The VICE Guide to Right Now

Indian Ministers Advise People to Perform Fire Rituals and Eat Carrots to Deal With Delhi’s Air Pollution

Even as the capital city’s air quality continues to remain in the “severe plus” category, some government officials have come up with troll-worthy remedies.
Shamani Joshi
Mumbai, IN
Indian Ministers advise people to eat carrots and hold Hindu fire rituals
A man wearing a protective face mask rides a bicycle along a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 4, 2019. Photo: Jewel Samad / AFP

As air pollution levels in India’s national capital Delhi peaked to the “severe plus” category, prompting the government to declare a state of public health emergency as a toxic haze enveloped the city on Friday, some Indian ministers have come up with their own ways to deal with Delhi’s drastic pollution.

Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble burning, a practice in which Indian farmers burn down crop stubbles after harvesting the grains, in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab, for the extreme pollution levels. His comments have got him involved in a fight with India’s Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar over pointing fingers instead of taking effective action, even as a journalist on Twitter revealed that Javadekar had postponed three critical meetings on dealing with the pollution between September and October 2019. Also, he’s too busy asking people to start their day with some veena music amidst this crisis.


Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh minister Sunil Bharala in an interview with ANI not only supported stubble burning as “natural”, but also encouraged the government to perform ‘yagyas’, the Hindu ritual that usually involves burning a sacred fire to appease the god Indra, who in turn will make it rain and “set things right.”

Because of course, if a fire is intended to be holy, it obviously won’t have the same polluting effects that got us here in the first place, not to mention just how ridiculous it is for a minister with the power and resources to actually take action to instead sit back and suggest that superstitious beliefs can do his job.

And while the city is currently testing out the odd-even car rationing scheme, halting construction activities and encouraging all citizens to use air pollutions masks and purifiers to cut down on harm caused by pollution, India’s health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan’s advice to handle the hazardous haze is to “eat carrots”.

While carrots are generally considered good immunity boosters to build your body’s resistance, the Twitterverse is serving up some heavy-duty trolling to Vardhan’s bandaid fix to an unstoppable bleeding problem.

Follow Shamani Joshi on Instagram.