Is going after eggs, cigarette papers and sex toys really worth the effort? Resizeimage 42

What occurs when authorities in Ahmedabad go after eggs, in Hyderabad, after cigarette rolling paper, and in Bengaluru, sex toys?

When there’s a man-eating tiger on the prowl, does it make any sense to go after a road canine? Isn’t that barking up the mistaken tree? A phrase meaning “to mistake one’s object, or to pursue the mistaken course to acquire it”. In Ahmedabad they’ve gone after eggs, in Hyderabad, after cigarette rolling paper, and in Bengaluru, sex toys.

Let’s start with the ‘egregious’ ban on the humble innocent anda. Street distributors have been struggling underneath the ‘yolk’ of a supposed ‘anti-encroachment’ drive. On Thursday, whereas disposing of a petition by handcart house owners, Justice Biren Vaishnav of the Gujarat High Court stated, “How are you able to resolve what I ought to eat outdoors my home? How are you able to cease individuals from consuming what they need… Will the municipal commissioner resolve what I eat? Tomorrow they may inform me to not drink sugarcane juice as a result of it’ll trigger diabetes. Or inform me that espresso is dangerous for well being.”


Full disclosure: I really like eggs. I can’t have sufficient of them. I’ve to inform myself to cease after two, since the debate about the hyperlink between eggs and ldl cholesterol is much from settled. One week they inform us to eat as many as one needs; the subsequent, it’s again to 3 per week (after a sure age).

Everyone of a sure classic remembers the ‘Sunday ho ya Monday/ Roz khao ande’ business jingle. Later on, Sachin Tendulkar appeared in a reboot of the advert. Eggs are good for you, that was the message from the grandly named National Eggs Coordination Committee.

On the different hand, eggs are taboo in sure elements of the nation. Some communities will eat fish however not eggs or meat. ‘Pure veg’ can typically be like a Platonic excellent, which seldom holds true in actual life. As PT Usha explains in her autobiography Golden Girl, she was a “poor eater”; it was the one factor that nervous her coach, Nambiar, who inspired the women at the Cannanore Sports Division to eat eggs: “At house I used to be a pure vegetarian and ate solely fish. Having been introduced up on a strict vegetarian food regimen I simply couldn’t get the meat dishes down my throat. I might not solely skip all the non-vegetarian dishes but additionally conceal the eggs in my glass and take them out. Many others like me threw away the eggs in the courtyard.”

This quickly led to an issue. Taking a stroll in the courtyard behind the hostel, Nambiar discovers that the place is plagued by half-eaten and uneaten eggs. “Next day I lectured the women on the advantages of eggs. They all nodded their heads in whole approval. Soon, I forgot about it. However, I used to be to get a shock a couple of days later inspecting the women’ rooms. In each room I found luggage stuffed with rotten eggs!”

I actually am half-Jain, from my mom’s facet. My winter holidays have been spent in the predominantly Gujarati/Jain suburb of Vile Parle (West) in Mumbai. The monks right here wore face masks method earlier than the coronavirus300x100 Asianpaint struck. There have been no eggs in our kitchen. Each time I got here again from city, my grandfather would nab me. “Did you eat non-veg?” Of course I’d had a hen and egg sandwich at Wayside Inn. I’d at all times reply with a ‘no’. Bans, whether or not official or unofficial, solely educate us to be tactful and nonetheless do what one needs, however on the sly. Years later, I’d tease my grandpa as a result of he was taking Seven Seas, which he’d not too long ago been prescribed by the household physician. Looking again, it jogs my memory of the PT Usha precept: “Only fish, no eggs.” What’s known as a ‘fishetarian’ these days.

With reference to Ahmedabad, one quote caught my eye. It was not about our proper to eat as a civil liberty. A citizen had a non-religious grievance; he stated, “But that is the solely nightlife we had in the metropolis. Even that has been snatched from us.”

Boiled eggs as nightlife. The pathos of this straightforward assertion can’t be overemphasised. In an eggshell, sorry, nutshell: Ahmedabad can do with some discos promoting mocktails. And heaps and a lot of eggs.

Rolling Papers

In October, the Cyberabad police booked 57 paan-shop/ kirana retailer house owners for promoting cigarette papers. As many as 16 groups fanned out, raiding 145 outlets in whole. This is meant to weed out the weed/ ganja ‘menace’.

Cigarette papers, filters and roach books are one space through which India has made great progress. Over the previous couple of years, Indian producers have dislodged smuggled Spanish manufacturers. This is younger ‘aatmanirbhar’ Bharat at its greatest. Back in the Eighties and Nineties the solely paper accessible was Capstan. It was a shoddy product from the socialist period, with one in 5 papers not being gummed correctly. The papers have been additionally thick like greeting playing cards. Since then, Indian producers have upped their recreation, slow-burning away the monopoly of overseas manufacturers like Rizla, OCB and RAW. At kirana shops, faculty children stroll in and ask for desi manufacturers, “Bhaiya, do Bongchie dena.” Bongchie is synonymous with papers — like Scotch tape and Sunmica have been of their area of interest — no imply achievement for a home-grown model. It’s the identical confidence with which a earlier era learnt to stroll as much as the chemist’s counter and say with confidence, “Moods please.” It’s time we celebrated this new discovered confidence, moderately than nip it in the bud.

In the Eighties a complete city era was ravaged by smack. There isn’t any proof of ganja inflicting comparable hurt; the indisputable fact that rolling papers are simply accessible solely factors to the truth how acceptable leisure smoking has turn out to be. Like with eggs, let individuals make the selection. And if it’s a must to go after medicine, go after medicine, however cigarette paper? Let’s not overlook it’s additionally utilized by tobacco people who smoke who roll their very own cigarettes. By this logic, why not go after the cigarette lighter as effectively?

Sex Toys

Meanwhile, earlier this month, a report from Karnataka. Sex toys, together with dildos and dolls, have been piling up in the Bengaluru Customs godown. Apparently the demand hit a peak throughout the second lockdown. Horny completely happy individuals ordered them from web sites overseas. They landed up at the Foreign Post Office the place attractive sad individuals confiscated them — the easy pleasures of life.

Our legal guidelines prohibit the import of toys that “resemble human physique elements”. How any person decides to pleasure themselves or their companions, in the consenting privateness of their bed room, is really not the regulation’s enterprise. In truth, it clashes instantly with the Right to Privacy, now enshrined as a elementary proper.

The Chinese have been the first to identify this hole in the virgin Indian marketplace for sexual wellness. A decade in the past, the pavements of Mumbai, particularly round the Fountain space, have been mushrooming with vibrators. Delhi’s Palika Bazaar, as soon as the hub of smuggled two-in-one stereos, was a hub for life-sized dolls. Not for nothing is it known as an ‘underground’ market. It’s earned the moniker. Again, these have been indicators of a altering society.

This September, Bloomberg revealed a survey, which says, “While China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India account for main utilization of sexual wellness merchandise in APAC, nations similar to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are additionally anticipated to witness elevated demand attributable to the bettering high quality of life and rising openness in the direction of accepting sexual wellness merchandise.” The fourth version of the India Uncovered: Analysis of Sex Products’ Trends in India, commissioned by, a web based wellness vacation spot, confirmed an increase of 65 p.c in the sale of sexual wellness merchandise throughout the first lockdown. The writing on the bed room wall is obvious. I hope we don’t begin concentrating on vegetable distributors subsequent as a result of some greens, let’s face it…

I’ve a easy resolution to this great waste of vitality on the a part of authorities and the pointless harassment meted out to each patrons and sellers. Laws take ages to alter however a easy change in nomenclature could be simpler. We can start by reclassifying eggs as ‘protein balls’, cigarette rolling paper and roach books as ‘notepad’, whereas sex toys will be slotted underneath ‘Lifestyle Enhancers’.

The author is the writer of ‘The Butterfly Generation: A Personal Journey into the Passions and Follies of India’s Technicolor Youth’. The views expressed are private.

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