“Khichdi as National Dish? Northeast Indian youth add a dash of humour to ongoing rumour

“Khichdi as National Dish? Northeast Indian youth add a dash of humour to ongoing rumour

SHWETA RAJ KANWAR | November 3, 2017

With rumors doing the rounds that Khichdi would be declared as the so-called National dish of India, social media was on fire as youth took to different social media forums to express themselves on the issue and Northeast Indian youth were not far from being opinionated on this matter. Humorous statements greeted this reporter of TNT- The Northeast Today as she went on to speak to youth from all over the region to get an idea of what they had to say on this. The news eventually turned out to be false. No such moves have apparently been planned. But in the time between spreading the false news and clarification from government, the idea (both for and against) of a 'national dish' spread like wildfire.

Nathaniel Jamir, a student from Nagaland studying in Shillong says, "This is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard in my entire life. National Dish? (Laughs) Well, in that case I would prefer non-vegetarian Khichdi".

As hilarious as it may seem, youth seemed to be full of witty comments on this false presumption of the 'so-called' National dish. Marba Kharlukhi, also a student opines, "Well, after ban on beef slaughter now Khichdi as the national dish? But they have not mentioned vegetarian or non-vegetarian right?".

Antara Roy, a mass communication student from Shillong studying in Bangalore says, "It is funny how people even assume things without knowing facts. There is no mention of National food being declared at all! But nonetheless, even if it is done, who cares, we will still eat whatever we want!"

Sri Hari from Bangalore pursuing his internship in Shillong states, "It is a fact that Khichdi is one of the preferred dishes in India due to its health benefits but there is no sense in declaring it as a so-called National Food".

Amidst all the rumors and false controversies, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal later clarified that the simple dish of rice, lentils and condiments—a staple for many Indians across the length and breadth of the nation—will be popularized globally because it "symbolises India's great culture of unity in diversity". It may be recalled that the entire controversy began when news came in that over 800 kg khichdi, a traditional Indian dish relished by both rich and poor, will be prepared live on November 4 at the World Food India event in a bid to create world record and popularize it as brand India food globally. Khichdi — prepared using rice, pulses, coarse cereals and spices — has been selected as Brand India Food because it symbolises the country's unity in diversity.

However, this very statement was interpreted in various manners by different outlets thereby making people assume that the dish was en-route to being declared as India's National Food. even Omar Abdullah was not far behind from expressing his opinion in this regard

Whatever may be people's opinion, the rationale behind the move seems to be a wise one. The cooked khichdi on November 4th will be distributed to about 60,000 orphan children as well as guests present at the event. The khichdi will also be distributed to the Heads of Foreign Missions in India along with recipe. Brand India Khichdi's ingredients and recipe will be popularised by Indian Foreign Missions throughout the world. The government will ensure that Khichdi is available in restaurants and kitchens around the world, an official statement said.

The writer can be contacted at shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

DISCLAIMER: The above article has been written in good humor and does not aim to offend any group of people. The opinion expressed in this article are those of the people interviewed and TNT- The Northeast Today may not subscribe to the same views

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