Restaurateurs and chains scoff at minister Ramdas Athawale's comments on banning eateries serving Chinese food


    Rahul Khanna, co-founder of Azure Hospitality which runs the Mamagoto chain of restaurants said the comments were ridiculous. "I think we need to remind everyone that we live in a democracy. Whether I am selling Chinese food or Nigerian food I have a right to do so," he added.

    Ramdas Athawale
    NEW DELHI: Union minister Ramdas Athawale said on Thursday that restaurants serving Chinese food should be banned and Indians should boycott Chinese food.

    Restaurateurs and chains in the business of serving Chinese food scoffed at the comments, calling those “bizarre” and “ridiculous”.

    "People should know that we are an Indian company, serving food made by Indian chefs with Indian ingredients. Our chefs who have worked with chains like Taj and ITC are all Indian," said Anjan Chatterjee, the founder of Speciality Restaurants that runs the chain Mainland China. Food made in India by Indians cannot be equated to boycotting goods made in China, Chatterjee said.

    Rahul Khanna, a cofounder of Azure Hospitality which operates the Mamagoto chain of restaurants, said the comments were ridiculous. "I think we need to remind everyone that we live in a democracy. Whether I am selling Chinese food or Nigerian food I have a right to do so," he added.

    “China is a country that betrays. In India, all Chinese products must be boycotted. Chinese food and restaurants that sell Chinese food should be closed down in India,” the minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

    Athawale was in news in March, when a video that went viral on social media showed the Republican Party of India leader chanting “Go Corona Go” at a prayer meeting, to ward off the coronavirus.

    Hashtags like Indian Chinese and Gobi Manchurian were trending on Twitter all through Thursday with memes and jokes and most users stating the cuisine had anyway been Indianised.

    “Chinese have not seen chowmein in their life,” stated @ADenzing, while another user, @paneermakhani, asked if someone could initiate a petition to save gobi manchurian by changing its name.

    Anurag Katriar, president of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said politicians shouldn't be playing to the gallery with such comments on critical matters.

    “If you want to fight the Chinese, please be serious. Chinese food in India is made by Indians in Indian-owned restaurants. Ninety-percent of the ingredients used in these restaurants are local barring some elite restaurants which might be importing some ingredients from China,” he added.

    Saurabh Khanijo, the managing director of the Kylin chain of restaurants, who also operates the food court brand Wanchai, said all his sauces and ingredients were made in India.

    "We have not imported a single product from China. In fact, their sauces are not palatable for Indians. It is a known fact that when people go to China, a lot of them can't eat Chinese food as their food is completely stock-based,” Khanijo said, adding: “These comments make no sense. We are Indian owners and have no Chinese alliances.”
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    9 Comments on this Story

    Moon Dutt94 days ago
    Idiotic uneducated Ministers like this makes us a laughing stock. Can you imagine what the educated chinese minister thinks of brainless comments like this
    Sivaram KV95 days ago
    Uneducated brutes are our lawmakers, to divert attention of the people from wrong economic policies and harsh treatment of migrarent labour these fools raise their head.
    Nir95 days ago
    Can help getting Chinese out of people’s system
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