Aamir Khan’s film Laal Singh Chaddha has been released in the midst of a wave of controversy. Outraged by an old statement made by Khan, Hindu organizations announced that they would boycott the film, and called the actor anti-Hindu. A related hashtag campaign has also been circulating online for several days. Against this backdrop, a picture of a group of people holding a poster of the film is viral on social media. It has been claimed that the group pictured here had come to protest against the film.
Aaj Tak used the photo as the thumbnail of an article with the caption, “Protest against Laal Singh Chaddha in Jalandhar”. The outlet later removed the picture and replaced it with a file photo of the film. (Archived link)
BJP leader Arun Yadav tweeted the picture and wrote, “Protest against Laal Singh Chaddha in Jalandhar, slogans of Aamir Khan Murdabad (Down with Aamir Khan) raised.” (Archived link)
Sadhvi Prachi also made a similar claim while sharing the photo on Facebook.
Alt News performed a reverse image search of the viral photo, this led us to an article by The Indian Express carrying a picture which resembles the one in circulation. The accompanying caption states, “Sikhs protest in favour of Laal Singh Chaddha”. The article also explains that those associated with the Shiv Sena protested against the film by gathering in front of the cinema hall earlier. Following this, a group of Sikhs held a demonstration in support of the film.
We also found a video report by The Tribune covering the incident. As per the outlet, the Sikh Talmel Committee demonstrated outside a cinema hall in support of the film Laal Singh Chaddha and said that they would not allow any other organization to stop the screening of the film.
To sum it up, a picture of a demonstration by members of the Sikh Talmel Committee in Jalandhar in support of the Bollywood film Laal Singh Chaddha was falsely shared by BJP leaders and social media users with a misleading claim.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.