In a video that is going viral on social media, an Indian minister, Arjun Ram Meghwal, has claimed that a brand of papad (a thin crispy cracker, or flatbread, eaten as a snack or accompaniment with Indian meals) has ingredients to fight the novel coronavirus, causing Twitter users to slam the unscientific claims while trolling him.
In the clip, Meghwal, currently India's Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, is seen talking about the ingredients of a brand called ‘Bhabhi ji papad’ and says that it helps “develop antibodies” needed to fight against COVID-19.
Meghwal is also seen congratulating the brand’s owner, Sunil Bhansali, on the launch of the product, and saying that he hopes the venture will be “successful” under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, aimed to promote local production, launched by the central government of India.
The brand of papad claims it is an “immunity booster” with “healthy ingredients” like turmeric, black pepper, black cumin, holy basil leaves, asafoetida, lentils, salt, and other spices.
On Friday, the video was released and soon started circulating on Twitter.
Sharing the clip, @AnyBodyCanFly wrote: “MoS (Minister of State) Arjun Ram Meghwal launches Bhabhi ji papad, says it will help people fight coronavirus. ‘It will be very helpful in fighting coronavirus and in developing antibodies’, he says.”
The clip garnered several comments from users trolling the politician.
Using sarcasm to mock Meghwal, @rockyandmayur tweeted: “Fry them and spread them all around your house on the ground. When people approach, the crackling will warn you [so you can] come out and tell them to keep social distance, and corona[virus] will be prevented. Simple.”
Twitter user @KhanHamid__ joked: ”Now papad will help in fighting people coronavirus. WHO (World Health Organisation): Am I joke to you?”