What about Aachi Masala and Sakthi Masala

Controversy erupted on social media when party cadres Naam Tamilar and its IT wing called for a boycott of Sakthi Masala because the company used Tamil text below English and Hindi in its masala packages.

This is not one of the usual fringe activities of the party, as the move would have an ulterior motive to help Sakthi masala’s rival, Aachi masala, a company that previously promoted anti-Hindu fanatics.

Tamil Nadu has become one of the country’s hubs for “ready-made” masalas, having been one of the states where these spices were meticulously hand-picked and ground at home.

With a market value of ₹2500 crore, Tamil Nadu ranks among the largest spice markets. Sakthi and Aachi, two local brands with a combined market share of 70-80%, are the market leaders.

With small players operating in each district, the unorganized masala market is said to be worth over ₹1,000 crore. The unbranded market is believed to have between 2,000 and 2,500 players, according to traders.

As the two main players – Sakthi and Aachi – attempt to expand their base outside of Tamil Nadu, it is clear that the current controversy is not about tackling alleged insults to the Tamil language, a political tool used by the dealers and Thambis in Tamil Nadu. .

A dig into the political affiliations of Aachi masala owners reveals that the current controversy has a hidden agenda.

PC Duraisamy vs. Padmasingh Isaac

PC Duraisamy, the founder of Sakthi Masala, was a small turmeric trader from a village called Perundurai near Erode. In 1975 he founded Sakthi Trading Company and started selling turmeric. Later he entered the world of pure spice powders such as turmeric, chilli and coriander. His curiosity allowed him to enter the masala world without fear. He faced many challenges as selling masala powders to traditionally conservative oriental women was difficult at the time. A notable aspect of Sakthi Masala is that the majority of the workforce are physically disabled.

Mr. Padmasingh Isaac is the Founder and Managing Director of the Aachi Group of Companies. Baron Masala, born in Nazareth in Thoothukudi, started his career as a sales representative for Godrej before moving to his current position. As he rose through the ranks, so did the controversy around him and his business, even the brand was briefly banned in parts of Kerala.

Padmasingh Isaac and his association with anti-Hindu fanatics

Padmasingh Isaac is the uncle of Isaac Livingstone, the managing director of Sathiyam TV, an evangelical Christian news channel which airs the sermons of rabid Christian pastor Mohan C Lazarus, known for spouting hatred against the Hindu faith. Lazarus had said that “Satan’s grip” is only tight in Tamil Nadu as it is the state with the most temples in India. In February 2021, the Madras High Court ruled heavily and issued a warning to the Christian pastor for making reckless statements against Hindus and the Hindu religion. Lazarus also instrumental in inciting the people against the Thoothukudi Sterlite factory was Mohan C Lazarus. Addressing a huge gathering of Christians, he peddled without any scientific basis that Sterlite Copper was a toxic factory and said the Church had stood up to shut down the factory.

Padmasingh Isaac was also honored once by the leader of Dravida Kazhagam, K. Veeramani, a fanatical anti-Hindu periyarist. He expressed his pride in receiving Ki’s honor. Veeramani.

Padmasingh Isaac and his association with the Tamil Evangelical separatists

Padmasingh Isaac shared the stage with rabid anti-Hindu politician Thirumavalavan and leaders espousing Tamil separatism – Seeman and Vaiko – at the launch of the book ‘Iniyavale Unakaga’ written by Ms. Joy Isaac, editor of the weekly electronic newspaper Sathyam.

Padmasingh Isaac far left with Vaiko, Thirumavalavan and Seeman

The anti-Hindu statements of Seeman, Thirumavalavan and Vaiko are well known, ranging from mocking Hindu rituals and ceremonies to insulting Hindu gods.

It should also be noted that Padmasingh Isaac funded a CSI Bethel church in Koyambedu, and there have been rumors of conversions on social media. No wonder he shared the stage with fanatics like Seeman, Thirumavalavan and Vaiko.

The “Poochi Masala” Controversy

A 2019 episode involving the quality of Aachi Masala is worth mentioning here. Aachi pepper powder failed a food safety test in June 2019 and was later banned from Thrissur in September. Samples from the specific lot were tested at the Kakkad Regional Analytical Laboratory and found to contain pesticides greater than 1 gram per kg, exceeding the allowable limit (0.01 mg per kg).

The pesticide content of this specific batch, titled FDGMS and manufactured in June 2019, was found to be greater than 1g and therefore prohibited in Thrissur. Although the company denied the reports, the Masala brand was temporarily banned before being reinstated. This resulted in the #poochimasala hashtag trending in 2019, trying to poke fun at Aachi masala. In Tamil, poochi masala means “insect masala”.

These incidents of temporarily banning Aachi Masala and the association of the MD of Aachi Masala with Tamil evangelical separatists suggest that the recent controversy of Sakthi Masala allegedly insulting the Tamil language is the successful work of rival Aachi Masala to disrupt sales of Sakthi Masala. .

It is also speculated that NTK Seeman started the “Tamil being insulted” controversy in order to help Aachi Masala MD Padmasingh Isaac, who is also from the same caste as Seeman, Christian Nadar.

Despite all the talk about an imaginary “Hindi imposition” and the insult of the Tamil language keeping it in third position, it is worth mentioning that there are many Aachi Masala packages where only the English text can be found.

Does this make Aachi Masala anti-Tamil?

Click here to subscribe to La Commune on Telegram and personally receive the best stories of the day.

Joan D. Boling