41. The danger of 'Vanaspati'
"In Harijan of 14-4-'46 you supported Sardar Datar Singh's plea regarding a ban on 'Vanaspati'. There were several suggestions in that article which had they been acted upon, would have checked the evil. But unfortunately no action has been taken. In the Punjab, in Akola, Segaon and Kurnool permission has actually been given for starting new factories. At any rate this should be stopped. In the Punjab the Government has not even ordered the colouring of 'Vanaspati'."
The above is the substance of a letter to me. I have advisedly put 'Vanaspati' in inverted commas. It ought really to be Vanaspati Ghee. No one can have any quarrel with Vanaspati which means the leaves of flowers, fruits and vegetables. But when it presumes to pass as something else, it becomes a poison. Vanaspati is not and can never be ghee. If ever it were to become ghee, I would be first loudly to proclaim that there is no further need for real ghee. Ghee or butter are the fat contents of milk drawn from an animal. To sell vegetable oil or butter in the form and name of ghee is to deceive the Indian public. It is thoroughly dishonest. It is the clear duty of tradesmen not to sell any product of this nature in the guise of ghee, and no government should countenance such sale. The crores of India today get neither milk nor ghee nor butter, nor even buttermilk. No wonder that mortality figures are on the increase and there is lack of energy in the people. It would appear as if man is really unable to sustain life without either meat or milk and milk products. Anyone who deceives people in this regard or countenances the fraud is an enemy of India.
New Delhi, 6-10-1946
(From the Original in Hindustani)