Sun, 20 May 2012 10:11:30 GMT

Assam industry bats for tea as national drink

Guwahati: Although the union government has voiced reservations, Assam's tea bodies are insisting that tea be declared the country's national drink.

Assam industry bats for tea as national drink

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia told parliament this week that there were objections to tea getting the status of national drink. According to the minister, some states felt that coffee was a competing beverage and promoting tea will be at the cost of coffee.

The North East Tea Association (NETA) feels this is a highly flawed argument.

"Did the declaration of tiger as the national animal come at the cost of other animals? Did making hockey the national game affect cricket, football or other sports?" NETA chairperson Bidyananda Barkakoty asked while speaking to IANS.

If tea is recognised as India's national drink, it will in no way affect the growth and consumption of coffee or other beverages.

"And if there are no fixed criteria for giving a national status, as the minister has said, we want to know what criteria were employed to make the tiger or mango the national animal and national fruit?" asked Barkakoty.

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