Newspapers strike this April Fools’ Day - Mihir's Impressions

April Fools’ Day is an old custom celebrated every year on the first day of April. It is celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, both the jokes and their victims being known as "April fools".

05 Apr 2014 | By Mihir Joshi

Hoax stories may be reported by the press and other media on this day and explained on subsequent days. The origin of the tradition dates back to the middle ages, it is said that those who continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1st after the 1582 implementation of the Gregorian Christian calendar were often as "fools".

Many newspapers celebrate April Fools’ Day by publishing hoax stories which is sometimes wishful thinking and sometimes involves outrageous fact twisting. Here are some claims that have been revealed to be deliberate public hoaxes, published as April Fools’ Day hoax this year.

The Times of India

As our country heads towards one of the most crucial general elections in recent memory, Times of India took April Fools’ Day to point out how political campaigning and discourse in the world’s largest democracy has deteriorated to new lows as members of all political parties have shunned the issues that plague the nation and have resorted to petty name calling and personal attacks on their political opponents.




Hindustan Times

All Hindustan times edition across the nation carried a news story that Akshay Kumar and Hollywood leading lady Megan Fox were poised to work in an upcoming Bollywood movie. Alas! It was just prank.  Akshay Kumar and the upcoming movie’s director Abhishek Kapoor were in on the prank. Abhishek Sharma said, “Happy April Fools’ everyone ... sadly, it is not Megan Fox starring in my next film Shaukeen. As prestigious as that would be, I would never give up on my beloved Bollywood ... I was playing a prank on my producers and heroine, who I am delighted to announce it is yet to be confirmed.”

We wonder how Megan Fox feels about this prank.


English media take a dig at the Scottish Referendum
The Scottish independence referendum on September 18 provided the subject matter for most of the traditional spoofs in Britain's largely London-based tabloids and broadsheets on April 1.

The Guardian carried a detailed report on supposedly secret plans by the Scottish government to show it is "part of Europe" by switching driving on the left of the road to the right and changing the "M" for motorway on signs to "S" for Scotland.

The Times said that an elderly German aristocrat, Ferdinand, Duke of Saxony, hoped to use Scottish independence as a chance to reclaim the throne of Scotland from Queen Elizabeth II.

The Independent meanwhile said the United Nations was drawing up plans for a peacekeeping mission to prevent cross-border tensions in case of independence, including pre-arranged "face-offs" modelled on the Hollywood film "Braveheart".

The UN peacekeepers would replace their traditional blue helmets for fear the colour would be seen as a sign of support for Scottish independence, and replace them with "neutral" purple berets, it said.