India’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in the eye of a controversy again. This time, one of its politicians has claimed children who eat eggs could grow up to be cannibals!
Gopal Bhargava, the leader of the Opposition in the state of Madhya Pradesh, was caught on camera making this statement on Wednesday, October 30.
Bhargava was apparently trying to protest against the efforts of the Congress government in the state to introduce eggs into the meals provided to children in government-run child-care centres called Anganwadis.
Eggs in meals
Anganwadis have been in existence in India since 1975, introduced as part of the country’s Integrated Child Development Services programme, which aims to combat child hunger and malnutrition, and sometimes even maternal health.
Many of them serve vegetarian fare because a large portion of India is vegetarian, mostly due to their religion. Several sects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and other religions prohibit the consumption of non-vegetarian food. This includes not only animal meat but also fish and eggs.
Noted economist Jean Dreze has claimed eggs being considered non-vegetarian is only a religious belief and not rooted in reality.
He even tried to explain that eggs are actually a superfood, in that they not only provide protein but also a lot of other nutrients essential for children’s growth.
He received flak on social media earlier this year for his statements, made when the MP government’s move was just a proposal.
Egg and meat-eaters will become cannibals?
Now, as the MP government pushes ahead with serving eggs at Anganwadis, the BJP is looking to block the move. The primary argument being peddled is that the introduction of eggs in meals could hurt religious sentiments.
It is possibly as part of one such move that Bhargav told reporters children eating eggs could grow up to be cannibals.
In a clip that is just over a minute long, Bhargav is heard accusing the MP government of trying to force-feed non-vegetarian food to those who don’t eat it.
Speaking in Hindi, he goes on to wonder if children fed non-vegetarian food could grow up to become cannibals.
Watch the full video here: