“Sikhs never asked for reservation. A nation develops through hard work and not through reservation” (translated). This message, along with a photograph of a charred truck with a Sikh gentleman along side is being shared widely on Facebook. On April 3, this message was posted on the Facebook page Agle 20 saal tak Modi which has over 6 lakh followers. The caption accompanying this photograph and the message said, “What lumpen activity in the name of the great Ambedkar. Please go and read Ambedkar first”.

महान आंबेडकर का नाम लेकर किस तरह की यह गुंडागर्दी। जाओ पहले आंबेडकर को पढ़ो।

Posted by अगले २० साल तक मोदी. on Monday, April 2, 2018

The timing of this post is significant, coming only a day after Bharat bandh was declared on April 2 by Dalit groups to protest against the March 20 Supreme Court verdict that diluted the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. This post on the page Agle 20 saal tak Modi has been shared more than 2,700 times. It has also been posted on the Facebook group We Support Narendra Modi which has over 26 lakh members.

Did this incident occur during Bharat bandh protest on April 2?

This incident had occurred during the Jat agitation for reservation that had rocked Haryana in February 2016. This particular photograph was carried by the Indian Express in an article dated April 26, 2016.

This photo was posted earlier as well on March 10 by the Facebook page Nation First, and the share count stood at a staggering 167,000.

Reservation is a contentious issue that has sharply divided opinion on social media and otherwise. Regardless of the merits or demerits of the reservation policy which is a matter of endless debate, sharing fake messages only serves to intensify this divide. This photograph is in no way related to the Bharat bandh protests of April 2.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.