If Yogi Adityanath has his way, onion growers will be in trouble 

UP CM recently delivered a harangue to senior officials on the ill-effects of ‘tamasik’ food made with onions & garlic in a meeting called to review increase in prices of essential commodities

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Biswajeet Banerjee

Will onion farming be banned in Uttar Pradesh ? Judging by reports filtering out of the Chief Minister’s secretariat, onion farmers seem to be in trouble. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently delivered a harangue to senior officials on the ill-effects of ‘tamasik’ food made with onions and garlic .

The meeting was called to review increase in prices of essential commodities particularly vegetables. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was presiding over the meeting. When officers said that prices of onion and tomato had gone up, the CM asked whether it was mandatory to eat onion.

The question was unexpected. One of the officers who attended that meeting told this reporter that no one had any answer. But a senior bureaucrat, known for reciting Bhagwat Gita and Ramayana chipped in saying that Onion constituted `tamasic’ food and Bharat had always rejected it. “This onion came from Central Asia. It was eaten by Mughal and Muslims who were flesh eaters. Indians developed a fancy for onion after they started eating mutton,” he said.

The attempt to impress the Chief Minister succeeded. The source said that following the cue given by the bureaucrat, the Chief Minister spoke of satvik and tamasic food and how tamasic food like onion and garlic had destroyed ‘our culture’.

The meeting which was called to review prices of food items was turned into a sermon where the Yogi donned the role of Guru ji and officers became his disciples. Yogi talked about how he had grown organic food in the temple compound and how it had improved the health of people living there. He even said rape and sexual assaults were because of changes in people’s eating habits. This sermon continued for almost half an hour

Interestingly, when the Information Department issued press release on the meeting, it omitted any mention of the sermon.

The official release said the Chief Minister asked District Magistrates to control prices of essential commodities by taking strict action against middlemen and hoarders. It said that CM has said that district officials should ensure that prices of essential commodities should not rise because of hoarding.

During the review meeting prices of tomato and onion was found to be on the higher side.

CM was informed that by the end of November, new crops of tomato are expected in the market and its price will automatically stabilise then. About onion he was informed that onions arrived from Gujarat and Maharashtra and as the freight was high, the cost of onion was on the higher side.

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Published: 10 Nov 2017, 4:18 PM