India Cracks Down Fake Food Videos: 5 Viral Hoaxes You Need To Keep in Mind….

How many times have you believed a video or a message you received without verifying its contents? I am guilty of doing this and can say that I have learnt my lesson.

While fake news and videos spread malice about all kinds of events, people and things, the FSSAI recently started a campaign to safeguard consumers against misinformation about food products in India.

To curb the spread of such content on social media, the government has instructed Google and Facebook to take down ‘false and malicious’ content that spreads wrong information about the safety and quality of food in India.

Here are 5-hoax warnings that have created panic among consumers:

1. Melamine in milk

Several news reports last year mentioned that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Agarwal had allowed the use of melamine in milk.

They spoke of a WHO advisory that ‘if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 per cent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025 (in India)’.

A viral video shared by Rohit Borana on Facebook garnered a whopping 1.8 million views and was shared over 87,000 times.

Fact: FSSAI had ascertained that no such advisory was issued by the WHO at all. It appears that the report first appeared in one newspaper, and later was picked up by other newspapers. FSSAI and/or WHO was not even approached for clarifications.

Subsequently, as of November 2018, the advisory by which the messages were being circulated has been deleted.

2. HIV contamination in Frooti pack

I remember the scare this message caused. In 2013, a message was doing the rounds, allegedly from the Delhi police. It spoke about a worker adding his HIV/AIDS-contaminated blood to a batch of products and warned people to stay away from buying them.

Fact: The message turned out to be false. The Delhi police had neither sent it nor had such an incident occurred.

Subsequently, Parle Agro, the company, which manufactures Frooti, also issued a statement, which can be accessed here.

3. Plastic cabbage from China

There is a very high probability of your having seen this video and feeling enraged at the level of contamination in our fruits and vegetables.

A mobile video that emerged from Ambala in Haryana showed a man ladling colourful liquids in a large bowl of water and then shaping the substance to look like a “real” cabbage.

Several media houses picked up this story, and it invited outrage on the thought that a majority of the cabbage we were consuming was made of plastic and was being sneaked into the country from China.

Fact: A little bit of research revealed that the video was actually about wax food replicas used as displays outside restaurants in Japan. The video was also at least two years old and had Korean subtitles with a logo of SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) and a dubbed voice-over.

4. Kurkure contains plastic

This is something I believed for the longest time after watching videos claiming that Kurkure contains plastic. PepsiCo, the company that manufactures Kurkure, had to legally take action and get a court order against Facebook, requiring the company to censor all posts linking the product to plastic.

Fact: Products like Kurkure are fried at a very high temperature to ensure their crispiness. A compound called acrylamide forms during the process of frying. Due to its presence, the final product burns when lit with a matchstick, also turning black due to the unburnt carbon particles. It does not, however, contain any added plastic.

5. Plastic rice   

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were rife with speculations about the prevalence of plastic rice in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. While there was no real evidence to show that plastic rice existed, there were several videos online with tips on how to verify whether or not the rice was real.



Fact: According to the Rice Traders Association, the cost of rice is cheaper than the cost of plastic rice. Also, all scrutiny in a scientific lab also proved that there is no such thing called plastic rice.

While the videos and messages will continue to pour in, it is imperative that we exercise caution as well as restraint while believing in them and spreading them among others.

You could also report such messages by doing the following:

  1. Register complaints via the app

2. To complain via e-mail

Write to

As informed and conscientious citizens, we should report content that is malicious, false or even derogatory rather than being a part of the problem.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Source…….Vidya Raja in http://www.the better





How The Legendary Ambassador Conquered Indian Hearts…And Roads!!!!!

What is it that makes the good old ‘Ambassador,’ the only car in India that served dignitaries as well as the common man, a quintessential part of the Indian identity?

Today’s young generation will never entirely be able to fathom the wave of nostalgia that follows the mention of the burly car, or the sense of authority and importance exuded by a fleet of white Ambassadors with a ‘laal-batti.’

The year was 1958 when the Ambassador, a gift that Hindustan Motors gave India and its people, hit the roads for the very first time. It was a true representative of the Make in India initiative, almost half a century before the terminology even came into existence.

It was a car that could endure quite literally anything and did not require one to possess

esoteric knowledge for its maintenance.

In fact, the running joke of the time was that even a kid could repair an Ambassador!

Perhaps that was what the makers had in their mind—a car that was supremely efficient, able to withstand even the worst of potholes, and seat extended families under one roof.

Interestingly, the original Ambassador was modelled upon the Morris Oxford series III model, which Morris Motors Limited manufactured from 1956 to 1959 at Cowley, UK. With a 1,489 cc engine, this was the first car in India to have a diesel engine.

In total, Indians have lived through seven generations of the car, with the first one being Mark-1 and the final one named Encore, which complied with BS-IV engine standards.

The Ambassador’s love affair with the state and bureaucracy was even more deep-seated. The sturdy four-wheeler acquired an altogether new identity when a beacon was fixed atop its roof.

Be it prime ministers, politicians or even civil servants; the Ambassador was the natural option for an official vehicle for many decades. One of its print advertisements used to say, “We are still the driving force of the real leaders.”

It changed only when the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee ditched the ‘white elephant’ for a swanky BMW in 2003. It was a move that shocked many, and paved the way for a narrative shift in India’s power optics and with that, end of an era.

Talking of politics, a rather amusing anecdote surrounding the Ambassador is from the days when Pandit Nehru was the PM. While he would usually opt for Indian-made cars for day-to-day travel, he would travel in a Cadillac when it came to receiving foreign heads of state and dignitaries from the airport.

A confused Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the then External affairs minister, asked Nehru about the switching between cars. Nehru responded that he did this “to let them know that the Indian Prime Minister could also be driven in a Cadillac.

However, when Shastri took over India’s premiership in 1964, he stuck with the Ambassador—even when foreign dignitaries came visiting.

Upon being asked why he didn’t follow Nehru’s practice, he said, “Pandit Nehru was a great man, and it is difficult to emulate him. It makes no difference to me what the foreign dignitaries think as long as they know that the Indian Prime Minister is travelling in a car which is made in India.”

By the mid-1990s, automobile industries from across the world began flocking to India and the market supremacy that Ambassador once enjoyed slowly began to give way to smaller and easily manageable cars like Maruti.

Like the curtains fall after every great play, time was slowly inching up on Ambassador. With the exception of official cars and taxis, there very few of them on the road.

It was in 2014 that Hindustan Motors finally ended the production of Ambassador, following a failed attempt at rebranding the car in a more compact and swanky version titled ‘Amby.’

The customary tribute post by Amul at that time was extremely poignant as it seemed to resonate with almost everyone who had driven the vehicle or even sat on the passenger seat, at some time or the other.

Honestly enough, while cars may come and go in India, nothing will come close to the adulation that the ‘King of Indian Roads,’ as Ambassador was known, has enjoyed.

A car that became the enduring symbol of post-Independence India, the Ambassador will forever remain an intrinsic part of the country and an unforgettable memory for its people.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

Source….. LekshmiPriya .S in http://www.the




வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை ….” என் பார்வையில் …”


என் பார்வையில்
குறையில்லை என் பார்வையில் …”பவர் “
குறையவும் இல்லை , ஏறவும் இல்லை !
கண்ணாடி மாற்ற வேண்டாம் எனக்கு !
அதே “பவர் ”  அதே கண்ணாடி ! கண்ணாடி
மாற்றும்  செலவு மிச்சம் எனக்கு டாக்டர் ,
சிரித்தேன் நான் !
என்  மனைவிக்கு ” பவர் ” இருமடங்கு
அதிகம்  இப்போது …! கண்ணாடி
“பவர் ” நான் சொல்வது !
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை என் பார்வையில்
என்று பாடத்தான் எனக்கு ஆசை !
நிறைவான வாழ்வில் “பவர் ” யாருக்கு
அதிகம் என்பதை சொல்லும்  “பவர் “
கண்ணாடிக்கு இல்லையே !
குறை, நிறை இரண்டும் இருக்கும் வாழ்வில்
குறையும் கடந்து போகும் , நிறையும்
கடந்து போகும் !
குறை  நிறை இரண்டும் ஒன்றேதான்
என் பார்வையில் !

Message for the Day….” There is nothing you cannot achieve with unity as your strength. With purity and unity, you can unravel your Divinity and develop genuine devotion to God. “

Learn to live in harmony and unity. The village (society) is to the villagers (members of the society) what the body is to the individual. Every organ in the body functions in cooperation with every other part. If the foot steps on a thorn, the eye feels the pain and sheds tears. If the eye notices a thorn or stone on the road, it warns the foot to avoid it. Villagers should develop the same sense of unity and share their joys and troubles as one organic body. There is nothing you cannot achieve with unity as your strength. With purity and unity, you can unravel your Divinity and develop genuine devotion to God. You should fill your hearts with love and make your lives holy and purposeful. When everyone works in this spirit of unity and charity, the village would become a model for all the rest.

Source …..


Message for the Day…. ” in the life of man, good or bad, joy or sorrow, birth or death, come and go, but they do not affect the Atma. In the cinema of life, the screen is the Atma – it is Shiva, it is Sankara, it is Divinity. When one understands this principle, one will be able to understand, enjoy and find fulfilment in life! “

In our daily experiences, there are a number of instances which reveal the existence of Divinity in every person. Consider a cinema; on the screen we see rivers in flood engulfing all the surrounding land. Even though the scene is filled with flood waters the screen does not get wet by even a drop of water. At another time, on the same screen we see volcanoes erupting with tongues of flame, but the screen is not burnt. The screen which provides the basis for all these pictures is not affected by any of them. Likewise in the life of man, good or bad, joy or sorrow, birth or death, come and go, but they do not affect the Atma. In the cinema of life, the screen is the Atma – it is Shiva, it is Sankara, it is Divinity. When one understands this principle, one will be able to understand, enjoy and find fulfilment in life!



Today I found out that the British once planned to construct a massive aircraft carrier during World War II… made of ice. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as crazy as it sounds at first glance.

Britain was taking a beating from the German ships and submarines and were looking for something to build a ship out of that couldn’t be destroyed by torpedoes, or at least could take a major pounding without incurring a fatal amount of damage. With steel and aluminum in short supply, Allied scientists and engineers were encouraged to come up with alternative materials and weapons.

A scientist named Geoffrey Pyke was the king of alternative ideas (as you’ll see in the Bonus Facts below). One of his ideas was to build a 2,000 foot long, 300 foot wide and two million ton carrier. Pyke named his project Habbakuk, a biblical reference that seemed to mirror the project’s goal: “…be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5, NIV) Unlike in the Bible though, the ship’s name was spelled with two b’s and one k, which is thought to be simply a spelling error that was repeated so many times that it became official.

Besides the ship’s size, what was so different about Pyke’s vessel was that it would be built of ice. There is no real limit on the availability of ice; it’s easy to make, fairly durable (except in warm temperatures), buoyant, and very easy to repair when damaged.  Further, repairs can be made extremely quickly with the right equipment, even during a battle.

The ship was also to include 40 dual-barreled gun turrets, as well as other anti-aircraft guns, and an airstrip that could accommodate up to 150 fighter planes or twin-engined bombers.

Pyke was able to sell Winston Churchill on his plan in 1942, including Churchill stating it should be given the highest priority.

In testing, though, it was discovered that ice might not be as strong as the ice-bergs that Pyke modeled his idea on. It turned out that ice frozen into blocks for the hull could be broken very easily with something as small as a hammer. The project was temporarily abandoned as a result.

However, later that year, a New York polytechnic firm added cellulose- sawdust, wood chips and paper shreds- to water and froze it for a much more promising base structure for such a ship. Not only was it stronger than straight frozen water- with as little as 4% of wood pulp added it made it as strong as concrete, pound for pound- it was also much slower to melt and more buoyant. Pykrete, named after Geoffrey Pyke, could also be cut like wood and easily milled into shapes like metal.

There was one problem though- melting and refreezing would cause warping in the structure. Tests showed that a pykrete ship would eventually sag unless consistently cooled to around 3° Fahrenheit. To maintain this, the ship’s surface would have to be covered in insulation and it would need a refrigeration plant and duct system.

To test the feasibility of getting around this problem, a small scale version of the Habakkuk was constructed in Alberta, Canada’s Lake Patricia to experiment with insulation and refrigeration possibilities and to see how it would stand up to artillery shelling. The test ship was 30 feet wide by 60 feet long, weighed 1,000 tons and was kept refrigerated with a one-horsepower engine, which was sufficient to keep it from melting even through the hot summer months.

In ballistic testing, it was determined that a direct torpedo hit would only cause about a 10 foot crater in the hull, which was insignificant given the size of the proposed ship.  Thus, it would be nearly impervious to torpedo attacks for all practical purposes, as it would take a huge number of torpedoes and other bombs to sink the ship. So even if the ship was broken up, the Axis powers would have had to invest a massive amount of their resources in a given area to do it (particularly considering the arsenal of aircraft the ship carried), which would have weakened them significantly on other fronts during the attack.  If they were unsuccessful, the ship could be easily and quickly repaired right on the spot.

So overall, the test ship made the full size version seem like it might actually work out.

At this point, it was estimated that construction on the real Habakkuk would cost $2.5 million (about $32 million today), which is a bargain for a ship like this.

There were still some hurdles to overcome, though.  The rudder on such a ship would have to be massive.  How to effectively mount this in the structure in a way that would be resistant to attack was a problem, as was controlling such a rudder. Also, the amount of wood pulp needed would have impacted paper production;  while this ship used significantly less steel than most, the steel tubing it did need for reinforcing the structure would have depleted reserves for conventional, proven warships; a huge amount of cork would also be required to insulate the ship; and, finally, the ship’s top speed of just six to seven knots (6.9 to 8.1 mph) was deemed too slow, even with it being fairly torpedo-proof in terms of the main structure itself.

In the end, these problems, combined with the fact that during the planning phase the range of aircraft had increased significantly to the point where the need for a floating island became less necessary, ultimately sunk the plan.

While the plan to build Habakkuk was short-lived, its prototype was surprisingly resilient. It took three hot summers to completely melt the smaller version of the boat.

Bonus Facts:

  • Pyke wasn’t the first to suggest a ship made of ice. A German scientist, Dr. Gerke of Waldenberg, proposed the idea and experimented with it in Lake Zurich in 1930. And in 1940 an idea for an ice island was circulated around England’s Royal Navy but treated as a joke by officers.
  • Beside an Ice ship, Pyke once suggested using thousands of balloons with microphones and transmitters attached as a way of triangulating enemy positions. He was not aware at the time of the advancements and development in radar technology.
  • screw-vehicle

    Yet another oddball invention Pyke came up with to help in the war was a screw-propelled snow vehicle. The vehicle would be propelled by having two cylinders with flanges in a screw thread-like fashion spinning in opposite directions and varying their speed to facilitate turns. The M29 Weasel put an end to the potential of Pyke’s snow vehicle seeing the light of day.

  • Yet another idea of Pyke’s was to use pykrete to quickly construct buildings and protective barriers in a mobile war.  In the end, this was deemed impractical given the amount of equipment, water, and pulp that would need to be lugged around.
  • Another idea of Pyke’s, this one to solve the problem of transporting equipment from ships to shore in the many places where a harbor wasn’t available, was to create massive pipe systems from the ships that would be extended to shore and beyond as the soldiers advanced… literal supply lines.  Equipment could be packed in air tight containers that would be whisked through the pipes to the waiting soldiers.  Ultimately a more practical idea was developed using floating trucks and floating concrete structures.
  • A similar idea was to extend the piping system to quickly transport not only equipment, but soldiers too, particularly over difficult to cross terrain.  Soldiers would be given oxygen masks and propelled through the pipes via water flowing through.  In order to get around the inevitable problem of soldiers panicking while they’re whisked through these pipes they can’t get out of until they reach the end, he recommended drugging them first if they felt they’d have a problem with it.  As he said, “The whole experience (of riding in a pipe) however should be far less unpleasant, and take very much less time to become used to, than parachute jumping, or being bombed.”
  • Another of Pyke’s genius ideas, this time after the war, was to get around the energy crisis by having trains not be propelled by conventional fuels, but by human power.  His idea was to equip each train car with dozens of bicycle-like contraptions.  Passengers would then be expected to pedal. This would cause people to eat more (needing more calories), which was a problem given post-war food shortages.  Pyke felt this was fine because while certain foods were in short supply, sugar was plentiful and a pound of sugar, converted to energy via the human digestive system, would produce more energy than from burning a pound of coal or oil, which there was a shortage of. In essence, Pyke was a real-life Flint Lockwood. 🙂
  • Despite only a few of his ideas having some merit to them, with most being amazingly impractical, Pyke was kept around for a time simply because the Chief of Combined Operations, Louis Mountbatten, felt that Pyke’s steady stream of outlandish ideas was good for the other members of his staff to hear, to try to get them to think a bit more out of the box.
  • The eccentric Pyke ultimately committed suicide in 1948 by ingesting an entire bottle of sleeping pills and leaving a note to say it was intentional.
  • One idea of Pyke’s that did pan out was his idea on how to escape from a German prison camp… the one he found himself in at the time.  Most of his fellow prisoners thought he was crazy even then, as even if he was able to get out of the camp, it was felt he would either starve, be caught, or killed, before getting out of Germany itself.  He proved them all wrong becoming the first to successfully escape from the camp he was in.  In his fashion, he meticulously studied all accounts of escape attempts to date by others and why and where they failed.   He then devised a plan, at which point he and Edward Falk, a fellow inmate, began a rigorous exercise routine to prepare for their journey.
  • His plan went as so, with the beginning being every bit as seemingly impractical as many of his other ideas, but nonetheless working: first, use the fact that there was an athletic equipment shed that, while regularly checked by soldiers, was checked at a time of day when, if the sun was out and it was the right time of year, the sun’s rays would glare off a window and cause the soldiers looking into the darkened shed to not be able to see properly.  Thus, even though he and Falk could see the guard and weren’t well hidden, the guard could not see them in the small shack.  After hiding out, they then managed to slip out of the camp at night with the supply of food they’d been rationing.  Following a truly harrowing journey, they made it to what they thought was the border and were caught… turns out, though, they were actually in the Netherlands when caught and were not caught by a German soldier, as they initially thought, but a Dutch one.  They had made it.
  • The work on the smaller model Habakkuk in Canada was done by conscientious objectors who did alternative service in lieu of military service. They were never told what they were building. It took eight men 14 days to build the miniature ship.


Source….. i


Message for the Day ….”  Dhyana is the valley of peace that lies on the other side of a huge mountain range of peaks called the six foes – lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and envy. You must climb over the range and reach the valley beyond. “

The peace or distraction, calm or anxiety that you experience today is the product of your own thoughts and deeds, and your attitude or behaviour towards yourself and others. Many take up the process of regular meditation on the name and form of God, and are able to quieten the agitations of the heart and open the way to inner realisation. Dhyana should not be wavering from one ideal to another; nor should it be reduced to a mere mechanical textbook formula, or a rigid time-table of breathing or meaningless staring at the tip of the nose! It is a rigorous discipline of the senses, the nervous current, and the wings of imagination. That is why it is aptly said, Dhyana is the valley of peace that lies on the other side of a huge mountain range of peaks called the six foes – lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and envy. You must climb over the range and reach the valley beyond.