Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Social Media- In the times of Medical Emergency

Despite the fact that even the scientists around the globe are struggling to find the cure of deadly Novel Coronavirus, Patanjali was successful to find it in Coronil and swasari. When Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda claimed that they developed a cure for Covid -19 and it has also shown promising results to patients except for those who are on Ventilators or in critical condition.

While the two parallel narratives started during this time. On one hand, Narendra Modi government’s AYUSH ministry has asked to stop the Patanjali social media campaign which was claiming coronil to be the covid-19 cure. On the other hand, the company deny the fact that they mentioned “coronavirus” in the application seeking license. This incident questions the social media authenticity and what this information matter during this medical situation and Global pandemic. And how the company strategically dealt with the criticism?

Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google, Tik-Tok or any other social media platform there’s no such way to check the facts regarding the post. If people like it, the information will trend despite the fact that the information was supposed to be stopped from spreading as per the orders of Government. So in these times, the users are left with no choice but to be in the confused state of what to believe or what not to. It was not the first time that Patanjali was facing criticism, during its launch of Patanjali Atta noodles they were accused of not having the permission to launch it while they were rigid on the fact that they had. In 2016, the retailing platform for India’s defence forces, the canteen stores department (CSD), suspended the sale of Patanjali’s flagship Amla juice after it was deemed unfit for consumption. These controversies are not any exception for the company; they have dealt with it and came out of it. Ramdev being the face of Patanjali always remains as brand value of the public trust. Their advertising propaganda “Swadeshi” fits well with the recent popular party BJP’s agenda “Make in India”. The emotional feeling of Nationalism was always seen as a rebound for all the controversies which revolves around the Company.

During this Coronil Controversy many questions were raised on the platforms that are responsible for spreading Misinformation. Can platforms take action in all such situations? Should they? Why don’t governments regulate them? Is it more effective for platforms to work alone or together? But before this it is important to address the fact that information is also purposely spread in the form of propaganda. To counter various controversies company do run social media campaigns in order to protect their brand value. And this is how Patanjali is still there in this competition despite facing several controversies.

They used hashtags like “Divya corona Kit” and various tweets and posts saying “India has found a solution that the world is looking for”. It has induced the feeling of accomplishment that even if they faced controversy of claiming it as a ‘coronavirus cure’. People started using it as a precautionary medicine. The Swadeshi element always helps Patanjali to survive and recover from all those controversies. Moreover, the mainstream media also plays an important role in giving the company all the positive campaign that they require to sustain the reliable image.

Manasvi Srivastava
Manasvi is keen to watch things with her inquisitive lenses; she tends to find answers of all her curiosities. She is currently pursuing her graduation in journalism from Kalindi College, University of Delhi.

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