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'Save Gobi Manchurian': Twitter Trolls Union Minister for Demanding Ban on Chinese Food

Ramdas Athawale

Ramdas Athawale

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, who came up with the slogan 'Go Corona, Go', was called out on Twitter after he said restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale kicked up a storm recently after he called for a ban on Chinese food following India-China border violence that resulted in the death of twenty Indian Army personnel in Ladakh.

"Restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned. I appeal to people to boycott Chinese food," Athawale said at a press conference.

The statement caused an instant uproar on social media with many slamming the minister for his thoughtless comment. Many pointed out that though the food was Chinese in cuisine, the people making it or running the restaurants that sell it were Indian. Critics pointed out that by banning restaurants that sell Chinese food, the minister would only be taking away the employment from Indians at a time when the economy is already stressed.

Senior journalist Suhasini Haider took to Twitter to react to the statement. "Putting Indians out of businesses and jobs in the midst of an economic crisis? Conflict is not the time for banal jingoism".

Yet another journalist and fact-checker Mohammad Zubair pointed out that such statements were "dangerous" as many such restaurants were run by people from India's north-east and that such statements may provoke fringe attacks on these communities.

Writer Siddharth Singh also agreed. "Jobless mobs will now go assault some poor Indian restaurant or food cart owner, despite nearly all "Chinese" food in India being as Indian as samosa," he wrote.

Many recalled Athawale's previous "Go Corona, Go" chant-campaign to fight coronavirus, implying that banning Chinese food in India would be just as inadequate and impractical a response to the India-China border violence as the "Go corona" chants were in fighting COVID-19.

Yet others pointed out that "Indian Chinese" or the version of Chinese cuisine sold in India was not even entirely Chinese but a fusion of Chinese and Indian ingredients and flavours. Many made a call to "save gobi manchurian".