KHICHDI BECOMES FODDER FOR DEBATE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Harsimrat Badal said her intention was to replace ‘curry’ with khichdi as the quintessential Indian dish
The move threw social media into a frenzy, with some even asking: “Do I have to stand up when I eat khichdi now that it is a national dish?”
IT’S not often that a common man’s food becomes fodder for debates on social media. But that’s exactly what the humble khichdi has done these past few days.
A day after Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal christened khichdi as the Brand India Food on November 1, it began topping Twitter trends and became a much-searched word on the Internet, according to Google Trends. Heated debates started on the elevated status summarily thrust on the dish as well as the point and relevance of doing so.
But as this khichdi was cooking, Express was left wondering whether an over-ambitious attempt had been made to define India, a land of over 1.3 billion people with widely varying taste buds, by a single dish.
UNION food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s announcement set off a flurry of heated debates, unending speculation and conflicting opinions over the culinary identity of India and the unilateral attempt to define its food by just one dish — Khichdi.
Regardless, khichdi basked in its new-found glory as the PM inaugurated World Food India on November 3.
In the last few days, khichdi has possibly been spoken of more than it has been eaten.
“While I enjoy khichdi, to make it a Brand India dish is an overestimation. It is a certainly a comfort food, but not India’s favourite comfort food. Such gen- eralizations are inaccurate and take away from our pluralistic essence,” said Gaurav Pathan, a rice mill worker whose factory is on the outskirts of Delhi, near Sonipat.
Social media, meanwhile, went on overdrive. “Khichdi to be national dish. Why? Is the nation ill?” said one. Another said, “Do I have to stand up when I eat khichdi now that it is a national dish?” was another. “Why khichdi? I would want aloo methi to finally get its due.”
Raju Mohapatra, a diamond sorter in Karol Bagh, said, “I don’t understand how one person in power suddenly gets up and starts deciding things on behalf of the whole country. Was there a poll, a study… anything done to conclude that khichdi is the most-liked comfort food?”
Two days after elevating the khichdi from a sick man’s food to a national delicacy, Harsimrat said her intention was to replace the ‘curry’ with khichdi as the quintessential Indian dish.
But isn’t replacing one dish by another fatuous? “In a few years, khichdi will become the new curry. Will we once again think of something new?” asked Santosh Kumar, a sales representative with an electronics company.
“It is important to understand that the dish doesn’t remain in its humble form in every region, and therefore, cannot be the staple. Besides, has everyone forgotten that dal, a main component of khichdi, is often out of the reach of the poor?” asked Kumar.
“Khichdi has united India in geographical expanse with its flavour and recipes through dynasties and is definitely one of the most loved dishes in India and the world record only aims at making it popular on an international level. Therefore, its declaration as the Brand India food is fair,” said chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
I don’t understand how one person in power suddenly gets up and starts deciding things on behalf of the whole country. Was there a poll, a study… anything done to conclusion regarding? Raju Mohapatra, a diamond sorter in Karol Bagh
A Guinness world record was set in New Delhi on Saturday, when 918 kg khichdi was cooked by a team of 50 people led by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor |