Store manager

Haldiram trends after reporter challenged store manager over ‘Urdu’ text on snack packaging

A Haldiram outlet in Delhi-NCR found itself in the midst of an unsavory controversy on Tuesday over an ‘Urdu’ description of the ingredient list on the back of its ‘Falhari Mixture’ package, which is essentially a lightly spiced, sweet-salty mix of peanuts and crispy potato strips.

Currently, devout and observant Hindus fast during ‘Chaitra Navratri’; however, austerities allow the consumption of mass-produced “fast” foods, it seems.

But what seemed to particularly resonate with Hindi TV news reporter Sudarshan was the ‘Urdu’ wording on the back of the packet of snacks, which she thought the public needed to be enlightened about. So she entered the NCR store and, brandishing a packet of said “Falhari mix”, questioned the store manager at length about it. A video of their exchange went viral on Twitter after the news channel aired the clip.

The clip shows the reporter asking the female manager what a ‘lie’ the desi snack giant was serving or trying to ‘hide’ from the public in ‘Urdu’ on its back. The sensible manager is clear that there is no problem, the food is not a health hazard, and the reporter is throwing a tantrum she is not ready to sustain. The reporter retaliates by waving the package and saying it’s normal for the company to “throw a tantrum” (the package description). The manager says the reporter can take it or leave it and the package is dropped off; a policeman can be seen picking it up and trying to decipher what is written on it, while a curious crowd of onlookers are seen in the background.

The episode led to an outpouring of “Krack Jack” tweets and here’s a generous sampling and some crucial information. The language on the packaging was not Urdu, but Arabic, as the packaging was intended to be sold in the Gulf market. It is common practice for companies marketing products overseas to have ingredient lists in English, French, Spanish, etc., as required.

Alishan [email protected]_jafri: Incredible restraint by Haldiram staff. BTW Sudarshan’s ‘sherni’ should know it’s Arabic not Urdu. Haldiram exports to several Muslim-majority countries that buy Indian products indiscriminately.

Rana [email protected]: Urdu is an Indian language. Period

[email protected]: Why can’t these idiots use Google Translate instead of torturing poor shop assistants?

[email protected]: This foolish reporting girl also needs to learn how to use the G lens. I translated it and found that *Made in India* was written on the Haldiram package in Arabic. It is a rather proud moment that our products are sold in other countries and languages. #Haldirams #Halal

Amitabh [email protected]: She should have asked the reporter to look at an Indian banknote – see that it had Urdu on it, then stop using the currency afterwards.

[email protected]: What is that policeman doing in the background? Just listen to the conversation?

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: Are you ok Hon. Minister I&B @ianuragthakurji? Should the chain start harassing employees for their TRP and creating more hate? Shouldn’t we act?

Another Twitter user wrote, “Haldiram uses URDU printing on their Falhari Mixture package – do they serve halal food at ‘H’?”

Yet another said: “It is Bikaji bhujia…Instead of Hindi…Urdu language is written…. How many % of Indians know Urdu….. Hindi is our national language…. They, why Urdu is written “

Posted: Wednesday, April 06, 2022, 11:35 PM IST