Understandably, Twitter was aghast at the strange remark by Kailash Vijayvargiya. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Friday made an odd remark on humble ‘poha’ that sent Twitter into a tizzy. Addressing a pro-CAA event, the BJP’s national general secretary said that he suspected that there were some Bangladeshis among construction labourers who worked at his house recently. And how did he arrive at that conclusion – by observing the strange ‘eating habits’. Talking about the construction work at his home, Vijayvargiya said that when a new room was being added at his house recently, he found "eating habits" of some of the workers "strange" as "they were eating only `poha' (flattened rice)". After talking to their supervisor and the building contractor, he suspected that these workers were from Bangladesh, the BJP leader said.
When questioned by media, Vijayvargiya said, "I suspected these workers were residents of Bangladesh. Two days after I became suspicious, they stopped working at my house. "I have not filed any police complaint yet. I only mentioned this incident to warn people," he added.
Understandably, Twitter was aghast at the strange remark. Without naming Vijayvargiya, senior Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi remarked on Twitter. “A politician from Indore saying Poha eating labourers are Bangladeshis. RIP all argument from Indori poha lovers lest you be called Bangladeshis aur kaagaz bhi nahin dikhaane padenge certificate milne se pehle. PS: Maharashtra kanda poha rocks!,” Chaturvedi remarked. And then there were those who wondered if its poha today, any dish can be on target tomorrow.
First Beef eaters were anti- nationals.— Advaid (@Advaidism) January 24, 2020
Now Poha eaters are anti- nationals.
At this rate everyone other dish other than Khichdi and Rajma Chawal will be under the scanner. https://t.co/zLrAwtZMcn
Oh so we have already reached the "you eat too much poha so you must be Bangladeshi" stage of branding people? https://t.co/wz9dBCe3J2— Manu S Pillai (@UnamPillai) January 23, 2020
This is a Poha appreciation tweet.— Kiran Manral (@KiranManral) January 24, 2020
(Image from pinterest) pic.twitter.com/se0Tjh2xXs
I eat poha and I am not Bangladeshi. pic.twitter.com/n54u0DdOl4— Gaurav Probir PramanikðŸÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ³ï¸ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðŸŒˆ (@gauravpramanik) January 24, 2020
I did not know that I was eating Bangladeshi food for whole of my life. Kanda-Poha is one of the favourite breakfasts of Maharashtra. Kanda Poha is a precondition of marriage. pic.twitter.com/Lj7VKXH52c— The Philosopher Cat (@thekkkattt) January 24, 2020
First they came for our Biryani,now they have gone after Poha. Will we stand and watch while someone steals poha from our breakfast? #SavePohaFromfascism #SecularPoha @rockyandmayur pic.twitter.com/0PdHrsr3BN— Midhat kidwai (@midhatkidwai) January 24, 2020
Eating poha in BJP’s India now constitutes question 1 of the “Are you a Bangladeshi illegal migrant?” test. Wonder who in ModiShah’s team passes the “Are you a stupid bigot?” test pic.twitter.com/sCUacYcKpB— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) January 24, 2020
Made form flattened rice, poha is a popular breakfast dish for many Indians. In fact, several netizens pointed out at the irony of Vijaywargiya’s statement. Because, Indore is known as poha capital, the place where the ‘Bangaldeshi’ workers were commissioned. Earlier, there were reports that Madhya Pradesh was planning to seek Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the famous 'Indori poha' and three other popular food items from Malwa region. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Institute in Indore is helping this food manufacturers' and sellers' body in seeking the GI tag for these four food items. Sweet dishes like the famous 'peda' from Dharwad in Karnataka, and the 'Banglar Rasgulla' of West Bengal have already got the GI recognition. A geographical indication tag is used for an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
While Vijayvargiya’s pro-CAA statement linking food to ‘outsiders’ is new, earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi had linked the rioters with the clothes they wear. At a rally in Jharkhand's Dumka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that those who indulge in arson can be identified by their clothes. On December 17 last year, PM Modi had said that: "People who are setting fire (to property) can be seen on television. They can be identified by the clothes they are wearing." The Prime Minister had accused the Congress and its allies of fuelling violence over the amended Citizenship Act.