Do you complain of tears while chopping onions? Stop! Now the skyrocketing price of onions has turned a tear-jerker. The rates have touched an all-time high of ?185 per kilogram in some city retail stores. The rise in prices of onions has affected all households.

From ?60/kg in September, the price of onions has escalated to close to three times. When the state Assembly debated on the onion crisis, CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy echoed that onions are being supplied at ?25 a kg at the Rythu Bazaars until the price stabilises.  The CM himself is said to be monitoring the procurement and sale of subsidised onions. The vigilance department is keeping an eye on illegal stocks and hoarding.

Satires and Spoofs on Onions

On a lighter note, popular dairy giant Amul, known for its archetypal, current affairs  based advertisements, has come up with a very apt and a ‘tearful onion’ ad that reads, “Kaho Na PyaazHai!, Amul, won’t make you cry.”

The current onion prices have spun a kitchen staple into a luxury. However, the onion prices haven’t just knocked out the marketplaces but also hit the Internet. The onion calamity has given fodder to the enormously popular video sharing application, TikTok. Twitteratis are dropping all sorts of comments, mostly hilarious ones. Some tweeples are showing their funny bone and taking a witty route to talk about the upsurge in onion prices. The miseries of consumers have turned to jokes and memes on Twitter with the trending hashtags of #Onion, #OnionPrice #OnionCrisis.

Few best memes being-

ShrinidhiHande @enidhi-My local vegetable vendor is giving one iPhone free with 1 kg onion and still unable to sell his stock #Onion120 #OnionPrice #OnionCrisis

Koushik Mukherjee @koushikspeaknow =#ViratKohli100.. #Onion120… CLOSE FIGHT…??

One user shared a hilarious TikTok video of a housewife doing preparations to cook food trying to steal keys from her husband who is asleep. The husband had locked up onions in a locker.

Engineer’s??Choice ??@sumansekhar1- Exchange Offer!! #iPhone #OnionCrisis??????

A user shared a picture of onions being exchanged for an iPhone.

The Onion Saga

A simple culinary ingredient has seen such a steep hike in a few months’ time. If good quality onions were priced at 15,000 per 100 kilograms, normal and low quality were sold at ?6,000 per 100 kg. Onion traders in the city are expressing concern over the price rise and want the government to intervene and reduce the rates.

Due to disruptive supply from flood-hit states like Maharashtra and others, onion prices have been on the rise. Not only in AP but prices of onion in many cities have also crossed ?100 per kg, the West Bengal government has placed an order for 800 tonnes of imported onions with the NAFED, which will be supplied by the end of December. In Odisha, onion prices have ascended to ?120 a kg, while in Delhi the price crossed over ?100 per kg. Price of onion shot up to a massive ?200 per kg in Bengaluru due to a deficit in supply in the market. Heavy rains during the harvest all over the onion growing states have also led to the rotting of a large share of the onion production.

As a result of the unprecedented price of Onions, it is conspicuously missing from the dining table in most homes and restaurants. Restaurants have removed most onion recipes from their menu while the onions in samosas are being substituted with cabbage. A simple but very important ingredient in Indian cooking, onions are virtually irreplaceable.

Why prices are high?

A direct result of lower production, unseasonal heavy rain having destroyed large stores of the almost-ready Kharif crop and sowing of late Kharif crop have led to this steep price hike in onions. Onions have been imported too but there are not too many takers for them. Traders and farmers predict that the price will continue to persist until after the harvest of the new crop, which is likely after February.

There seems to be no solution in sight for dry eyes turning teary-eyed unless we follow the Japanese tradition to stop consuming whatever that has perceived an extraordinary price hike. This would lead to a fall in the prices of that commodity and would lead to a win-win situation. If we could stop or reduce our consumption

Can we stop or minimise Onion consumption for a month to roll back the price?

– Harjeet Kaur

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