Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Fact Check: Social media’s Tata twist to Air India’s Bhangra moves

Avideo of some men in traditional Punjabi attire playing the dhol inside an aircraft much to the amusement of passengers is circulating on social media. Many of the passengers are seen clapping and clicking pictures of the men.

The video is circulating with the claim that this was Tata Air India’s first flight from India to Canada. Tata Group has recently taken over India’s flag carrier airline.

One Facebook user shared the video with the caption, “Tata Air India first flight to Canada from India. Best Wishes for the Maharaja of Air India to conquer the hearts of all International Air passengers once again and spread India’s rich cultural heritage throughout the world. Jai Hind”.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that the viral video is from 2018. It shows the celebrations before the first flight took off from Birmingham, United Kingdom, to Amritsar after a gap of eight years.

Also, as per news reports, Tata is expected to begin operating Air India by January 2022.

Upon close observation, one can see the watermark of a Tiktok handle “@kinggm68” on the top left corner of the video.

Since Tiktok is banned in India, it gave us a clue that the video might not be recent. Using VPN service, we accessed the account and found that it belongs to King Gurcharan Mall, a dhol player and bhangra teacher based in the UK.

Mall had shared the same video on YouTube on March 9, 2018. The video was captioned, “Dhol blasters playing inside Air India Flight”.

“India Today” had also carried the viral video on February 23, 2018, in one of its reports. The report said Air India had resumed flights between India and Birmingham after eight years and this happy moment was celebrated with a bhangra performance.

We contacted Mall to know more about the viral video. He confirmed to AFWA that the video indeed shows him and his band “Dhol Blasters”. Air India had booked the band to perform just before the first flight took off from Birmingham to Amritsar after eight years. “However, I had to delete the video from TikTok as some people were posting objectionable comments about the women seen there,” he added.

09/11/21 Jyoti Dwivedi/India Today

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