Whatsapp dumps such a lot of false information on me that it has stopped being funny anymore. I seriously feel that it is time to uninstall the messaging app and spend my valuable time doing something else. Simultaneously, I cannot deny that Whatsapp gives me plenty of ideas for blog posts. So I guess I will stick to the app for some more time.
Now consider this message about UNESCO declaring the Indian national anthem as the best in the world.
I have not posted the entire message here because it is too long. And I have no issues with the entire message, just with the part that claims that the UNESCO has declared the Indian national anthem as the best in the world. The rest of the message gives a word-by-word explanation of the national anthem, which is perfectly fine.
The UNESCO has already informed India Today that it has not declared the national anthem of any country as the best in the world. You can read the original India Today report here.
In 2008, when the message first began making its rounds through emails and Facebook, India Today wrote to UNESCO seeking clarification. Sue Williams, Chief Editorial, Press Relations and UNESCO Courier, Bureau of Public Information, UNESCO, replied that the UNESCO has not made any such announcement. She wrote: “We are aware of several blogs in India reporting this story, but can assure you that UNESCO has made no such announcement concerning the anthem of India or any country.”
If the UNESCO had made such an announcement, it would have received worldwide media coverage. Indian newspapers would have been full of it, but nobody remembers reading news of this declaration or watching it on TV. The international media is also silent about it.
If the UNESCO had made such an announcement, it would have published the same on its website. But the UNESCO website remains silent about it simply because the international organization has never declared the national anthem of India or any other country as the best.
Someone began spreading this lie in 2008, possibly with the intention of getting more traffic for their website. Obviously, it did not occur to them that they were spreading a falsehood and playing with the sentiments of millions of Indians.
Unfortunately, people have still not stopped falling for it. Ever since I started using Whatsapp in early 2015, I have received this message twice, and it looks like I will keep receiving it many times. And Indians will continue believing this message because it makes them feel good.