Selective recognition to rights abuses: Food for the mind and the body [Project 365/6: Feb.13,2012]

Food for thought: Tibet burns, Irom Sharmila fasts, the world sleeps …

Rightness or otherwise of causes are always subjective. Yet, it beats me [perhaps I’m naive] why certain causes attract the attention of the world’s change leaders, while others attract only the attention of the common people.

In the past couple of months, at least 19 Tibetans have self-immolated themselves in China in a desperate attempt to draw attention to the continued violation of their rights by the Chinese government. The latest is Tenzin Choedron, an eighteen year old nun. Yet, all American eyes are only for the Chinese premier to be – Xi Jinping.

In the beautiful north-east Indian state, Manipur, Irom Sharmila has spent one-fourth of her life [she will be forty on March 14 this year] in a hospital bed, being force-fed through nasal tubes, fighting for a cause she believes in: repeal of an act that gives special powers to the armed forces in certain states like hers, which suffer from insurgency and militancy. But the administration that is quick to take her into custody and force-feed her to subvert her hunger strike, has still to respond adequately to her single-point demand.

Food for the palate: Spinach palya

Cut 1/2 kilo spinach into small pieces. Heat a teaspoon oil in a pan, splutter mustard, add 1 green chilli, a pinch of asafoetida and a teaspoon of split bengal gram [vary the quantity depending on the quantity of greens]. Add 2 tomatoes cut into small pieces and fry till juice seeps out. Add the spinach, a spot of salt and turmeric powder, cover and cook. Do not add water. Stir periodically till cooked. Garnish with fresh grated coconut, stir over heat once, and remove. Goes well with rice and roti.


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