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Haldiram’s “Urdu” packaging on Falhari Mixture raising questions

IndiaHaldiram’s "Urdu" packaging on Falhari Mixture raising questions

A video going viral with a million views shows a news reporter questioning a store manager of a Haldiram outlet for the Urdu written on their packets.

The language that is used in the Falhari Mixture namkeen packet is not Urdu but is Arabic as Haldiram is an international brand so they sell their products in Gulf countries too.

The reporter was conducted by Sudarshan News, considered a very polarized news channel in India, who entered a Halidram store demanding the store manager why the descriptions at the back of the Halidram’s packets were written also in Urdu.

As of 2017, Halidram’s exports cross Rs 3 crore per month emerging as the largest exporter and exporting their products heavily to the Gulf countries which is why the writing was in Arabic. The surplus of the Haldiram international packets had come back to the Indian markets.

Of note, Haldiram crossed the $1 billion sales mark in India in 2020 after business doubled over the past four years, with consumers increasingly favoring packaged namkeen over western snacks.

What Happened at the Haldiram Store

The reporter was demanding the store manager why there was writing in Urdu on the Haldiram packers, (not reasoning intelligibly as it is evident that the store manager has nothing to do with the writing on the package).

The store manager reacted by saying, was it her concern and that this was not a social or public issue, to which the reporter replied, “It was a social and public issue.” While the reporter replied that it was her question why the writing on the package was also in Urdu, the store manager asked her whether her question was to her or to the public.

The reporter accused the store manager of hiding things and accused her of keeping up with lies by not answering her as to why the writing was in Urdu.

While others in the store tried to intervene, the store manager told the others to leave the matter because they are not here to “tell her anything.” The reporter quipped, “You are not going to tell me anything?” to which the store manager then exploded in anger and said, “You can do whatever you want because these kinds of tantrums, Halidrams is not going to entertain at all.”

The reporter waved the Falhari Mixture namkeen packet mockingly saying, “Halidrams is going to entertain this kind of tantrum.”

The store manager then said that the writing on the packet did not endanger anyone’s life or health habits.  The reporter kept on heckling the store manager as to why she wrote the descriptions in Urdu.

The store manager then told the reporter very firmly, “Ma’am, if you want to have this, you can have it, if you don’t want to have it, please keep it here and go from my outlet.  This is what I am telling you clearly because what you are doing is not acceptable at all and being an outlet unit, I am not going to accept this anymore.”

The reporter asked her if they were hiding that they used animal oil and the store manager told her to think about whatever she wanted and went on to say that just because the reporter thought she came with a camera and mike to say anything, go ahead and ask her any question.

The store manager was actually insinuating that if the reporter thought she could flaunt her power before the nation and was trying to intimidate the store manager to say anything out of fear, it was not going to work with her.

While the reporter kept insisting why it was written in Urdu, the store manager exasperated exclaimed that if something is written in English, Hindi, or in Urdu, read the language that one is familiar with, and why demand that the language she did not understand be removed because the descriptions are given for the benefit of different linguistic groups.

At this point, the security guard seemed to signal to the store manager to drop the matter, trying to pacify her.

At the end of the video, the store manager asks the reporter, clearly exasperated at her petty niggling “Why are you so bothered about the Urdu? It is also given to you in English and in Hindi to read.

Socially, the polarized climate in the nation charging up electrified reactions everywhere

The store manager was visibly upset because the social polarized climate in the nation was charging up electrified reactions everywhere.

A lot of people were saluting “this Haldiram lady for her wonderful response to the reporter’s uncivilized behavior” as they say.  Others wanted Haldiram to be boycotted.

The reporter had no idea what she was up for that day with the very highly spirited store manager who had clearly had enough of “tantrums.” The recent attacks on halal meat, hijab, and other riots with heckling and bullying by the right-wing were not going well with the silent majority and people are clearly reacting in different ways. While it might be going well for a radicalized extremist crowd, a lot of others in India are troubled and tired by the economy, lack of jobs, and health issues.

Haldiram Exports Globally and Widely to Arabic Nations Which is Why Writing in Arabic

Haldiram’s is an Indian multinational sweet, snacks, and restaurant company headquartered in Nagpur, Maharashtra. The company has manufacturing plants in a wide variety of locations such as Nagpur, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Rudrapur, and Noida. The founder is Shivkisan Agrawal founded in 1937, in Bikaner doing now very successfully with a global business that is highly concentrated in the Gulf countries.  The packaging was mainly for the international market which got mixed up with the Indian market and caused this mad flurry of reactions in some crowds in India.

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