While the whole nation, which includes Bollywood celebrities starting from Amitabh Bachchan to Akshay Kumar to Anushka Sharma, are pouring in congratulatory messages for track queen Hima Das of Assam, singing sensation Zubeen Garg is at it again! He has a special word of advice for the 18-year-old – he has asked her to “consume beef rather than consuming chicken and pigeon meat”.
(In fact, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, tweeted, “I was touched deeply when Hima Das searched for Tricolour after winning gold. Seeing her passionately searching for the Tricolour immediately after winning and getting emotional while singing the National Anthem touched me deeply. I was extremely moved. Which Indian won’t have tears of joy seeing this?”)
With such solemn messages coming in, this statement of Zubeen has raised many eyebrows. But Zubeen, who loves courting controversy, went ahead and made this statement at a press meet in Guwahati on Saturday. He said, “She will get the real strength to run even faster if she consumes beef. Only if she consumes beef, will it give her more energy. When it comes to sports, one just has to forget about religion, caste and creed and just focus on the sports per se.”
By making the said statement, Zubeen Garg has proved that he is indeed controversy’s favourite child. He further reminisced before media persons, “When I met had her in Delhi, I had told her that you will have to bring home the gold medal. She will have to keep running like the wind and put her best foot forward even in the Asian Games which is all set to start next month.”
On making the statement that she must “eat beef”, the singer said that he wanted to drive home the fact that if she “wants to rule the roost on the tracks for the next few years, then she will have to consume items like beef shedding all kinds of taboo. Because, for a sportsperson, the nation comes above everything else and religious issues should be kept at bay.”
Zubeen also said in a jocular vein that he had told her in Delhi, “if you do not come back home with the gold medal, I will box your ears.” On Hima being offered jobs by the Government, Zubeen said, “She is all of 19 and at the most she can continue her career as an athlete till the age of 25. So, the question of her taking up a job does not arise at all. We are there to support her and she should only run for the nation. She has earned the rare distinction of being the only athlete in India to have won a gold medal at an international event on the track. She has put India on the global map and right now she should just concentrate on her sports. Once she retires after 25, she can always take up a job.”
Coming to the Assam link, he said that after Bhogeswar Baruah, she is the only Assamese to win gold at an international event. Bhogeswar Baruah is an Indian former-athlete and coach. He was one of the first Assamese to win gold at an international event, winning a medal at the 1966 Asian Games.
“It is a matter of great pride that Assam has been able to produce such a great sporting personality who has brought so much of glory not only for the State but for the nation as a whole,” Zubeen remarked.