Twitter brings up Rishi Sunak to troll Sudha Murthy for 'pure veg' remark

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadJul 26, 2023 | 16:00

Twitter brings up Rishi Sunak to troll Sudha Murthy for 'pure veg' remark

Sudha Murthy trolled for pure veg comment on Twitter. Photo: Infy_Foundation/Twitter

Infosys co-founder Sudha Murthy is once again being trolled on Twitter for her choice of words in a recent interview. In an episode of Khaane Mein Kaun Hai, the billionaire shared her taste in food and also revealed that she always carries her food when travelling and even certain cookware, because she's "pure vegetarian" and is afraid that utensils used for non-vegetarian food will be used to serve her vegetarian food. 

I am a pure vegetarian, I don't even eat eggs, or garlic. What I am scared of is, is that the same spoon will be used for both, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
- Sudha Murthy

How Twitter reacted 

However, Twitter has not been as enthusiastic about her response as she is about her "pure veg" food preferences. Sudha Murthy was trending on July 26 and users were busy sharing their opinion about the billionaire's response. 

  • Some Twitter users mocked Murthy's food preference asking how she can fly in fossil fuel-powered planes if she's "pure veg". 

  • They even suggested that Murthy fly on a "pure veg plane" that uses rasam or sambar as fuel.
  • There were some who also suggested that Murthy only travel in a bullock cart and cook food using cow dung because she's "pure veg".

  • They also dug up some photos of her son-in-law, UK PM Rishi Sunak, posing in front of a barbecue and various dishes of meat wondering what their interactions are like. 

  • Others asked Rishi Sunak whether his children are allowed to touch Grandma Sudha Murthy.
  • Some Twitter users were more creative in their imagination narrating a scene where Murthy unpacks her pressure cooker, pure veg readymade poha packets and induction at a fancy restaurant somewhere in the world and cooking with her own two spoons. 

What's the debate on caste?

But memes aside, Twitter also discussed the caste implications of Sudha Murthy's words. 

  • Twitter users called out Sudha Murthy for her casteist choice of words when it came to describing her food preference as "pure vegetarian" and the insinuation of 'impure' non-vegetarian food (meat) with which her utensils can't mix. 

The ones in defence

However, there were some who came to defend Sudha Murthy, saying that she's free to act according to her food preferences and shouldn't be mocked for carrying her own food or utensils. 

  • They also said that various religions around the world have specific food preferences like Muslims only eat Halal meat while Jewish people eat Kosher meat. 

  • However, when it comes to the use of the words "pure veg" in the Indian context by someone as influential as Sudha Murthy, the caste connotations cannot be ignored. In India, vegetarian food means a lot different than vegetarianism practiced in the West. 

  • Being vegetarian is more than just about loving animals in India. In fact, it is more to do with someone's caste, especially with the use of the words "pure vegetarian". Pure vegetarianism is something that is practiced by the Brahmin caste and other 'upper' castes.
  • Often the use of "pure veg" and "non-veg" is used as a tool of discrimination. It's something that often comes up when someone is looking for a house to rent, with many landlords demanding "pure veg" tenants.
  • Most "pure veg" households don't like to mix up utensils in which non-veg is cooked as it's considered impure.          
  • Hence, some claimed that the comment by Sudha Murthy was casteist or at least dripping with caste connotations, especially with the addition of keeping separate utensils for her pure veg food and non-veg food.  

Sudha Murthy isn't new to being trolled online. The last time she was mocked for her words was when a seemingly PR story about her 'simplicity' and 'humbleness' despite being a billionaire was doing the rounds. 

Last updated: July 26, 2023 | 16:00
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