Non-veg joke (Indian Express)
Mains Paper 1:History
Prelims level: Harappan Civilisation
Mains level: Evolving the food habit from ancient times
- Economists generally hesitate to draw inferences even from the medieval
period, when large parts of the world were dominated, regrettably, by robber
barons and mad monks.
- All nations have vegetarians, but India is unique in also harbouring
non-vegetarians, a term which is unknown elsewhere.
- The collision of this nutritional thesis and antithesis has dogged
national politics, and has now cast a judgemental shadow over an interesting
but problematic prehistoric feast arranged at the National Museum, which had
partnered with a private body to recreate an Indus Valley kitchen.
- Under the onslaught of nameless but familiar forces, the non-veg dishes
have vanished from the menu.
Food habit consequences:
- They had sounded interesting if occasionally transgressive — bati with
dried fish, quail roasted in sal leaves, offal pot, fish in turmeric stew
(peace, Bengalis, peace!) and the mysterious “meat fat stew”.
- But trying to recreate Harappan cuisine is problematic, because the chef
must rely exclusively on archaeological evidence.
- With no textual sources, it is a shot in the dark. Besides, trying to
eat like the ancients can have unexpected consequences.
- Our culture and beliefs have changed repeatedly over the last five
millennia, since the Indus Valley civilisation flourished.
- The contents of middens that have been excavated, people ate food that
could invite provoke in the present day.
Why this fascination for ancient cuisines?
- The enthusiasm for “Vedic foods” was masochistic enough, since a
three-course Vedic meal closely resembles three kinds of porridge.
- The medieval cultural exchanges and European adventurism have brought us
foundational elements of modern Indian cuisine, such as South American
potatoes, tomatoes and chillies, apart from stalwart creations like the
samosa. The Harappans did not know of such things.
- Enjoy your chilli potato in the present. It’s fully imported, and so
scrumptious that you may not care that “meat fat stew” has vanished from an
Q.1) With reference to the Belgian Malinois, consider the following
1. It is one of the four breeds of Belgian sheepdogs that were bred for
2. Dogs have visual and olfactory sensory abilities that can go where a soldier
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) None of the above
Q.1) To what extent Time-travelling to a Harappan kitchen is politically fraught
in a country at war over food habits. Critically examine.