The 28th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) was inaugurated at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in the city on Thursday, December 15, in the presence of Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Sourav Ganguly and a host of politicians and film personalities from Bengal and Mumbai.

Present on the dais during the programme among the dignitaries was the singer, Arijit Singh, who hails from Bengal. When he was delivering a speech Banerjee asked him to sing a song and he obliged.

In this context, BJP leader and in-charge of the party’s information technology department Amit Malviya shared a tweet the next day claiming when the CM asked Singh to sing something, he chose the song ‘Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua’. Malviya, who is also the co-in-charge of BJP in West Bengal, said in his tweet that Singh had actually intended to remind Banerjee the future of the state was saffron. (Archive)

Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, too, shared the video with a similar claim. (Archive)

The same 18-second clip was also tweeted by Neelkant Bakshi, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as a ‘Proud Karyakarta’ of BJP. (Archive)

Fact Check

If one watches the video closely, it becomes apparent that between the 10th and 11th second mark there is a break.

Looking for the complete clip, Alt News found the live recording of the entire inauguration ceremony on the Facebook page of Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Singer Arijit Singh can be seen at the microphone from the 1.23.33-hour mark to 1.25.10. It can be seen in the video that when Singh says he will sing something, someone from the dais requests him to perform the song ‘Bojhena Sey Bojhena’ (a popular Bengali film-song by Singh), he says, “SRK is in front of me. How can I sing something else.. So I’ll quickly sing two lines.”

Singh then sings a line each from the requested Bengali song and the song ‘Rang De Tu Mohe Gerua’ from the 2015 Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Dilwale’ to a thunderous applause from the crowd. (From the 1.24.30-hour mark) In the 18-second video shared by Maviya and others, the Bengali song has been clipped out.

Singh’s speech and the songs can be heard in the following video:

So it is clear that Amit Malviya and the Bengal state BJP chief, among others, shared a clipped and edited video to push the narrative that Singh sang the song ‘Gerua’ which had a political message for Mamata Banerjee.

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About the Author

Indradeep, a journalist with over 10 years' experience in print and digital media, is a Senior Editor at Alt News. Earlier, he has worked with The Times of India and The Wire. Politics and literature are among his areas of interest.