New Delhi: Reports indicating the declaration of Khichdi as the national dish of India threw social media into a tizzy on Wednesday. A day later, on Thursday, food processing minister Harsimrat Badal said that it was anyway an “undeclared national dish.”
When asked on which side of the debate she stood, Badal said: "No demand has come to me for khichdi to be declared the national dish. I think khichdi is probably the undeclared national dish anyway, and that's why this noise around it. The only thing I am trying to do is to take khichdi to the international level."
Harsimrat alleged that certain elements were trying to make a "political khichdi" to divide the country, "using a dish that united us all".
Media reports that emerged on Wednesday suggested that government was proposing to declare Khichdi as the national dish at a function, World Food India, organised by the food processing ministry.
World Food India proposes to spread awareness on the ease of doing business in India in the food processing sector. One of the ways the ministry plans to start the event is by preparing 1000 litres of khichdi to be distributed among the poor on the auspicious occasion of Gurupurab.
Harsimrat also plans to set a world record of cooking the largest quantity of khichdi in one go. Though she maintained that there cannot be any one dish that can represent our country.
“The beauty of khichdi is that everyone thinks it is their dish. The beauty of our country, though, is in its diversity. There is no one food that represents the country,” she said.
All through Wednesday and Thursday, memes and videos had sprouted on social media over the khichdi debate. Most of the comments were sharply divided along the lines of "why or why not". That debate, many on social media feel, is still unsettled. Particularly because Harsimrat was quoted as saying that "as of now" they have no such plans.
“I was asked a question by some people in the media that if I broke the world record on khichdi, will I take a patent on it? I said that is something new. This is the first time I am hearing about it. I will think about it. We can think about that once we end world food India."