In India, politics is usually less food for thought and more just actual food. Some times it’s the ever-bubbling chai. On other occasions it’s the problematic beef. And sometimes it’s the good-for-business pakodas. Today, however, the limelight was stolen by one of north India’s most popular dishes: Chhole bhature!
While chhole bhature normally evokes yum memories of a gluttonous meal of unhealthy oily food, today it managed to slip a greasy self goal for the Congress. Members of the grand old party of India planned on going on a fast: the Gandhian form protest led by Rahul Gandhi at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat against rising Dalit atrocities. Of course, things did not manage to go as planned.
Around one in the afternoon, Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana tweeted an image that proved to be somewhat embarrassing for Congress leaders including Ajay Maken, Haroun Yusuf and Arvinder Singh Lovely who could be seen gorging on plates of chhole bhature before their planned fast.
वहाँ रे हमारे कांग्रिस के नेता,लोगों को राज घाट पर अनशन के लिए बुलाया है और ख़ुद एक रेस्तराँ में बैठ कर छोले भटूरे के मज़े ले रहे हो ।सही बेफ़क़ूफ बनाते हो । pic.twitter.com/gp2pIYsdOb— Harish Khurana (@HarishKhuranna) April 9, 2018
While the Congress leaders did their best to provide explanations — Ajay Maken said, “Aren’t we allowed to eat before 11am?"; Arvinder Lovely claimed that the photo was taken before 8am: "This is symbolic fast from 10.30am to 4.30pm. It is not an indefinite hunger strike. This is what is wrong with these [BJP] people, instead of properly running the country, they concentrate on what we eat” — the damage was, alas, already done.
-Tytler & Sajjan Kumar at venue-Ajay Makan & Lovely Singh hogging Chhole-Bhature on camera-Rahul Gandhi 2 hours late at 5 hour fast effectively fasting whole 3 hours-Tehseen Poonawala having a meltdownAmit Shah himself couldn’t have organized this fiasco any better!— Be'Havin! (@WrongDoc) April 9, 2018
If Delhi Congress netas ate chhole bathure at 8 AM for a 10:30 AM Fast, what all did @RahulGandhi eat which got him late by 3 hours for a 3 hour fast? #JustWondering ???? #RahulOnAFarce #RahulFastDrama— Nupur Sharma (@NupurSharmaBJP) April 9, 2018
Congress leaders started their Upwas by eating Chhole Bhature. What else can we expect from the party which is eating whole nation since past 70 years.— Anu Sharma (@anusha_47) April 9, 2018
Between digs at Congress leaders, there were also myriad jokes that did the rounds, and appreciation for Delhi's favourite dish too:
Fast se pehle Chhole-Bhature, True Delhi residents https://t.co/1u9AXTUMx7— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) April 9, 2018
Btw, Chhole Bhature and Kadhi is Punjabi contribution to world index of happiness. No one can be sad or hold a grudge after a good meal of Chhole Bhature and Kadhi chawal. Glad Rahul Gandhi's team chose well.— Sunanda Vashisht (@sunandavashisht) April 9, 2018
At Chaina Ram Sindhi -1 Plate Chhole Puri (Bhatura) - 686 caloriesAvg person eats two plates - 1372 caloriesPlus one sweet lassi - 366 caloriesTotal - 1738 caloriesEnuff for an avg adult to last the entire day :)Dalit Sentiment - 0/Sannatta+ Tytler/Sajjan - Priceless pic.twitter.com/fItL03200L— ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤ ㅤㅤ ㅤ ㅤ (@DhaOnez) April 9, 2018
Pic 1 : Congress leadership Striking hard on Bhature Chhole Pic 2 : Congress leadership doing a Hunger Strike Drama pic.twitter.com/w9S3o10Bch— Truth Prevails ॐ (@Anurag4Bharat) April 9, 2018
One man’s fasting is another man’s how fast can I finish this plate of chhole bhature!— Ray Stings (@Purba_Ray) April 9, 2018
Reporter: Sir, how much does chhole bhature cost in Delhi?RaGa: It was cheap today, but it will cost us a lot in 2019.— राजीव देशपांडे (@deshrajeev) April 9, 2018
Of course, some managed to see past the incident and comment on what was really important: all that was being given less importance thanks to the Congress fiasco:
On a day the father of a girl, who was allegedly raped by a BJP MLA, died in custody after being arrested for protesting against police inaction, the media is more concerned about Congress leaders eating chhole bhatoore.— अंशुल (@Ghair_Kanooni) April 9, 2018
A woman was allegedly raped by a BJP MLA in UP. Her father was arrested and died while in police custody and the family attempted suicide out side Adityanath’s official residence.But for these ridiculously shameless idiots, Chhole Bhature is the news! https://t.co/bX3tNx9lME— Ravi Nair (@t_d_h_nair) April 9, 2018
You must be a sub human to discuss chhole bhatoore over the gang rape of a girl and the custodial death of her father! To object to the coverage of the sheer injustice against a family that wanted to commit suicide. Ishwar aapko sadbuddhi de. https://t.co/ndgXsAib2G— Abhisar Sharma (@abhisar_sharma) April 9, 2018
They picked up the father of a woman who alleged rape against a minister, and beat him to death. No sweat at all. Bring on the chhole bhature.— Carl Marks (@xtahzy) April 9, 2018
So what is the bigger story friends? Cong leaders eating chole bhature ahead of a fast or a man dying in police custody after his daughter accused a BJP MLA in UP of raping her? Let's #GetReal !!— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 9, 2018
Mundane things like chhole bhature and chai will always make news. It is only up to everyone else to choose to (mind the pun) not consume it!