeches that instigated communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.

Scroll contacted him for his comments but he was in a meeting. This article will be updated when he responds.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.