Fact Check: From Kanhaiya Kumar Embracing Islam To "Photo" Of Tipu Sultan
We are the internet generation that tends to trust information circulated on its social media feed, WhatsApp messages, web searches, and general online news from sources that we consider legitimate.
Sitting at our desktops and smartphones, we mostly accept the news thrown at us without verifying its genuineness.
Here is a breakdown of fake/false stories that circulated on social media and was shared by media houses and public personalities to spread misinformation in the past week.
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tweets misleading video of Kanhaiya Kumar
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, on November 12, tweeted a 35-second clipping of a video featuring Kanhaiya Kumar. He captioned it with, “Azaadi premi, #UrbanNaxals ke maseeha, tukdon ke paigambar, Secular Janaab Kanhaiya taking about his religion publicly.”
— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) November 12, 2018
In this video, Kumar can be heard saying, “Our history is linked to this place. We all haven’t walked all the way from Arab to this country. We have grown up here and the speciality of that religion…and the older religions that practised untouchability was the reason why people embraced this religion. Because this (religion) talks of peace, of equality. In the mosque, social hierarchy is not practised. On this basis, we have embraced this religion and we will not leave it,” as reported by Boomlive. Agnihotri, through this video, is trying to imply that Kumar has embraced Islam.
An investigation by Boomlive revealed that the said clipping is a part of a 34-minute video. This video is from August at an event in Nanded where he spoke of Islamophobia and need for education about Muslim community in India.
Kumar was actually quoting Maulana Abdul Kalam( at 11.49 minute). Another part of the clipping (at 15.04 minute) tweeted by Agnihotri, where Kanhaiya is saying “Allah taala will protect us”, too has been taken out of context. In reality, here Kumar was referring to politicians, under the garb of fake promises try to invoke communal feelings. He was asking Muslims to tell such politicians that they don’t need to be saved, Allah would save them.
Fake picture being circulated as “Tipu Sultan’s real image”
Tipu Sultan, an 18th-century ruler of Mysore Kingdom has off lately become a controversial figure. The recently concluded Tipu Jayanti celebrations had the whole nation divided.
Around the same time, an alleged photo of Tipu Sultan has been going viral. It has been tweeted by BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay and a BJP MLA Ramesh Mendola. It was soon found out by various publications that the image was not of Tipu Sultan, but of a slave trader from Tanzania, Tippu Tib.
A further investigation by Alt News revealed that this image was neither of Tipu Sultan or Tippu Tib, but of another 19th-century slave trader Mohammed Bin Khalfan (alias Rumaliza) of Zanzibar.
False claims stating temple discovered upon demolition of Mosque
A Twitter handle with the name @umagarghi tweeted a photo and captioned it, “When a mosque was demolished in Raichur in Karnataka for widening road they have found this temple. We need to demolish all mosques.”
Turns out that this image with similar description has been floating on the internet since 2016.
As reported by Alt News, one could clearly see the logo of some “Chandra Colourist”. Chandra Colourist had posted this image on Facebook in 2016. In one of the comments when asked about where the image was taken, the account Chandra Colourist replied that it was his digital creation.
It has also been found that the artist was probably inspired from Longmen Grottoes-Fengxiang temple stone Buddhas in Luoyang, Henan, China.
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.
To all the political parties and leaders, ruling or opposition, please don’t be a part of the problem. Be part of the solution. For a better future, for a better nation.