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Twitter Calls Nirmala Sitharaman's 'I Don't Eat Onions' Remark 'Insensitive' and 'Casteist'

News18.com

Last Updated: December 06, 2019, 09:20 IST

'Say it like Nirmala Tai' was trending on Twitter after Sitharaman's comments in Lok Sabha| Image credit: News18

'Say it like Nirmala Tai' was trending on Twitter after Sitharaman's comments in Lok Sabha| Image credit: News18

Meanwhile, Nirmala Sitharaman shared the full video of her interaction in Lok Sabha to clarify that her words were being targeted out of context.

With onion prices skyrocketing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday addressed the Lok Sabha on the issue and said that the governmnet is taking measures to check the price rise. However, the measures lay forgotten as Indians on social media and off it latched on to a another statement made my the minister - that she comes from a family that does not consume as much onions or garlic.

In response to a question posed by NCP MP Supriya Sule in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said, "I don't eat much of onion and garlic. I come from such a family which doesn't have much to do with onion."

The response has incurred the wrath of netizens, many of whom felt that whether Sitharaman and her family ate onions or not was irrelevant to the discussion on skyrocketing prices. Others construed the statement as an acknowledgement of how little Sitharaman cared about rising onion prices - a problem that affects that entire country's population - because she didn't eat it.



Twitter was instantly flooded with sarcastic jokes at the cost of the Fin Min with the hashtag '#SayItLikeNirmalaTai' trending.

















Meanwhile, others also pointed out that the onion "admission" was a mark of caste pride. Onions and garlic are traditionally not used for cooking in Brahmin households that are often strictly vegetarian. Critics felt that the statement was somewhat insensitive apropos to the discussion of rising prices that affect a majority of Indians who consume or produce onions.







One user likened Sitharaman's tone-deaf comment to a famous one attributed to Mary Antoinnette at the height of the French Revolution - (If they don't have bread), "let them eat cake". (In response to a question about what can be done to help starving peasants who don't have bread).



Sitharaman, however, has claimed that her statement is being quoted out of context. In repsonse to the trolling, the Finance minister uploaded the full video of her Lok Sabha address on her Twitter account. Her supporters argued that Sitharaman was responding a question about whether she ate onions and that the response was not outrageous when seen in the right context.