#UdtaTamatar: Angst over price rise spills over on to Twitter

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah

Bengaluru, June 18: Let us first make a clarification. The Twitter trend #UdtaTamatar is not even remotely connected to the controversial Bollywood film, Udta Punjab.

The film, caught in a bitter censorship battle with the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), was finally released on Friday.


As soon as the film based on drug abuse in Punjab started garnering rave reviews for its powerful content and acting by its lead stars, Twiterrati got busy venting their anger over the steep rise in prices of staple food items. In fact, Twiterrati were mighty upset that prices of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses, to name a few food items, had hit the ceiling. #UdtaTamatar was the top trend on the micro-blogging site on Friday evening.

In recent few days, the prices of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses have increased sharply across the country. In several cities of the country, prices of tomatoes have reached Rs 100 a kg. The vegetable vendors are selling potatoes for Rs 20 a kg. However, nothing can beat the prices of pulses, considered poor man's meat. Customers are forced to spend Rs 170 a kg for arhar dal and Rs 196 a kg for urad dal.

It is not that the Centre is not doing anything to arrest the sharp rise in food prices. With elections due in two important states-Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in early 2017-the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is busy finding ways to solve the problem. The finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday held a meeting with his cabinet colleagues and a decision was made to import pulses from countries like Myanmar and some in Africa to tackle the shortage.

The comment made by the union food minister Ram Vilas Paswan that the rise in the prices of tomato and other vegetables is "seasonal" has not gone done well with the voters. He said such commodities cannot be stored due to their short shelf-life. "Everything can't be always blamed on the Centre," Paswan added, "state governments also need to do their bit."

Moreover, an exclusive investigative report titled--Tomato price riddle: record prices despite increased production by NDTV--seemed to have triggered the anger of the users of the social media.
No matter how much the concerned government departments are working to handle the crisis, it seems inadequate as the administration has failed to provide relief to the consumers.

Here are some of the tweets that describe the current plight of the voters well:

"#UdtaPunjab tickets cheaper than #UdtaTamatar. It cannot even be leaked online," tweets Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay).

"Just a matter of time before Ramdev tells you to not eat tomatoes as it causes joint pain. Island/Village negotiations are on. #UdtaTamatar," tweets Shirish Kunder (@ShirishKunder).

"Daal 200 RsTomato 100 Rs Petrol is always on hike bhakton abhi kitney achey din chahiye PM se #UdtaTamatar," tweets Sameer gautam (@SameerG97324262).

"Lol! This Udta Punjab is making tomatoes fly. It seems fishes will also start climbing trees or fly to different water bodies! #UdtaTamatar," tweets Suvie Ritu Chandra (@SuvalagnaC).

The word "udta" stands for flying in Hindi and "tamatar" is tomato. If price of tomatoes is soaring (flying) so high, it is definitely time to say goodbye to tomato (tamatar).

OneIndia News

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