Brinjal fest…

I read a small news item recently :
Brinjal fest
Business Standard February 3, 2010
“The poor who are getting hit by rising vegetable prices may get a respite, thanks to the anti-Bt brinjal lobby. At some point, it’s not clear when exactly, Greenpeace activists plan to make the world’s biggest baingan ka bharta (a brinjal dish) and feed it to Delhi’s poor and hungry — the idea, Greenpeace says, is to give Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh something to think about as he decides whether “he’ll allow corporations with American interests to genetically engineer India’s king of vegetables – the brinjal”. The reason for the delay, apparently, has been the fantastic response to the movement. According to Greenpeace’s website, the original target was to use 10,000 brinjals but, given the response, the new target is to use 20,000 brinjals to prepare the dish. So, if you’re poor and hungry, and live in the Capital, don’t lose heart.”
This funnily reminds me of Shakespeare’s famous quote from Hamlet : ” To Be Or Not To Be ….”
I would simply put the topic under discussion as :
” To Bt or not to Bt…?”
The first part of this famous soliloquy goes like this:
( My interpretation in light of the topic under discussion is given in brackets below each line)  
To be or not to be – that is the question:

 (To introduce Bt Brinjal or not -that is the question !)
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
( Should we continue to suffer from the high cost of veggies ? )
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
( Should we allow MNCs to make mega-bucks from this?)
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
( Should we take up the matter regarding the likely adverse health effects of  genetically modified foods on human beings ?)
 And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep.
( I feel there are other many more serious problems that affect mankind’s life, which need to be taken up, instead of this fight over the humble brinjal )
Your take on this issue……?
This entry was posted in Comments to print media, Humour, Social Commentry. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Brinjal fest…

  1. Prem Nizar says:

    Dear Broca Sir,

    After the Brinjal fest, I went to canteen. I briefed the brinjal fest. The waiter replied me at the dining table “after all it is a brinjal (silly) matter, why do you worry about?”

    Then he served something with table spoon. Wondered, I asked: what is this? Brinjal pickle, we did not want to waste the remaining pieces after cooking brinjal sabji. Brinjal sabji too. No, no brinjal curry is there. Oh my goodness, I don’t want anything, can you give me some rice and dahi. Today no rice or chappati, only brinjal kichchadi. Can you give me at least a piece of paappat? Yes but fries made out of pappat like thin pieces of brinjal. Hello, which instrument you are using to test my tolerance… I don’t want anything. I left the mess hall. A few minutes later, he brought something in the glass and said: see, it is not good to stay empty stomach, have this, please. Ok something is better than nothing, I accepted, but asked again: what is this? Brinjal soup…

    Next morning, I spied the kitchen area and skipped the breakfast only to escape from brinjal parotta.. warm regards

    Prem Nizar Hameed, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Feb 08, 2010

  2. mamta agarwal says:

    Sir, you have mastered the art of talking about burning issues with a touch of humour that could give serious competition to those copy writers at ad agencies. Now about bt or not bt…

    I for one am horrified at man’s frivolous pursuits, and interfering with a job that Nature perfrorms with precision and perfection. There are areas which deserve money for the betterment of society. What has a brinjal to do with that. I read once they are trying to produce a square tomato. Curious case of misplaced priorities,

    Mamta Agarwal, Noida- UP
    Feb 08, 2010

  3. j s broca says:

    Dear Premji and Mamta ji, it was very heartening to receive your response on my posting on the Bt Brinjal.As per news reports the Govt is supposed to take a final view about this issue/non-issue on 10th Feb ! Let us see which way the brinjal crumbles. Yes I agree that man should not interfere with nature. Yes there have been experiments to get square tomatoes as well as a cross breed of tomato and potato called “pomato” ! Next they might think of pumpkins in the shape and size of lady fingers ! Thanks !

    J S Broca
    new delhi
    08th Feb 2010

  4. rassool jibraeel says:

    Broca san …. a very interesting subject .. although the topic is BT- Brinjal it has wider implications. GMO’s have contaminated the eco-systems and are causing mutations that are silent and dangerous. Rice, for example with human genes is scary beyond that there just isn’t enough research by the industry before it visits its products on us. The farmers in Andrah Pradesh know full well the implications of GMO’s. If we cannot heed the suicides by them then we never will comprehend what the true nature of the problem is. ONE DEATH IS A DEATH TOO MANY. Warmest regards,

    Rassool Jibraeel Snyman, South Africa
    Feb 08, 2010

  5. j s broca says:

    Dear Rassool ji- many thanks for your valuable comments.Yes the subject is very interesting and I too have read about Bt cotton,Bt Rice etc. I subscribe to the view that man should not interfere with nature.

    J S Broca
    10th Feb 2010
    new delhi

  6. j s broca says:

    Dear Readers

    My letter to Mail Today in respond to their Question :” WOULD YOU BUY Bt BRINJAL IF IT IS APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT ?” has been published in MT issue of 9th Feb 2010 : I copy paste it herebelow :

    To Bt or not to Bt

    YOUR Question of the Day ‘ Would you buy Bt brinjal if it is approved by the government?’ ( February 8) reminded me of the famous quote from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: “ To be or not to be…” If I were told to discuss the topic of Bt brinjal, I would rather modify Shakespeare’s soliloquy that goes like this ( with my interpretation in parentheses): “ To be or not to be, that is the question ( to introduce Bt Brinjal or not, that is the question); Whether ‘ tis nobler in the mind to suffer ( should we continue to suffer from the high cost of vegetables?); The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ( should we allow MNCs to make mega bucks from this?); Or to take arms against a sea of troubles ( should we worry about the likely adverse health effects of GM foods?); And, by opposing,end them. To die, to sleep.( Aren’t there many more serious problems that we face apart from a fight over the brinjal?).

    J. S. Broca via email

  7. atreya sarma says:

    Dear Brocaji, Bt or no bt, I want my weekly instalments of brinjal – in all their native variety – that go into my countless dishes – with the same taste and nutritious value, and at affordable prices. My mouth has watered – and so of my family here – we went out to the nearby Little India Store and brought the eggplant – and prepared and feasted on bagara began. The way you’ve spiced up the article…it’s such is a delight. Warm regards.

    U Atreya Sarma, Greenfield, Wisconsin
    Feb 10, 2010

  8. j s broca says:

    Dear Atreyaji,thanks a lot for ur response.May God grant u and ur family
    all the health and digestive power to enjoy brinjal dishes till the naturally
    produced Brinjal is available to us.Thankfully,the Govt has finally said “no” to Bt Brinjal yesterday,as per media reports.Bt Brinjal is dead !! Long Live non-Bt Brinjal !

    New Delhi
    10th Feb 2010

  9. seshu chamarty says:

    Hilarious post, Broca ji. By now government has postponed introduction, hope poor man’s caviar will be spared of experimenting. Well, that title to the dish was before the rise in prices of veggies, let me correct myself.

    Seshu Chamarty, Hyderabad
    Feb 10, 2010

  10. j s broca says:

    Dear Seshuji–thanks a lot for your appreciative feedback. Hope the Govt will now focus its energies in other useful areas and directions and spare our natural veggies.

    new delhi
    11th feb 2010

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