Wednesday 6 February 2013

Attempting some Respectful Insolence on the Tiranga Bangle nonsense

I figured Orac might like to heap a steaming pile of insolence and generally name and shame a couple of prominent members of the Indian parliament, who have launched and promoted a metallic band called the "Tiranga Bangle".

In addition to being a shameful attempt at capitalising on the general patriotism of Indians (the Indian flag is called the "Tiranga", which means "tri-colour"), the manufacturer of these bands is a marketer called Dr. Anton Ungerer. He runs a company called TriVortex, which makes these bands and claims [PDF warning] that these bands can relieve arthritic pain, help lower electromagnetic sensitivity, synchronise internal and external energy flows, and that eternal woomeister favourite: detoxification.
As you may well have guessed, none of these claims are backed up by anything resembling competent or legitimate studies, and instead rely on cherry-picked anecdotes, dubious marketing and general woo about "trinity in duality", "light, sound and geometry", and "bio mimicry" [PDF warning].
The saddest part of all this is that the two MPs in question (Shashi Tharoor and Naveen Jindal) are considered quite young and 'intellectual' in comparison to their peers, and widely regarded as being future prominent faces in Indian politics.

In his very vague defense, Tharoor (a PhD, incidentally) put up a post attempting to dissociate himself with the entire kerfuffle, but still ended up resorting to mental contortions like, "my launching the product does not in any way amount to an endorsement of any of the claims associated with it."
The latter, however, has doubled down on his support for the 'technology'. He obviously has a vested interest in its success as the bands are being sold and distributed by his "Flag Foundation of India".