The curious case of ‘Khichdi’ of fake news over Mysorepak!

Back in 1835, Lord Macaulay gave a very important speech in the British Parliament on 2nd February. At that time, the discussion was getting wild over the origin of different Indian cuisines and dishes which was creating havoc in the Indian sub-continent. The states were fighting to claim the invention of dishes and Britishers wanted to stop it once and for all. Thus, the parliament ordered a deep study of the dishes and make a “Food Encyclopedia of the Dishes of Indian Sub-continent”. Lord Macaulay provided the information about the very famous Mysorepauk to the parliament. Unfortunately, the number of dishes in India were way too many than the Britishers could control and put in sequence and in the end they left India in frustration.

Here comes the reality

Now, as I have your attention and before you commit any blunder like TOI and India Today, let me tell you that the above paragraph is a blunt lie and nothing like this ever happened. In the new era of photo editing and social media, you can play with images of famous personalities, add quotes of your choice and make any number of people fool. So much so, even the traffic hungry mainstream media fells for it and give your sarcastic comment a face of truth.

This is what happened with the Mysorepak, a very delicious sweet famous in India. The same has happened with Rosagulla as well in the last few weeks. The social media is filled with news that the states are actually fighting to claim the origin of famous dishes. The below tweet was posted by Anand Ranganathan in 2015 where he just for the sake of fun posted a morphed images with fake text explaining the origin of Mysorepak. It was a harmless joke which was not meant to be taken seriously.

Here is the tweet from 2015:

The problem with the mainstream media

However, the mainstream media has become a click-hungry dragon which can jump on any fake news and publish it with even more “Mirch Masala”. The spiced up news is then taken by fake news portals and they spread it like wildfire with titles that have catchphrases like “OMG” and “Breaking News”. In the last couple of days, the news was picked by first Times of India followed by India today and they published them in such a way that the information looked well researched.

The fight over Mysorepak between Karnataka and Tamilnadu was picked by many local and national newspapers as well including Swatantra Varta, Losatta, PublicTVNews and many others. That all happened without confirming the facts. Now, keep the joke apart and think what if this was about the communal tension between two religious groups? What if it was about the tension between minorities and majorities based on caste? Unfortunately, ALL THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. The mainstream media is doing such pieces since ages without confirming facts. It is only now that their “fake news” is caught almost immediately before they cause any major law and order problem.

We can only urge people to think twice before trusting any claim posted by news websites. At least wait for a day or two so that the truth can come out. Only then jump to any conclusion. Stay safe, stay vigilant and trust your instincts.