While we were still recovering from a former justice’s explanation of why peacock is the national bird of India, a new debate on what should India’s national food should be has left us feeling suicidal. The issue was debated by a news channel for a good 15 minutes owing to an innocuous comment by National Award-winning director R Parthiban. The Tamil actor-director in an interview to a national daily said that during the days he was struggling Upma, a breakfast dish in South India helped him survive because is delicious, nutritious and cheap. In the same vein he said, (and probably he was joking) that the dish should be declared “national food”. This part of the statement for some reason got wrongly interpreted by this news channel. They thought the filmmaker’s ‘demand’ amounted to “cultural chauvinism”.
The anchor said, “I am a Punjabi, I could say make chole bhature the national dish. Will that be fair?” Then a ticker flashed on the screen asking, “Don’t want you to have Momos?”.
The channel also ran the story with a sinister sounding hashtag #CulinaryChauvinism along with another ticker saying, “Now they force Upma upon you”.
We don’t have a clue about who is the “they” or the “you” the channel is referring to.
What the actor was actually talking about how the humble upma helped him survive through difficult days.
Here’s what he said:
— gopu mohan (@gopumohan_TNIE) June 20, 2017
An entire panel of two reporters, a nutritionist, a chef was invited to discuss this issue. While the chef said foods from all across India was good, for some reason the nutritionist on the show said that she never recommends Upma to her patients as it is fattening.
To which the anchor exclaimed, “Oh really, good to know.”
Watch the full video here
Full marks for the character assassination of a perfectly healthy and tasty breakfast.
seriously, a debate over upma? pic.twitter.com/giDC2buosW
— Anna Isaac (@anna_isaac) June 20, 2017