The launch of a new “Tirangaa” bangle caught my eyes especially since it was a Naveen Jindal initiative. After all, this was the man who famously won us the right to fly the national flag at our homes and offices! Reading through the article though did not quite go as planned.
The Headlines India article (dt. January 25 2013) said that the Tirangaa bangle would not only foster patriotism and oneness among the Indians wearing it, but also cure a long list of ailments. If that was not enough it would also curb excessive radiation that otherwise impacts our being.
The words “Tri-Vortex technology from South Africa” and the name “Anton Ungerer” stood out among the tall claims to “cure ailments like acidity and arthritis, purifies water and even protects people from harmful cellphone radiation”. Of course, this would prove “particularly beneficial for athletes and the elderly”.
A skeptic by nature, I ran the words through a Google Search and landed up with two articles on the Tri-Vortex products by CAMcheck – “a South African consumers’ guide to scams, pseudoscience and voodoo science”:
- Tri-Vortex™ Technology – Big scam? (dt. October 30, 2011)
- Tri-Vortex Technology – Yep, no proof (dt. May 28, 2012)
Do spend the ten minutes required to read up the above two articles.
As a quick summary, they primarily call the Tri-Vortex related products “pseudoscience baloney, quackery, and scam”. The second article specifically details a consumer complaint regarding the product advertisement, which was upheld by the ASA Directorate as being unsubstantiated and in contravention of the local laws.
Thinking and hoping fervently that something was indeed amiss, I quickly sent out a tweet to our Hon. Minister Shashi Tharoor and Hon. MP Naveen Jindal:
@nakulshenoy: Please tell me this is #FakingNews: http://t.co/UEsVjJT0
@ShashiTharoor and @MPNaveenJindal of all people associate with such farce?!
Since no replies were forthcoming to that and other tweets, I sent out another tweet earlier today to Mr Shashi Tharoor, pleading,
@nakulshenoy: Dear Minister @ShashiTharoor. Is it too much to seek clarity on your support to the unscrupulous claims of tri-vortex ‘Tiranga’ bangles?
These and the related tweets were being retweeted and spoken about by numerous folks on Twitter. A lot of tweets began flying towards Shashi Tharoor and Naveen Jindal from concerned folks, all to no avail.
Friends on Twitter joined in and soon there emerged an ardent attempt to trend the hashtag ensued #SavedByTrivortexBangle. While the hashtag may not have trended, it did succeed in make a lot more of the cyber citizens aware and involved in the issue.
Yet, all these efforts have, as of this writing, not got any response from the Hon. Minister Shashi Tharoor and Hon. MP Naveen Jindal.
As we involve the large Rationalist and Skeptic community of India, we are looking to reach out to you and every free thinking member of the society to seek an explanation from Mr Tharoor and Mr Jindal to their actions that are seemingly peddling snake oil to the masses.
After all, it is in staying with the spirit of the Constitution of India that every Indian citizen and of course the Government has to support and develop scientific thinking and prevent the gullible from being taken for a ride.
I request you to spend two minutes of your time to sign our petition asking the Hon. Minister and Hon. Member of Parliament to clarify their association with this unscrupulous product and humbly request them to support the much-needed fight against magical remedies, quackery, and related scams.
Thank you for your support.
Update as on Monday, January 28, 2013 09:00 IST:
Thanks to the immense support of well-meaning folks on Twitter, later last night we saw a couple of responses on the topic from Mr Shashi Tharoor and Mr Naveen Jindal:
Here are the three tweets from Mr Shashi Tharoor posted as replies on the topic of the Tri-Vortex bangles:
@ShashiTharoor: @Alisaspeaks @Roflindian @shilpitewari By being asked by a friend to launch it. @MPNaveenJindal is the one who can answer your questions.
@ShashiTharoor: @dr_rita39 no business interest whatsoever. Was asked by a friend & fellow MP to launch it. @MPNaveenJindal does great work for the Tiranga
@ShashiTharoor: @Berges Not selling anything. I’ve launched 100 books&1 bangle, none mine. Didn’t feel they could do any harm. No1 is obliged2read/use them
Unfortunately, Mr Naveen Jindal looks fully taken in by the benefits of the Tri-vortex technology that power his Tirangaa bangles. Here are his two tweets on the topic:
@MPNaveenJindal: @ShashiTharoor @Alisaspeaks @Roflindian @shilpitewari Hv tried&benefitd frm d technology.Urge u2 do d same.Sply helps wid d Twittr trolls
@MPNaveenJindal: @maheshmurthy One can contest a scientific innovation but unfair to dismiss it without knowing enough about it
For now, I end this update with this tweet from Mahesh Murthy to the two parliamentarians:
@maheshmurthy: @MPNaveenJindal I request u & @ShashiTharoor to immediately dissociate with this fraud & stop millions of poor Indians from being taken in
More on this topic as it develops, via another post.
Thank you for your interest and support. Together we can and we will make a difference.