“नरेंद्र मोदी को हटाने के लिए शिवलिंग में भी चप्पल मारनी पड़ी तो मैं मरूंगा (Even if I have to hit a Shivling with a chappal in order to remove Narendra Modi, I would do it -translated)” is a statement ascribed to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in a purported screen grab from an Aaj Tak broadcast. This image was circulated by a Facebook page, I Support Narendra Bhai Modi Bjp (formerly known as Bjp All India), which Alt News had exposed as a constant source of misinformation. At the time of writing this article, the aforementioned post was shared close to 3500 times.

Several social media users had also shared this image on Facebook. An individual post in the Facebook group, BJP Social Media with more than 7 lakh members was shared more than 4000 times.

Facebook pages like फिर एक बार मोदी सरकार and BJP Khargone Barwani had also circulated this same image which has accumulated a combined share count above 3600.

Statement not made by Tharoor

Alt News had reported how Shashi Tharoor was ridiculed by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for an analogy comparing Prime Minister to a scorpion sitting on a shivling. While speaking at Bangalore Literature Festival on October 28, Shashi Tharoor had quoted an unnamed RSS source from a 2012 article of The Caravan “There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to the journalist Vinod Jose of The Caravan which I quote here. In which they expressed their frustration in their inability to curb Modi. And the man says Mr. Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a shivling, you cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either.”, he said. The aforementioned context is suffice to conclude that the statement ascribed to Tharoor in the screen grab is completely false.

In a video clip of the same news channel, a similar visual can be seen without the viral quote falsely ascribed to Tharoor.

The probable screen grab which has been shared can be seen at 0:16 minutes in the above video. A screenshot of the same is posted below.

A Facebook page, Social Tamasha had also falsely ascribed the statement about PM Modi and the shivling to Tharoor, when the statement had actually been made by an RSS source in 2012 as explained above. The post was also shared by a Facebook page, India 272+ which was at the forefront of the 2014 general election campaign for PM Modi.

Shashi Tharoor had quoted a statement from an unnamed RSS source from a 2012 article, which was twisted by several BJP leaders. On the basis of this, numerous pages ran political propaganda in an organised manner. The photoshopped screen grab was an attempt to portray Tharoor’s dislike for the PM to such an extent that he is willing to desecrate his own religion.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.