Do Cows Give Golden Milk? Is Pakistan Responsible for Pollution? Our Ministers Investigate


Do Cows Give Golden Milk? Is Pakistan Responsible for Pollution? Our Ministers Investigate

Illustration: Siddhakanksha Mishra

While Virat Kohli and co prepare to take on Bangladesh in a T20 match at Rajkot today, there’s another competition unfolding on our social media timelines that we’re honestly more excited about. Over the last week — and indeed few years — it seems as though our politicians have been locked in a battle, trying to figure out which of them can come up with the most bizarre statement.

No one would have thought it was possible to topple current champion Nirmala Sitharaman, who had blamed millennials and their Ola obsession for the slowdown in the automobile industry, but the last few months have thrown up a number of worthy challengers. The country’s politicians are on a roll, it seems, making bizarre statements like the rest of us make breakfast.

The competition heated up earlier this month, when BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh, Gopal Bhargava, sent in an entry that could make an egg crack. Now you may have heard Bhargava’s name before — he’s won the “Most Bizarre Comment” award before, when he said bypolls in Jhabua were like a fight between Pakistan and India. This time, the leader of the opposition in Madhya Pradesh went on record to say that children who eat eggs grow up to become cannibals. It’s safe to say, this revelation has food scientists from all over the country scrambling to figure out what went wrong in their calculations.

Bhargava published these groundbreaking findings — and his second official entry for “Most Bizarre Comment” — after he discovered that eggs were being served to children in Madhya Pradesh anganwadis, and hence were “interfering with the faith and religious beliefs of the people”. According to Indian sanskriti, he said, the people who eat meat from their childhood were most likely to turn into cannibals when they get older. Taking this logic forward, we can only assume that eating green-leafy vegetables should turn us into goats. But this is not a matter of logic. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly begin craving human meat around the age of 35.

It turns Bhargava’s statement hasn’t gone down too well. Eggs are routinely served to malnourished children in anganwadis as a part of their mid-day meals. The dietary guidelines of the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad have highlighted that they are one of the best sources of protein, because of their “high biological value” — the metric used to measure protein content — and therefore the best way to fight severe malnutrition. This is especially important in a country that ranks 102 out of 117 countries on the Global Hunger Index.

According to Sharda, we should not rule out the possibility that Pakistan and China have been releasing poisonous gases into our air.

Still, we have more pressing things to worry about. Such as our next contestant — Vineet Sharda, a BJP Minister from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. Sharda first became an internet sensation this April with his Kamal rap, which puts even Kanye West to shame. This time around, Sharda raised his own bar, by holding none other than the countries of Pakistan and China responsible for pollution in North India.

In a video that went viral on Twitter, the BJP Minister first conceded that stubble burning did contribute to pollution, but was clear that it wasn’t the only reason for the high-levels of smoke. After all, all the Supreme Court’s confirmation that stubble burning was indeed contributing to the high pollution wasn’t enough for Vineet Sharda’s discerning mind. So what’s the real reason you can’t see the Qutub Minar in the afternoon, you ask? According to Sharda, we should not rule out the possibility that Pakistan and China have been releasing poisonous gases into our air. Not to worry though, Sharda did mention that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah (who he referred to as Krishna and Arjun) would stop Pakistan.

It turns out that while pollution levels in Delhi continued to be in the “severe” to “very poor” bracket on Tuesday, our politicians are quote content playing the blame-game — when they can’t blame Nehru they always have their friendly-neighbour-next-door Pakistan as a backup. Earlier in the day, based on Supreme Court directive, the Centre had ordered the state administrations to penalise those who burn stubble in Punjab and Haryana. But to Sharda’s credit, they probably didn’t elaborate on which country should be asked to take immediate action.

Our competition, meanwhile, continues unabated. West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh threw his hat in the ring on Monday, when he claimed that the milk of Indian cows contained small deposits of gold. When sunlight falls on a cow’s hump, he said, in his speech in Kolkata, the “swarna nari” generates a yellow metal. Reports say all goldsmiths in the country have been seen rushing to their nearest gaushalas since the news broke, and that milkmen have traded their Hero cycles for Pulsar bikes. Even the Nobel committee is said to have approached Ghosh, and is considering him for the next Nobel Prize in Medicine, for his groundbreaking research. Another Nobel for West Bengal. Big surprise.

That wasn’t all from Ghosh, however. He further stated that this gold was only made in desi gaumatas, and not the foreign breeds, which he referred to as “aunties”. Reports say his party is now considering passing a new NRG (National Register of Gaus) bill, that will help differentiate between the OG gaumatas and the infiltrator “aunties”.

At this point, it’s probably dawned on you that it’s impossible to pick a winner. So many fabulous contenders have already put their best foot forward, but it would certainly be unfair to take a call before everyone’s had their turn. Thanks to the dedication of Indian politicians, it won’t be long before we have our next contender. Until next time.