By now all of you know who I am, and where I come from. I am writing this to congratulate all Indians over the successful banning of the tomato festival in Karnataka. I hear your Chief Minister has refused to give permits to hold the festival in Bangalore and Mysore this weekend.
It is in fact a great news. I wish my government too could have this good sense. But what to do, by now they are so used to doles that they don’t care if they waste a tonne of tomato or two!
I feel like blowing a kiss to your Karnataka CM, but I heard that he isn’t much of a dude. But looks aside, this is a job well done.
But why did you Indians think of such a way to have fun on a Sunday? Throwing food at each other? Why did this idea even interest you all in the first place? You are Indians, right? You knew, even before the activists told you that a quarter of your population goes to sleep on hungry stomachs. Then why? May I ask?
Last summer, I had attended a wedding in India, a big fat Punjabi wedding — I saw women heaping their plates with food, and ending up just nibbling them. I overheard them saying they were on a diet. Why did they serve themselves so much food, I wanted to ask. But of course, I was just a mere tomato, looking at their sheer indulgence from the counter — aptly named salad. Surprisingly, very few of the wedding guests ventured to that counter and and that’s how I am still alive to tell the tale.
But I have some more questions for you. Will the ‘Ban La Tomatina’ activists now take up the cause against wasting food at your weddings? When they said in their petition to the CM that the festival was against Indian ethos of wasting food, did they mean only wasting tomatoes?
I am a mere tomato, but my gut says that you Indians are a bunch of hypocrites. It is okay to waste food at weddings, religious festivals, during regular lunches and dinners, but if it is branded festival, you seem to have a problem. Isn’t that right?
Again, I heard many of you crying hoarse about how La Tomatina was against Indian culture — what do you mean by that? Why are all Indians such hypocrites? They can pay Rs 1,000 to watch Katrina Kaif (I have been told that she was the lead in the film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara which made the festival famous in your country) waltzing in hot pants and vests with tomato juice all over her, but they have a problem when women in their city do the same?
Where does Indian ethos come into the picture here? Please do make me understand. Instead of driving home the point about millions dying in poverty in the country, activists in India resort to flimsy excuses like the festival being against Indian culture!
So, although I think that the ban on the festival was the right thing to do, the reasons behind it are skewed.
When I wrote my first letter I had thought that Indians were crazy to be part of a festival that derived its fun by throwing tomatoes at each other in a country which ranks second in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition, but I regret to say that they are crazy too for banning it for the wrong reasons.
I am a mere tomato, but I thought activism is much more than that — if the festival was against wastage of food, the protests shouldn’t end here. If the festival was against ‘Indian culture’ then the protests should just end here.
A Spanish Tomato
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