The soaring prices of onions have left the nation in shock. With the Indian government taking initiatives like cutting down stockholding of onions by 50 percent to banning exports of the key ingredient in foods, the price of onions still hasn't returned to normal.

Even as consumers and MPs protest against the onion price hike, the social media is abuzz with discussions, suggestions and some ideas on how to control inflation. But one particular message that is being widely circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms have caught a lot of attention.

The WhatsApp forward making the rounds of the internet, also spotted on social media platforms like Facebook, is aiming to put the popular theory of economics - Demand and Supply - into practice to bring down the price of onions in India. IBTimes India received the viral forward message via WhatsApp, but its origin is unclear. At the end of the message, the curator is identified as "Share Care" with a cyclone emoji between the two words. We were unable to link the curator to any social media group or organisation, which means it was created by an individual at best.

An Indian farmer packs onions for sale in market in a field
An Indian farmer packs onions for sale in market in a field some 30kms north of Chandigarh on May 8, 2016. / AFP / PRAKASH SINGHPRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Here's how the message goes:

"Japanese have a tradition wherein for sometimes they stop consuming anything that has witnessed an unprecedented price hike.

This leads to a fall in the prices of that commodity.

We should also either completely stop or minimise consuming Onions just for a month or 15 days.

This will have a demoralising effect on hoarders of onions.

Not only that it will also bring down the prices within one week or ten days.

Its a matter of Demand and Supply

No Onions Month

Dec, 2019

Spread the word to as many people you can. Let's see if this small initiative of yours can help bring down the prices of onions.

Don't treat as another forward. Let's follow it seriously this month.


A worker packs onion bags at a wholesale vegetable market in ChandigarhReuters

If you received this message in a group or individual chat, it is because of its viral nature. But our fact check desk was able to find some inconsistencies with the message. Although the demand and supply theory holds true, there is no source to verify a Japanese tradition of the kind mentioned in the message. Moreover, the practicality of the message is quite challenging.

The onion saga

As the onion prices are skyrocketing, ranging anywhere between Rs 80-Rs 200 depending on the quality, Amidst the outcry against the inflation, a lot of memes have made it online, giving this serious issue a lighter tone. Memes depicting how onion is stronger than US dollar, people trading onions instead of currency and storing onions in lockers like jewellery have given people new material to share online for humour. The viral WhatsApp forward, though not a meme, joins the flood of onion-related messages being circulated on the web.