The exception proves the rule

Manish Ghosh (Letters, 9 April) suggests that I check out some of the ancient texts on Hinduism for evidence that Hindus do eat meat. Certainly they do - not only do many Bengali Hindus such as him eat meat, but many other Hindus eat meat. The question is of proportion. The majority of Hindus, for reasons of tradition and religion, as well as economics (in India), are vegetarians. In a country of India's size, as Nirad Chaudhury wrote, even exceptions run into millions; but that does not make them anything other than exceptions.

Salil Tripathi
London N12

This article first appeared in the 23 April 2001 issue of the New Statesman, Blessed are the pure in heart