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How Abhijit Banerjee's Nobel Prize Started a War Between Fish and Dhokla Eaters

How Abhijit Banerjee's Nobel Prize Started a War Between Fish and Dhokla Eaters

Things took a serious turn when a Nobel prize fuelled a full-blown war between Gujaratis and Bengalis on Twitter.

The announcement that Kolkata-born Abhijit Banerjee would be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kramer for their work in development economics, send ripples of joy across the country. This was a proud moment. Especially for the Bengalis. They were soon sending out celebratory tweets, figuring out some connection that they have with Banerjee and telling the world that five Indians who had won the Nobel earlier were associated with Kolkata.

Soon, Facebook and Twitter feeds were flooded with posts which hailed the "intellectual superiority of Bengalis". Like everything else, it soon turned into a competition of I-am-better-than-you. And, well, food.

On Tuesday, a Twitter user named Arpana posted a tweet directed at "dhokla eaters" or Gujaratis. Her tweet claimed that Bengalis are superior to Gujaratis. On what grounds? We do not know.

 

 

If you are wondering what food has to do with Nobel prize, well, welcome to the bizarre world of India's Internet. Labelling Gujaratis as "dhokla eaters" is practically the same as stereotyping all Bengalis as fish eaters, but this wasn't about logic anyway. 

Without a doubt, Gujaratis came all guns blazing. The tweet soon became the butt of jokes, with several people calling her out for discrimination on regional grounds.  

Then again, that's the problem with social media, right? A tweet never remains just a tweet; for the most of Tuesday, "dhokla" and "fish" remained the top trends on Twitter. It is, as a matter of fact, quite amusing to read through the tweets and the zest and conviction with which Bengalis and Gujaratis are defending their respective cuisines!

Of course, there were some who preferred to sit on the sidelines (perhaps with popcorn, ermm.. dhokla? roshogolla?) and watch as the drama unfolded.

We are only wondering what Banerjee, the Noble laureate would have to say about the food war he has waged in the country.