Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda has ordered the cancellation of Bengaluru’s copycat ‘La Tomatina’ event which was to have been held in Palace Grounds tomorrow.
In the last few days, many have questioned the event which was to involve throwing tomatoes for fun. Akshey Kalra, a young Bangalore resident concerned on the amount of tomatoes that will be wasted during Bengaluru’s La Tomatina festival started a petition and a social media campaign. He also met the District Comissioner (Urban), the Addl Police Commisioner and the Chief Minister’s office to lobby against the event.
The campaign and public outcry seems to have paid off. The CM ordered cancellation of the fest at Bangalore and also at Mysore. "He has directed the Police Commissioners of Bangalore and Mysore to take appropriate steps in this regard", says a release from the CM’s office.
According to the release, representatives of Kolar district tomato growers, environmentalists and few NGOs had met the Chief Minister today and appraised him. The matter has also taken a cultural tone. “Tomatoes grown by farmers with huge effort is wasted by throwing on each other which represents Western Culture. In the name of ‘La Tomatina’ fest, tomatoes should not be allowed to go waste”, the release has quoted the farmers as saying to the CM.
B N Vijayakumar, MLA, Jayanagar had led the delegation to the CM, says the release. The arguments were that a minimum of 5,000 people were expected to participate and if 80-100 tomotoes is thrown by each individual, 5 lakh tomatoes, or about 60,000 kgs could be wasted for the entertainment of the affluent.
Meanwhile, the day saw divergent views on the social media with many opposed to the wastage of food, while some felt a disquiet at the idea of a "ban". Some questioned double standards and the outrage at just a single event.
A citizen questions on Facebook, "If we don’t support wastage of food why do we then allow milk to be used for abhishekams in temples. Thousands of children malnourished…I am against the festival but we should also ask our selves are we wasting food in other ways." ⊕