As if the Indian media wasn't struggling with the bane of fake news, it has gone a step ahead and made a HUGE blunder and weaved a full-fledged story out of a sarcastic tweet. No fact-check. No nothing.
So, while Bengal and Odisha are locked in a debate over rosogolla, a Twitter user Anand Ranganathan decided to have a little fun too and gave Twitterati another silly topic to fight over. He asked people to vote whether Mysore pak, a famous south Indian sweet is a Tamilian or a Kannadiga invention. So far, so good.
Is Mysorepak a Tamilian invention or a Kannadiga invention?— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 15, 2017
He took the fun a little further when he re-tweeted a two-year-old tweet, which was clearly sarcastic,
As always, authentic documents come to the rescue. Here it is - confirmation that Mysorepak is a Tamilian invention. pic.twitter.com/GxSVfquwRN— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) August 2, 2015
Lo and behold, failing to understand the humour, many major publications lapped up this unverified tweet and photo-shopped document.
So much for responsible journalism!
The Times Of India was the first one to publish the news, leaving Ranganathan completely stunned. The story talks of how in 1835, Lord Macaulay had confirmed that the famous Mysore pak was invented in Tamil Nadu, and that the recipe was later appropriated by the king of Mysore.
You. Cannot. Be. Serious. @timesofindia takes my old sarcastic tweet of the Macaulay story for real and PUBLISHES a piece on the Mysorepak spat. On #NationalPressDay. (via @vasudevan_k) https://t.co/x8xDZhMqDW— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 16, 2017
India Today and other major publications soon followed suit
5/n Soon the Media picked it up. Tribune ran a major story. They interviewed all involved (except me, of course).Tourism minister denied any knowledge; BJP alleged a scam; Museum Director assured the Dancing Girl was available. https://t.co/Il7LpEQeLE pic.twitter.com/Ieti06Q9ct— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 17, 2017
Hindi media and other regional websites picked it up too
Lord Macaulay and Lord Crincklybottom's Mysorepak testimonials are now reaching millions of Tamilians, in print and digital. This pleases me no end. (via @srini_kris and @arvind_ryb ) https://t.co/pmIwp3ei7g pic.twitter.com/xFxCw63uNn— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 17, 2017
Okay. This is getting UNREAL now. Dear Indian media. In GOD'S NAME, stop. https://t.co/0LcPCOvT3I— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 16, 2017
And another one. Stunned. https://t.co/hQ8wS61sLS— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 16, 2017
However, after realising the massive goof-up, The Times Of India removed it, citing that the story was 'incorrect'. Other websites have still not bothered to do the needful
Meanwhile Ranganathan has been taking swipes at the Indian media and poking fun at this accident. Never would he have thought a funny harmless tweet would blow up like this.
Meanwhile, the story has taken a life of its own as it journeys through the various papers.So 1853 is now 1835; British Parliament is Indian Parliament; Lord Crincklybottom becomes 'My very good friend'; Courtier is now a Lawyer; Lawyer is now a Judge.— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 17, 2017
Friends, Tamilians, Countrymen; lend me your iyers. Now you have IRREFUTABLE proof, via the trusted @timesofindia and @IndiaToday, that Macalulay was telling the truth about Mysorepak. Vote now. With your feet. நன்றி https://t.co/S5EUV73kM4— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 16, 2017
By the way, hate to break it to the gentle Marathi folks, but Sambar is a Tamilian invention, not Maharashtrian. [Lord Macaulay said so; let me dig the link out, one sec.]— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 16, 2017
How gullible can the media be? Meanwhile, all thanks to media, Indians are now fighting over mysore pak and the battle still continues!