Member of Parliament KTS Tulsi sparked a heated argument in the Rajya Sabha over what he called the ‘Great Indian Spit’, demanding strict action against those spitting in public.
Claiming that the habit was causing the spread of communicable disease, Tulsi addressed health minister JP Nadda during the Question Hour, calling for measures to curb the practice and address the health hazards, the Hindu reported.
“Sir, India is a spitting country. We spit when we are bored; we spit when we are tired; we spit when we are angry or we spit just like that. We spit anywhere and everywhere and we spit at all times and at odd hours. Sir, we know the harm of smoking. But, we are yet to find out the harm of spitting. Very few studies have been done,” he said.
Besides asking for a scientific study into the matter, the MP further said that those caught openly spitting in public should be given a broom to clean up the area.
“This is not a light issue. This has come to be known in the whole world as the great Indian spit. This is the ugliest of habits which cannot go with ‘Incredible India’,” he said.
According to the news report, Nadda responded with a promise to issue an advisory on a ban on the practice across states. He further said an inter-sectoral meet would be held soon to address the matter.
However, amid severe criticism, especially from the Trinamool Congress, other MPs demanded more concrete action, including Odia superstar and MP from the Biju Janata Dal, Abhinav Mohanty.
“Will the government ignore or deny that spitting is more because of eating or chewing of pan and tobacco? Will the government plan to ban tobacco and pan completely so that spitting decreases and the rising number of cancer patients decreases?” Mohanty said.
Tulsi raised the issue again from a health point of view, saying, “The largest number of TB (tuberculosis) patients are found in India. One-third of the total TB patients in the whole world are here. Even China is behind us.”