This post was first made on the Aam Aadmi Party Facebook group and has been shared over 15,000 times.
It talks about a BJP MP, Ashok Saxena, who reportedly said that if people use solar energy then the Sun God will become angry. The post further claims that because of this statement some BJP workers destroyed solar panels. The post was accompanied by a video that showed people breaking solar panels with hammer and sticks.
The twist in the tale? Ashok Saxena does not exist.
There are two BJP MPs called Ashok. One is Ashok Kumar Doharey from Uttar Pradesh and another, Ashok Mahadeorao Nete from Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha. There is no BJP MP called Ashok in Rajya Sabha.
The video, which shows people hammering and breaking the solar panels, first surfaced online in February. Workers from Maharashtra were not paid their wages and they protested by breaking solar panels. The video was uploaded by Climate Samurai on their Youtube channel. They are a news portal that focuses entirely on renewable energy, environment and climate-related coverage. The video was uploaded with the title “Solar Modules at 100 Mw solar plant in Maharashtra destroyed due to non-payment of wages.”
Gargi Rawat, NDTV’s anchor and an environmental journalist also shared the video back in February.
This fake news has been shared widely on social media.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.