A video of Sikh man criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi on how Sikh men have been branded ‘Khalistanis’ for participating in the farmers’ protest has created quite a stir online.
Navbharat Times (archived link) reported that the man in the viral video is a Punjabi singer and actor Goldy Manepuria who is posing as an Indian army man.
In the opening 30-seconds of the video, Manepuria can be heard saying, “Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, I want to tell you one thing, a few days ago when I wore the uniform [points at the jacket] at China border, I was a patriot. But when I removed this uniform and stood at the Delhi border, I became a traitor, a terrorist and a Khalistani. Your Godi media [mainstream media] has used these names while addressing me. I would like to give a suggestion to you, call any CO [commanding officer] of Sikh regiment and check how the morale of the troops has been affected since the farmers’ protest began. They will let you know. If there is unrest back home, no trooper can focus on his duty wholeheartedly…” The video, shared by @India_Resists, was also quote-tweeted by Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar. (Archived links 1,2)
A jawan asks questions, will bhakts and their god respond?#FarmersProtest pic.twitter.com/nmYFOj3auq
— India Resists (@India_Resists) December 28, 2020
Several Facebook and Twitter users have posted a screenshot of Navbharat Times article along with the same claim.
Twitter user @BefittingFacts tweeted Manepuria’s video on January 3. It gained over 2,000 retweets. This account has posted misinformation on multiple occasions in the past. (Archived link)
He is Goldy Manepuria, punjabi singer and actor. Whatever he said in video is completly false. His album BPL Card was launched in 2016. Also he is an Aapiya. Hope @adgpi @NorthernComd_IA will take action against this man. @DelhiPolice @rajnathsingh @DefenceMinIndia https://t.co/7I12hpSP4P pic.twitter.com/ji5CoraQpT
— Via Getty (@BefittingFacts) January 3, 2021
OpIndia tweeted, “The ‘Jawan’ asking ‘questions’ to PM Modi on farm laws in viral video may not be a ‘Jawan’. Here is what we know.”
The ‘Jawan’ asking ‘questions’ to PM Modi on farm laws in viral video may not be a ‘Jawan’. Here is what we knowhttps://t.co/ZSOl1IG6dw
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) January 3, 2021
Facebook user Gaurav Pradhan made a similar post that gained close to 1,000 likes and reactions. (Archived link)
फर्जी आन्दोलन के फर्जी किरदार ……..
किसान आन्दोलन में वायरल हुआ वीडियो सोशल मीडिया में एक वीडियो वायरल हुआ है जिसमे…
Posted by Pradhan Gaurav on Monday, 4 January 2021
Manepuria is a former army officer
The viral video was indeed uploaded by Instagram user Goldy Manepuria on December 28.
Alt News spoke with Manepuria who informed, “My official name is Manjinder Singh. Goldy Manepuria is my nickname. Both the images in Navbhart Times article are of me.”
The second image is from the YouTube thumbnail of his song Neat Peg. It was uploaded on August 2020 and has less than 200 views. “I’m not a full-time singer. It’s just a passion project,” he further added.
Singh clarified that the social media claims are false. “I served in the Indian Army from 2002 to 2018 in 175 Regiment (Medium), an artillery unit of the Indian army. During which I have been posted on multiple border posts,” he said. Manepuria also presented identity proof that established his association with the Indian army.
Since the controversy, Singh shared multiples images from his term in the Indian army. Here’s one of them.
On January 4, The Tribune published a story on Singh after he made arrangements to pay for diesel bills to sustain the farmers’ protest. The Tribune also addressed him as “Goldy Manepuria, ex-army man.”
This was earlier fact-checked by The Logical Indian.
Readers should note that in the viral video Singh said, “I want to tell you one thing, a few days ago when I wore the uniform [points at the jacket] at China border, I was a patriot.” However, he is currently not a serving officer. As mentioned before, he was in the army from 2002 to 2018.
After Singh posted an Instagram video criticising Prime Minister Modi, the video was shared with the false claim he isn’t associated with the Indian Army. The false claim that he is an imposter posing as an army man was amplified by Navbharat Times.
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