Egg on minister’s face over 'diet' remarks
Kerala Food Minister urges people to change with the times. He stresses the need for a “real revolution” in eating habits. But the minister’s advice hasn’t gone down well with the masses. Ramesh Babu reports.india Updated: Dec 12, 2007 04:12 IST
People love to throng Kerala Food Minister C Divakaran’s meetings these days. They get milk, boiled egg and chicken for free. But it is not the minister who is paying for these freebies. The minister’s rivals are supplying protein-rich food to mock his recent statement about a “revolution” in the state’s eating habits.
At a public function, the CPI minister, who rose from trade union ranks, said, “People have been eating enough rice already. Why should we insist on rice always? Two eggs and a glass of milk are good substitutes. If we get some good chicken, the meal is complete.” Divakaran suggested that people rear enough cattle and hens to overcome the shortages in their staple diet.
Exhorting people to change with the times, he stressed the need for a “real revolution” in eating habits. But the minister’s advice hasn’t gone down well with the masses.
His diet suggestions have come at a time when the price of rice is going through the roof.
Quick to spot opportunity, rival political parties have dubbed the CPI minister a modern-day Marie Antoinette, the French Queen who asked her hungry countrymen to eat cake if they had no bread.
The Youth Congress and the Yuva Morcha (BJP youth wing) activists have started supplying protein-rich food at his functions. They say the minister should check price rise instead of making fun of people who can’t afford eggs or milk.
To make amends, Divakaran’s office issued a statement saying he had been quoted out of the context.
This is not the first time the minister is courting controversy. He was one of the two ministers who spent several lakh rupees to give a facelift to their official residences.
CPI party secretary Veliyam Bhargavan said the minister had no reason to make such a statement.
For a change, the people are not complaining. At least, they have something to look forward to in Divakaran’s meetings.