What with chowmein, burgers and pizza being relegated the role of real villains in the recent rapes in Haryana, certain flavours of fast food could well also be responsible for the rise in the incidence of foot-in-the-mouth rants on rape.
Whilst the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) chews on this culinary possibility, here's the menu of preliminary suspects from the fast-food
family which could be triggering a hormonal imbalance in the constitutions of certain public figures that is inducing ingenious theorization on rapes, eve-teasing and such crimes against women.
McKhapenzie burger: The consumption of this particular burger has been seen to release spices in the anatomy that sparks off sound bytes spicier than the gastronomic bites. In a tough-to-swallow connection between culinary colonisation of community taste-buds and cultural theorization, the chewing of McKhapenzie burger is suspected of sending signals to grey cells -- harboured in scalps whose grey roots qualify their owners to assume grassroots leadership roles on Haryanavi soil -- to propound simplistic root causes for profound socio-cultural criminality.
This chewing, upon such fast food platters more than on social matters, triggers hormones that inspire ingenious solutions from grassroots gastronomes who, thanks to FDI in food retail, relish the McKhapenzie with as much relish as ghee or ghevar. As the complex fats of this fast food get disintegrated into easy-to-digest carbohydrates in constitutions constantly served food for thought in the shape of honour killings or rape-related debates, so do complicated cultural maladies get deconstructed into simplistic solutions that, alas, are rather hard to swallow.
The theorization emanating from the McKhapenzie-consuming interpreters of maladies propounds logic like lowering of the marriageable age of girls to 16 to save them from rapes or cutting down on the consumption of chowmein to arrest hormonal imbalances that drive male consumers to charge at female chastity. Next, this grassroots logic may come up with a joke blaming honour killings or road rage on a rising consumption of Pepsi or Coke!
Celebrity consumers of this brand of burgers are suspected to be Haryana's khap leaders like Jitender Chhatar and Sube Singh.
Pizza McFluff: This red-chilli flavoured fast food produces a propensity in the partaking mouths to utter flimsy and full-of-fluff pronouncements about rapists when they're not preoccupied with Maoists. Culinary indulgence in McFluff may be responsible for the hormonal disturbance that has a consumer, not seeing Red, but experiencing flushes that get the face going red.
This rush of red then translates into fiery but far-fetched theories gushing forth from vitriolic vocal canals that blame the rising incidence of rapes not on the gory-fication of male mind-sets but on the "glorification" by the media. The endocrinal excess further fuels raucous rants about rape having roots in the "news pollution" professed and propagated by the tamasha TV, which in its race for TRPs has little better to do than project Bengal as a hotbed of rapists rather than Maoists.
The celebrity consumer of this fast food is undoubtedly the Didi with a decided disdain and a ready refrain for all things Red, be they on the menu or manifesto --- Mamata Banerjee.
McChaloo Tikki burger: The gastronomic indulgence in this tikki tickles certain taste-buds so much as to trigger a hormonal imbalance that colours the consumer's vision such that there's a blurring between the aggrieved and the aggressor and the victims rather than the rapists get seen as chaloo items crying foul over consensual sex. The McChaloo-induced hormonal imbalance produces cultural theorization that is decidedly distasteful, for in tainting the victims as chaloo it feeds upon ideas of male non-culpability.
The primary suspect in this trivialization of the terrible crime against womanhood may not be so much the foot that goes into the mouth as the foot-long that makes it into the mouth. It's another matter that ultimately the pontificating politically incorrect mouth has to eat its words.
What better brand ambassador for this fast food than Congressman Dharambir Goyat, whose brand of cultural theorization paints 90% cases of outraged modesty as simply consensual sex gone wrong!
McShrill burger: The rising incidence of ranting on rape can be squarely blamed on all things round, like a burger named McShrill that induces a hormonal spate, which impacts the lungs of members of the Fourth Estate. This 'constitutional' emergency either has these consumers going to town hosting talk shows that see their lungs going shrill screaming rape at decibel levels that rise at a more alarming speed than the rate of these crimes in Haryana, or they go about churning out screaming headlines more fast and furious than Arvind Kejriwal dishes out exposes.
The celebrity consumers of this fast food are none other than the custodians of tamasha news, for whom an onslaught on a woman's dignity is merely another statistic or another occasion to ensnare eyeballs with hosts or headlines that scream louder than the victims of these indignities.
Feeding on the logic of the latest Chow Mein Theory of Constitutional Crimes, this rise in the theorization and trivialization of rapes also seems to have roots in culinary colonization: Where there's a McShrill there's a way.
The writer is a Chandigarh-based columnist.