Says The NCP Doctor
With sugar prices trebling in a year, it’s not just India’s medical fraternity that is advising people to go slow on consumption of the commodity. The National Congress Party (NCP) has noted in its magazine that 46% of the country’s population is prone to diabetes and advised consumers to cut down on sugar. The magazine later clarified that the advice was not from the NCP founder and Union food minister Sharad Pawar but a quip from the editorial writers. The NCP may have thought it advisable to issue a clarification after remembering that it was a comment on food that started the French Revolution, with the starving people, who were demanding bread, not taking too kindly to Queen Marie Antoinette’s widely-quoted response of “Let them eat cake”! It remains to be seen whether Pawar has pre-empted a White (as in sugar) Revolution with the clarification that he did not ask India’s sugar-deprived people to make do with less to safeguard their own health!
“Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down,” the nanny Mary Poppins sang in a musical some 40 years ago. In the nanny-state of today’s India, the role of Mary Poppins is played by the TV news-channel anchors who apparently believe that any national problem can be sorted out on their chat shows! A news channel has even reported that the government of India was considering banning the usage of sugar by cola, beverage and biscuit manufacturers and that this could save 15 million tonnes for the common man. Plenty of sugar would not just sweeten the mood of the electorate but pre-empt today’s Marie Antoinettes from saying “Let them drink cola” while responding to public complaints of a shortage of drinking water!
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