This article is the agony of jaggery..listen to the personified story of jaggery!
“When there is a guest at home,I am used in preparing various kinds of dishes. As every one knows, I am the daughter of sugarcane and sister of sugar! My mother since her childhood, has been fed by man, with various chemicals in the name of science, to make her grow well, since it is the mantra of our people today stating that “greater the outcome, greater the prosperity you are going to have!”.This is an absolute misconception man has. How ever, when she is enough grown up, filling these many chemicals in her womb, she is ready to give birth to me. She is then brought to the factory where she is crushed into juice!
The feeding of harmful chemicals does not end. It still continues to us also! Sugarcane can not be stored as it is for its usage later. So man has found a way out so that the sweet juice can be stored for almost a year. That is by converting that juice into a solid form and that’s me, the jaggery! Man is getting greedier and greedier day by day and because of his greediness, he is spoiling both me and the health of his people too!
As we all know, I take birth when the sugarcane juice is boiled to a certain degree of temperature. And then a little calcium is added to the juice to remove the ash kind of thing present on the skin of the sugarcane, which remains in the juice too..This is supposed to be added in the proportion of 1 ton (about 400 litres of juice) of sugarcane to 100grams of calcium. This is more than enough to prepare a tasty, healthy, organic jaggery(if no chemicals are used while growing sugarcane)But man is using more than 500 grams of it! I am dark in colour by nature! Because of this people try to keep me away! I really pity them.
Our country Bharath, has seen many invasions, that too the effect of the ‘white’ culture, that is the British, is considerably high! May be because of this our people have become fond of the fairer complexion! We too are the victims of this nature of man. Because of his greed, he has been doing a lot of circus to change my complexion from tasty, healthy black to unhealthy fairer one!
My complexion depends on various factors actually. The type of sugarcane, the climatic conditions, the manure used, and so on..
Naturally, sugarcane has an ash kind of thing on its skin which remains even after extracting the juice, because of which my taste and colour will get spoilt. To remove this easily, about 50grams of sodium bi-carbonate(baking soda) is an acceptable quantity that can be used for a ton of sugarcane. But to make me free from that ash kind of thing, man out of greed has been adding more than 500 grams of soda to me! Because of which the owner is profited since my quantity increases considerably since the juice ferments. And instead of 1250 pieces he gets
1500 pieces of jaggery. Thus this soda gets into the stomach of those who all eat me! Can you imagine how hard the lungs and heart try to throw out this soda out of the human bodies?
The list of unhealthy methods used by men to satisfy their greed is really too long! Would you like to know them? Let me tell you in brief.
- Hydrous(sodium hydro sulphite): It is mostly used for industrial purposes.as a bleaching agent in textile industries. But some food grade qualities are used in some foods as a preservative too, in very small quantities. Without this I can never get a fairer complexion! So, this bleaching agent is fed to me… My God! what a punishment!
- Some kind of white wooden powders and gum are also fed to me. But I really am unaware of their scientific names. But the only thing I know about them is that they are quite costly. But we need to praise the nature of man in using this kind of a poison in small quantities.. At least am thankful for that he does not use them in larger quantities!
- As the juice gets thicker and thicker, there are chances of getting charred at the bottom of the vessel! In order to avoid this, any oil, may be coconut oil, sunflower oil, etc are being added to me. Even if engine oils, (because of their lower costs), are used, its not a surprise!
- Our farmers are very much impressed by the advertisements on the television it seems! Especially ‘washing powder Nirma, washing powder Nirma’ seems to be their favourite! So in order to improve my complexion, they started using Nirma, bleaching powder or even both to cleanse the stomachs which are unclean because of the intake of many unhealthy foods found even on the roadside! Just a piece of me with the above combinations is enough!
- Our farmers have by routed the great saying of the so called well wishers”greater the outcome greater the prosperity”. So in my preparation, urea, super phosphate, potassh are also being added! My poor farmers feel that any method adapted to get a better outcome is good.
- To increase my weight, gypsum is also used, which is normally used in increasing the weight of pea nuts. Our farmers tried it on me too thus reducing the burden on the scientists!
- Usually man learns through observation. He found that the strength of a house is because of the cement used in its construction. He started working it out on me too! At the time of moulding me into a square shape, sometimes because of some fault in preparation, I do not get a perfect shape. my edges break sometimes! To get rid of this, man started adding cement to me! So happy to hear this. Isn’t it?? Now my price in the market increases in the market because of my cute appearance. But beware! Your stomachs are going to die!
- We really need to praise our farmers for their concern towards organic farming!They use some kinds of leaves from the forest at the time of crushing the sugarcane into juice, to improve my weight and complexion.
- While boiling, sugarcane juice has a nature of rising and then there are chances of spilling out of the vessel. Just like the milk, when it starts boiling, it spills out. At that time if a little water is sprinkled on it, it does not spill out. If the same is applied here, i get spoilt. So anything to prevent me from spilling out is considered good by the farmers, since they can not bear the loss if the juice spills out. So, why not the ash, easily available at the bottom of the vessel?? spoons full of ashes are also sometimes added to me. It is believed that this also serves the purpose of making me non-sticky to the moulds I am poured in to.
- Even after so many circuses, I still do not get a good colour and shape. I still seem to be in the form of powder itself! In such cases, to make me much darker, the powder inside the battery cells are used! Such me is used in the preparation of good quality(?) of wine!
Like this man is making me a sinner forcibly! Although I never wish to harm anyone, am made to harm those who eat me. Please save me from the greedy humans. If not one day I may become extinct! Please save me and save yourselves too…”
Have you listened to my sad story of the jaggery? Do we need to do so much of circus to change the originality of jaggery? Is their any such necessity of using such an impure jaggery and its much improved(?) form -sugar? Where are we aiming at? In the name of civilization, we are heading at doing anything to reach the markets. Listening to the dark story of the white jaggery, are you getting angry on the farmers? But stop! Think! Who is actually responsible for all these?? Isn’t it people like me and you, the customers who are demanding for such (im)pure jaggery which are no more dark in colour?? Although the farmer is aware of the darker side of using this, what is he able to do?? Can he sell the dark jaggery in the market?? If not how can he make his living?? Neither being able to sell his pure jaggery nor able to accept this wrong thing he is finding himself helpless! Isn’t it that we are the one who need to change? This keeps continuing until and unless we do not learn to respect our tradition, our educational values, our knowledge and our people. We should no more be misled by the advertisements. We need to remove the mask of civilization and start to prepare our own foods, start loving and respecting our farmers, our producers! When we love our own people, they too try to love us and think good for us. Love is eternal! Just love and be loved. Give love to others and take love from them. When everyone loves each other, where will be the existence of hatredness? How can one try to harm those whom he love a lot, when he feels everyone as his own?? So love and affection and respect alone can stop all misdeeds happening today, may be it even corruption!
Arise!Awake! At least now start thinking! Save the world which is heading towards destruction! Oh my dear brothers and sisters, come lets all join hands in saving Mother Earth and her representative, our Bharath Maatha!
सर्वे जना: सुखिनो भवन्तु! सकल संमन्गलानि भवन्तु!