Why the veg/non-veg debate is exactly what we were waiting for this Durga Puja
Are the non-Bengali residents of West Bengal who are also on Navratri fast supposed to be more tolerant?
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An advertisement showing non-vegetarian food during Navratri — which is also Durga Puja in some parts of the country — has hurt the sentiments of a section of people. This is not new.
#BoycottFortuneFoods 👉#Navaratri के अवसर पर @FortuneFoods ने विज्ञापन के माध्यम से किया मां दुर्गादेवी का घोर अपमान !👉धर्माभिमानी हिन्दू यहाँ अपना विरोध प्रविष्ट कर रहे हैEmail email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org👉Toll Free 1800 233 9999https://t.co/QP78PaXl0q pic.twitter.com/2kP7TB3uTu— HinduJagrutiOrg (@HinduJagrutiOrg) October 10, 2018
The company pulling down the advertisement from everywhere apart from West Bengal is also not unexpected, though foolish (Because it has been shared and will always be found on the Internet).
But what’s surprising is that there are actual people who are fanning the veg and non-veg war between Bengalis and the rest of the country, without probably knowing that there are many Bengali families who eat vegetarian dishes on specific days during Durga Puja, conforming to their family practices.
No wonder, Durga Puja pandals in Delhi were forced to change their menu last year.
Last year, YouTube food channel BongEats was mercilessly trolled and threatened for uploading a recipe video on Egg Roll during Navratri — when most Hindus observe fast and eat vegetarian dishes — that too with a lot of restrictions.
This year, an advertisement of a cooking oil company drew the ire of the Sanatan Sanstha-affiliate Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, which tried to foment unrest on social media.
And they succeeded.
This tells us that there are enough people on social media who believe that this food war is real.
The company, as a corporate would do, steered clear of the controversy by putting out a statement, apologising.
Over 2 yrs we are celebrating the idea of #PetPujo with Bengali Foodies around the time of Durga Pujo. This year our video touched 1.5+M viewers in Bengal alone, and our Brand continues to receive oodles of love on Social Media. We respect food choices made by every community;— Fortune Foods (@FortuneFoods) October 13, 2018
Also, the company promised to withdraw the video from circulation.
But not from West Bengal.
This was not intentional & we will withdraw the video from circulation other than in West Bengal where it is common practice to eat both veg & non veg food. We wish to respect all communities and apologize unconditionally if we have hurt anyone unknowingly. (2/2)@HinduJagrutiOrg— Fortune Foods (@FortuneFoods) October 11, 2018
Why? Are non-Bengali residents of West Bengal who are also observing Navratri fast supposed to be more tolerant to various food choices?
Otherwise, how could you not be scared of the non-Bengali communities staying in West Bengal!
The singing-cooking wife and her husband were more hurtful than anything else. (Photo: Screenshot)
The advertisement, however, has many annoying elements. It has got one nagging husband, an over-zealous, deified wife. We understand that not all Bengali households are like that. Using the same logic, not all Bengalis are like that.
The ad features vlogger Sawan Dutta draped in a saree, singing and cooking for her husband, or, apparently for all male members of the family. The husband passes some condescending remarks about one of the dishes, which in turn channelises the inner shakti of the wife. End result: An array of dishes, mostly non-veg and the wrath of a Hindu outfit, which also didn’t like how the Goddess has been depicted as a woman.
What's cooking? Outrage.
The entire video is in Bengali, with English subtitles. There are many wrong translations floating around. Like, the husband is on Navratri fast and the wife forces him to eat fish. That’s not at all true.
But it’s interesting that so many people could actually take the pain of going through an advertisement of cooking oil for just one purpose. Outrage.
With outrage comes counter-outrage as well. Several Bengalis are offended as the company decided to withdraw the advertisement.
The social media team of the company must be having a tough time as they are actually replying to all remarks (positive/negative) they are receiving and wishing them happiness for the festive season.
Navratri and Durga Puja have always co-existed peacefully.
There is no war in real, as long as there is food on the plate.