The La Tomatina festival seems to be making all the headlines. The tomatoes, the people and the wastage of precious food. One of the comments I saw in reply to a wonderful status message
(Dear Kolkatans…Please boycott the ‘La Tomatina’ festival to be held in Aquatica on the 16th of October. Spain can afford it…India can’t. Its a Royal waste of food !!.. Which could actually be used to feed those 5.6 million children who die of malnutrition every year. Like ..if u agree and help cancel this depiction of fake westernisation.. Go on.. Put it up as your status)
are as follows.
Party1: “The royal waste of food happens in government godowns only.as per law nd rule, they cant distribute the excess food grains to others,therefore they let it be wasted nd those who are planning to play tomatina festival ,I blv they are paying for those tomatoes therefore the sellers are getting money for that”
This ignorance to the prevailing conditions in our country as well as disrespect to farmers, stirred me to write something in the defense. The conversations of the various participants will be updated as the conversation moves along. Lets see how far it goes.
Below is my reply.
Me: India is a country where people respect food. If the government is incompetent, that does not mean that we should behave like then too.
India is a country where kids at a very young age are taught to respect food and value its importance. Instead like you said the people have paid for the tomatoes, so they could donate it to an ashram where the value for the food increases tenfold rather that simply wasting it away.
There are some things that money can’t buy and the blessing of people who are content with a single meal that others have donated is one of them.
India comparatively may be economically backward, but morally we are way ahead of the so called developed countries. Practices such as the ‘La Tomatina’ would erode the moral abundance of our wonderful country.
Please boycott the ‘La Tomatina’ and rather use donate the money to a noble cause.
The discussion continued with the reply of the person who started the discussion.
Party1: @Sujith,I appreciate the donation concept.I blv you avoid Multiplex visit or restaurant visit and u neither buy expensive watches,dresses or mobiles.neither you waste food at home or at any restaurant you visit and avoid all type of luxury you can afford and save those money and donate those.I really appreciate your efforts.Thanks.A normal Human being 🙂
The discussion was joined but a second party as well. His comments follow
Party 2: Sujith Prathap : You wrote an awesome post dude…There are only few Indians like you, who truly understand the moral and ethnic value of India. I appreciate it. But the little gotcha is, if you have copied this letter to any Govt official instead of raising your voice in FB, would have definitely triggered some action . But anyways keep it up.
SO the moral is : “Boycott all luxury. go for donation”.. 🙂
My reply to the two of them is given below. Where I introduce my idea of the “Economics of Food”.
@<Party 1>: I’ve never wasted food and never been taught to do so. I’ve been taught to do so from a very young age. The wastage of food is a criminal. You are contradicting yourself with paradoxes and deviating from the topic at hand. Let me humour a little more by explaining the concept I call the ‘Ecnomics of Food’.
I still believe that you did not understand the economics of food. Let me put forth a simple concept and hope that you would understand.
You rightly say that the people payed for the tomatoes. But there is also a ripple effect that is created which is the cause of my distress.
Let’s say that every participant to the ‘La Tomatina’ is entitled to 10 kgs of tomatoes at a minimum and suppose there are 100 participants to the la tomatina festival. That makes it 10 X 100 = 1000 kgs.
Lets look at it from another angle. The amount of tomatoes available in the market is 1250 kgs a month, which is available to the public sample of about 300. Since the ‘La Tomatina’ festival would require 1000 Kgs. The amount remaining which is available for public consumption is 1250 – 1000 = 250 Kgs for a month.
If the no of people vying for the tomatoes is 300 (which incidentally the case in India), then each person would get 250/300 = 0.833 which might roughly translate to 4 tomatoes a person for a month. That would hardly be enough for a family of 4 to have a single decent meal.
Since there are so many people vying for so few tomatoes. The seller is definitely going to raise the prices of the tomatoes. So tomatoes that cost 16 Rs a Kg would sell for double or even Triple the price, say 48 Rs a Kg. Such a price rise would be acceptable to people like you and me, but for ordinary Indians it would be a kick in the stomach.
I am sure that even a ‘normal human being’ would be able to understand such a simple concept.
@<Party 2>: So the motto is “Think twice before you invest in luxury, you may not know who you may be hurting in the process and donation is not such a bad thing to do. Try it and you’ll be happy.
This has been sent to a govt official. Why do you think the ‘La Tomatina’ festival got cancelled in Bangalore.
A ‘Normal’ Indian ‘Human Being’
Please do feel free to share this link, if people try to spread glorified visions of a so-called festival.