Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Honey, they're eating away my food!

"Earlier they took away our jobs and now look, they're eating away our food! Why are they grabbing our food? What are they upto? How dare they can afford such a prosperous life! Aren’t they supposed to remain ‘poor and undernourished’ as they were in the past? We never realised the magnitude of this problem, look at their teeming numbers, just the middle classes alone outnumber our entire population and we hear that their poor classes are also on their way to improving their lifestyles. Honey! you know something? These intimidating Indians are also adding to global fuel scarcity, do you know how many cars get sold in India each day? Isn’t it a pity that we are facing the worst food crisis because middle class Indians are able to afford superior quality food. Very soon they’ll overtake us in terms of consumption and I’m getting almost paranoid at the very thought that they may dictate terms in managing the global economy! I will not let this happen, certainly not, I hope they remember what we did in Iraq when we found a threat to the civilization in the form of Saddam… as you know the problem here is not that simple; it’s not one person but 350 million Indian middle classes…life sucks!"

Give me a break Mr. Bush (and Ms Rice), it’s so sad to see that your knowledge of Indian middle classes is so limited, dangerous and superficial, you seem to be addressing the ‘nouveau riche’ upwardly mobile classes who swear by brand America, blatantly flaunting their consumerist attitude especially in food; consuming tons of Lays chips, Coke and Pepsi, Pizzas, McDonalds, Tropicanas, Washington Apples, Kelloggs Corn Flakes, ActII pop-corns, sweet corns, chewing gums, chocolates, etc etc…the truth is such Indians are a just a handful of the total billion plus population. The real middle classes are born thrifty, they struggle to earn and save for their children’s education and marriage, for building a house of their own. This class restrains from indulging in wasteful expenditure on food and prefers to cook their meals buying stuff from local grocery shop and enjoying with their families and friends. Rarely you come across such people splurging money on anything beyond simple necessities. Then, there are lower middle classes for whom managing a square meal a day is an ordeal. They strive to make their ends meet by saving on food and other expenses. Then, there are millions of those who live below the poverty line. Then, there are those who die of starvation and malnutrition. Here I'll not get into the argument about how much we produce and consume in our country or why there is so much poverty or why farmers commit suicide...

Where I’m in complete agreement with you is the fact that our country is unfortunately getting flooded with many things American; today people are spending a lot to buy and eat the junk served in your franchisee eateries, sadly and inadvertently profiting your economy. Perhaps your blinkered vision is drawing parallels and extrapolating this trend to be the ultimate truth about our country and various strata of our society, particularly the middle classes. Thanks to the ‘glocal’ food habits the upper middle classes are not aware of the hidden risks they take while adapting our food habits to your taste. But Mr. Bush, please be corrected – the actual middle classes have always been eating healthy homemade food unlike the tons of pre-packaged frozen food consumed in your country. It’s time you did some homework before making a mockery of Indians with your unthoughtful and outrageous statements. Same applies to Ms. Rice.

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