Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Only Vegetarians: That’s what many Dublin-based Indian landlords want

“They were an Indian couple. We agreed on everything and at the very last moment, they asked me for my passport details…They saw I was Sikh because of my name and the woman said, ‘You can’t live here because you eat non-veg’.”

— Bakshi to Dublin Live

A number of Indian professionals in Dublin have faced trouble renting a home. Reason: they have been refused housing by other Indian landlords or subletters due to their dietary habits, a report in Dublin Live pointed out.

The report quoted Indian Simran Singh Bakshi in Dublin who mentioned his frustration after he was refused housing “because he ate meat”. Bakshi and his girlfriend were looking for housing when they came across an advertisement for a double room. Bakshi told Dublin Live: “They were an Indian couple. We agreed on everything and at the very last moment, they asked me for my passport details…They saw I was Sikh because of my name and the woman said, ‘You can’t live here because you eat non-veg’.” Bakshi added: “I asked her if she wanted more money for the rent or if me eating non-veg was an issue. She said we strictly want vegetarian people.”

“My girlfriend is vegetarian so she tells me, ‘If your girlfriend wants to live in the single room that’s fine with me but you can’t live here’. I even said I won’t cook non-veg at home and I’ll just eat meat at restaurants, and she still said no. It was so frustrating.”

A recent survey by Pew Research found that only 39% of adults in India described themselves as vegetarian. However, it was not uncommon for “vegetarian-only” housing complexes to exist in many parts of the country

Bakshi’s experience is not new. A number of Indian professionals in Dublin have found themselves being refused housing by Indian landlords or subletters due to their dietary habits. With rents rising and the number of rental properties falling, this inter-community issue has presented itself as a major roadblock for those seeking a place to live in an already demanding housing market, the Dublin Live pointed out.

Facebook groups for Indian immigrants in Ireland will show several rooms being advertised for “vegetarians only”. A recent survey by Pew Research found that only 39% of adults in India described themselves as vegetarian. However, it was not uncommon for “vegetarian-only” housing complexes to exist in many parts of the country.

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Roma Ghosh
Roma Ghosh has recently retired as Associate Professor for Media Studies from an international university. She was with the Times of India as a correspondent for many years. Her passion is cooking and she has been doing recipes and photo shoots for Women's Era for the last 15-odd years.

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