19. Unpolished Rice

The following is the result of my observations to date.

Whole, unpolished rice is unprocurable in the bazars. It is beautiful to look at and rich and sweet to the taste. Mills can never compete with this unpolished rice. It is husked in a simple manner. Most of the paddy can be husked in a light chakki without difficulty. There are some varieties the husk of which is not separated by grinding. The best way of treating such paddy is to boil it first and then separate the chaff from the grain. This rice, it is said, is most nutritious and, naturally, the cheapest. In the villages, if they husk their own paddy, it must always be cheaper for the peasants than the corresponding mill- husked rice, whether polished or unpolished. The majority of rice found ordinarily in the bazars is always more or less polished, whether hand-husked or mill-husked. Wholly unpolished rice is always hand-husked and is every time cheaper than the mill-husked rice, the variety being the same.

Subject to further research, the observations so far show that it is because of our criminal negligence that rice-eating millions eat deteriorated rice and pay a heavy price into the bargain. Let the village worker test the truth of these observations for himself.

Harijan, 25-1-1935