Last week, Shashi Tharoor launched the ‘Tiranga Bangle’, an initiative by Naveen Jindal’s Flag Foundation of India. The bangle claims to provide ‘natural, environment-friendly and non-chemical-based healing’.
Not surprisingly, the reactions on social media to the bangle – and to Tharoor’s association with the launch of the bangle – were harsh, immediate and critical.
On twitter, Sunanda Vashisht (@sunandavashisht) asked, “Trivortex Tiranga Bangle??? Are you guys serious??? What did Mr. Tharoor do to all his scholarship?”
@greatbong took a swipe at Jindal, but left Tharoor out of it. “So this Jindal Tiranga Bangle will go up against Nazar Suraksha Kavach. Take that Zee. A Dekhe Zara Kisme Kitna Hain Dum,” he tweeted.
Perhaps it was comments such as this one by @NakulShenoy which underlined the questionable nature of the product. “Please tell me this is #FakingNews:http://headlinesindia.mapsofindia.com/science-and-technology/technology/bangle-to-cure-ailments-unveiled-in-delhi-124830.html … @ShashiTharoor and@MPNaveenJindal of all people associate with such farce?!”
Mahesh Murthy commented on Facebook, “Maybe this social media thing DOES work. After a few days of pressure,Shashi Tharoor washes his hands of the fraud miracle cure bracelets he launched. Over to the other perpetrator, Naveen Jindal.”
This is what Tharoor updated on his site.
“I am writing in response to your query regarding the Tri-Vortex technology and the Tiranga copper bangle.
I had accepted a request from my friend and fellow Member of Parliament, Naveen Jindal, as founder and head of the Flag Foundation of India, to launch a new “Tiranga bangle”. In accepting, I was merely obliging a friend, as indeed is a common practice.
I have the highest respect for Mr Jindal and his excellent work promoting our national flag. Nonetheless, let me clarify that my launching the product does not in any way amount to an endorsement of any of the claims associated with it. I do believe that a scientific temper requires that any claims of health benefits be tested empirically before being accepted or dismissed.”
“Does not in any way amount to an endorsement of any of the claims associated with it,” does he say?
What about this quote, then, Mr Tharoor?
“I wear the national flag everyday, thanks to the court case Naveen fought. This bangle initiative by him is good for health and also advertises his loyalty for the tricolour” and congratulated the foundation for coming up with such a “therapeutic idea”.
No, Mr Tharoor, it’s not so simple. By saying the bangle is “good for health” and congratulating the foundation for the “therapeutic idea” you have, without a doubt, endorsed the claims – and your clarification is a cop out.