Suggestions from government ministers ranging from eating carrots and listening to music to performing oblation as ways to counter the pollution-related problems of Delhi have irked residents of the smoke-smeared city.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan suggested in a tweet on Sunday that eating carrots is not only beneficial for blindness but also helps in fighting against pollution-related ills.
#EatRightIndia_34— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) November 3, 2019
Eating carrots helps the body get Vitamin A, potassium, & antioxidants which protect against night blindness common in India. Carrots also help against other pollution-related harm to health.#EatRightIndia @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA @fssaiindia pic.twitter.com/VPjVfiMpR8
The Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, who had been squabbling with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over measures to tackle the public health emergency, recommended “scintillating thematic” music to people struggling for clean air to breath.
Start your day with music. Below is the link to a scintillating thematic composition "Swagatam" by Veena exponent Emani Sankara Sastry.https://t.co/9e4mtx6I64— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 3, 2019
For more such compositions click onhttps://t.co/yMIlz7rrA9 #IndianMusic https://t.co/9e4mtx6I64
Another suggestion came from Sunil Bharala, a cabinet minister in Uttar Pradesh's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, who suggested that yajna, a fire ritual done as an oblation in Hinduism, should be performed to please the Rain God. He also said farmers have always practiced stubble burning and that this is a “natural system”.
The statements from the ministers drew an instant backlash on social media.
We are in the midst of a public health emergency. For the many thousands who have to earn their livelihoods on the streets, for young children inhaling toxicity, for people losing years to toxicity- do you suggest eating carrots?— Sidrah (@SidrahDP) November 3, 2019
Shouldnt you focus on the right to breathe?
Hab u left ur ministry of environment? I think modiji has promoted u as the union minister for music aftr ur impecceable performance in keeping environment pollution free!— TheResistance (@resistance3088) November 3, 2019
really pleased that you are not treating patients anymore and just doing carrot 🥕🥕🥕 politics.— Huzy (@huzefa_rangwala) November 3, 2019
Walnuts are considered to improve gray matter in brain and hence intelligence of an individual. May i suggest you to eat some walnuts to help you combat air pollution issue better!
In last term you were kicked out of your role as envi. Min. For non performance. @PMOIndia @narendramodi please suspend him as Envi Min he doesn’t even understand his job well. No action taken so far to save Delhiites. Delhi is choking #DelhiAirEmergency SOS— Suman Virwani (@Sumanvirwani) November 3, 2019
Netizens' reactions also highlighted public resentment regarding the government’s lack of preventive measures in response to the crisis.
Such a shame.. this is the condition of @narendramodi @AmitShah cabinet minister of health. In such a health emergency he is promoting carrots. At least show that you are concerned and do something!!! #DelhiBachao #DelhiAirEmergency— Ankur Tandon (@TandonSaab) November 3, 2019
Others responded with memes while saying, people have to be alive to enjoy your music suggestions.
Thankyou sir...now no pollution... pic.twitter.com/4l9FIDJQlY— Rajat (@Cobrakai_1) November 3, 2019
But doc how to overcome the pollution problem ? Should we do some Havan or yagna? What do U recommend ....? pic.twitter.com/m4wwcRfnxe— wez snider (@SniderWez) November 3, 2019
The spike in air pollutants to “hazardous” levels and poor visibility is forcing dozens of flights to divert from Delhi.
The central government held a high-level meeting on Sunday to discuss the crisis, which is caused by stubble burning, busy traffic, industrial production, and poor weather conditions.
Authorities have already declared a public emergency after the pollutant levels in the air hit record highs.