हम भारत बंद करना जानते है, तो हम भारत जलाना भी जानते हैं” “If we know how to shut down India, we also know how to burn it too” (translated). A provocative statement threatening to burn India has been attributed to Dalit organisation, Bhim Army’s chief, Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan by Zee News Hindi and News18. According to articles by these two media outlets, speaking at a Dalit event in Muzaffarnagar, Chandrashekhar reportedly said that the crowd is only waiting for his signal, if we can shut down India, we can burn it too. There is a limit to our patience, there is a limit of the atrocities too” (translated) “जितनी भीड़ यहां खड़ी है, उसे सिर्फ एक बार मेरे इशारे का इंतजार है. अगर हम भारत बंद करना जानते हैं, तो हम भारत को जलाना भी जानते हैं. हमारे सब्र का इम्तिहान नहीं लिया जाए, एक सीमा होती है उत्पीड़न की भी”

The reports predictably led to an outrage and reaction on social media. A twitter user, @shrialokmishra, who describes himself as a nationalist, threatened to use the same fire to make a biryani out of those threatening to burn India and feed it to the dogs. “Try it and watch the fun”, he tweeted.

What’s the truth?

Did Chandrashekhar Azad really make a controversial statement threatening to burn down India? Alt News accessed the video recording of the event to confirm if he indeed made such a statement. His statement can be heard starting 1:30 in the following video clip.

[youtube https://youtu.be/ljS8k3OzPCI?t=81]


It is evident from the video clipping that Chandrashekhar said “भारत चलाना” and not “भारत जलाना” (“run India” and not “burn India”). We slowed the video down and listened to that specific portion of the speech in a loop. In the slow-motion video, it even more clear that Chandrashekhar said “Chalana” and not “Jalana”.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/315073201]


To make sure that there was no element of misinterpretion, Alt News also listened to older speeches of Chandrashekhar and found that he has made the same claim about the ability of Bhim Sena to run India (“भारत चलाना”) in another speech as well. At 2:07 in the speech below, Chandrashekhar makes the same statement that he’s made in the present rally.

भीम आर्मी प्रमुख की कल दिल्ली में दहाड़

जब भी अधिकारों की लड़ाई लड़ी जाएगी , चन्द्र शेखर सबसे आगे रहेगा

माँगने से भीख मिलेगी
अधिकार छीनने पड़ेंगे

कल अधिकारों के लिए किए जा रहे संघर्ष में दिल्ली पहुंचे सभी साथियो को साधुवाद,

कल दिल्ली में 13 पॉइंट रोस्टर नियम के विरोध प्रदर्शन में भीम आर्मी की तरफ से समर्थन करते हुए , भीम आर्मी प्रमुख चन्द्र शेखर आजाद ,

जय भीम , जय भीम आर्मी
जय बहुजन , जय सँविधान

Posted by BHIM ARMY on Thursday, 31 January 2019

Tweeting from his twitter handle, Chandrashekhar slammed Zee TV and News18 for being anti-Dalit and wrote that he had said “भारत चलाना” not “भारत जलाना” (“run India” and not “burn India”). He also threatened legal action against them.

Chandrashekhar also published a video statement on his Twitter account.

In a conversation with Alt News, Chandrashekhar reiterated that he had been misquoted by Zee News and News18. Till the time of writing the article, there was no official statement or apology from the two media outlets.