19/11/2015 11:15 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Give Padma Awards To Cooks And Chefs, Says Culture Ministry

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 13: Minister of State for Culture, Tourism and MoS for Ministry of Civil Aviation and Gautam Budh Nagar MP, Mahesh Sharma speaks during an interview with Hindustan Times at his office on October 13, 2015 in Noida, India. Sharma chose to remain silent on the Bisada incident. (Photo by Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Indian Culture Minister, who had been under fire in the past for his controversial comments in the wake of the Dadri violence, made a statement on Thursday that will resonate with millions of Indians who love their food. He wants a separate category for cooks and chefs for the highest civilian awards in the country — the Padma awards. In fact, his ministry has even sent a recommendation on this to the home ministry, according to reports.

“The Ministry of Culture recently received a proposal to include the art of cooking in the list of Padma awards," said the minister of state for culture and tourism to The Indian Express. "Cooking is an art. If there can be Padma awards in other fields of art like music, tabla, why not cooking? We studied the proposal and sent a recommendation to the MHA.”

According to the report, the idea came to Sharma during a book launch in Delhi where Sharma met celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Believing that giving Padma awards to chefs could open up business opportunities for them, benefitting the Indian economy, Sharma has requested the home ministry to consider the proposal framed by several chefs and hoteliers, including Kapoor and Anil Bhandari, the chairperson of the organising committee of Chef Awards.

The Padma awards are given by the MHA, and are presented to those who extend public service along with their achievements.

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