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BJP Leader Who Thinks Eating Poha Makes One 'Bangladeshi' Has United All Foodies Against Him

File photo of Kailash Vijayvargiya: Poha photo source: Flickr/ Kalyan

File photo of Kailash Vijayvargiya: Poha photo source: Flickr/ Kalyan

BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday said he suspected that there were some Bangladeshis among construction labourers who worked at his house recently.

Jashodhara Mukherjee
  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: January 24, 2020, 12:52 PM IST
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BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday said he suspected that there were some Bangladeshis among construction labourers who worked at his house recently. The reason? He saw them eating poha.

Now, poha is Maharashtrian for "flattened rice", a dish where the rice is flattened into dry, light flakes. The flattened rice is usually cooked with turmeric, onions, tomatoes, nuts and other ingredients to make 'kanda poha', which is traditionally eaten all over Maharashtra. As a matter of fact, the dish may very well be considered synonymous with the state. In Indore too, poha, cooked almost in a similar way, forms an integral part of the diet. Not just Maharashtra, poha forms the staple breakfast for thousands around the country for three reasons - it is simple, it is filling and most importantly, it is cheap. For a few bucks, you can get a plate of steaming hot poha, which can satiate your hunger and let's face it, it's delicious.

Vijayvargiya's comments on the innocent poha did not sit well with desi foodies, who may have just sat down with their bowl of poha on a cold winter morning as they read what he said. The pertinent question then became, "Does eating poha makes one "anti-national"?

 






Vijayvargiya's totally uncalled-for attack on poha has stirred up another debate. By associating poha with Bangladeshis, he's essentially pointed fingers at Bengali speaking communities in India, who have now come all guns blazing to defend their version of flattened rice.

In Bengal, flattened rice is known as "chira" or "chire", which is eaten in uncooked form. Now, Bengalis from around the country have begun a comparison between poha and chira, claiming that their version tastes better and is healthier.




Vijayvargiya probably had no idea that he would trigger a food war of sorts or even end up pitting one culture against the other. But hey, here's a lesson for the future - just don't mess with our food!

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