A 30 second clip of a school play performed on Independence Day is going viral on social media with users claiming that Bharat Mata was depicted with a hijab and forced to perform namaz. Newschecker found the video shared out of context giving the incident a communal colour.
Twitter user @VoiceOfPepole was among the users who shared the video with the caption ‘A #viralvideo on SM claiming to be from Shishu Bharatiya School, Lucknow: Bharat Mata’s crown is being removed and She is shown bowing down & offering Namaz.’
Newschecker found similar claims with different captions on Twitter.
Fact Check /Verification
We started our investigation by conducting a reverse search image on the key-frames of the viral video to ascertain its authenticity and found a longer version of the video uploaded on Twitter by The Times of India journalist Arvind Chauhan on 15th August, 2022 along with a statement from the teacher Pragati Nigam who choreographed the play.
In the longer version of the video it is clear that a girl, dressed as Bharat Mata, is seen being worshipped in Hindu, Islamic, Sikh and Christian customs respectively.
The school teacher in the video says “The popular video is a lie. My goal was to unite the four major religions. I didn’t mean to offend anyone’s religious sensibilities. I urge everyone to view the full video.”
The longer version of the video has also been tweeted by the Police Commissionerate Lucknow’s handle along with the caption which reads “Full video of drama presented by small children for communal harmony, which has been wrongly propagated by some anti-social elements and criminal act of spreading communal hatred has been done. Strict legal action will be taken against such people.” when translated via Google translate.
The Lucknow Police Commissionerate also tweeted a statement from the official handle regarding the now viral video. The statement says “A video posted on social media, where a girl costumed as Bharat Mata is forced to do namaz after having her crown taken off. We have investigated the video and found that the said video is from Shishu Bharatiya Vidyalaya, Malviya Nagar Police Station, Bazarkhala. We reached out to the principal of the school and watched the entire video and found that school students staged a skit. The skit’s theme is one of communal harmony, and it urges people to uphold peace and refrain from engaging in conflicts over religion. Twitter users have misled others by using a clipped section of the video. An investigation has already been initiated.”
Newschecker’s investigation revealed that the viral 30 second video of Bharat Mata being forced to do namaz has been cropped and shared out of context. Newschecker found that longer version of the video shows Bharat Mata being worshipped in Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh religions respectively.
Result: Missing Context
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