A video is viral on social media where a man is seen draping a saree on a woman. The video has been shared with the following embedded in Marathi: “A Turaka named Rafiq started a business of tying sarees for Hindu women in Hindu weddings…how low Hindus have sunk.” It is followed by an angry emoji.

The clip was shared on X (previously Twitter) by user @ajaychauhan41 with the caption (originally in Hindi): “His name is Rafiq. Work- Draping saree on Hindu women in Hindu marriages and ceremonies – Hindus are inviting such people who do not differentiate between bhai and jaan.” The caption ends with the line “This is an old video but we have to keep reminding.” (Archive)

The readers should note that the user @ajaychauhan41 shares misinformation on Twitter on a regular basis.

X user @ssaratht, too, shared the video with a similar caption. (Archive)

This tweet was reposted close to 1,500 times. We noted that in the ‘comments’ section under the tweet, some questioned the ‘woke mindset’ of the lady, some expressed communal hatred, many of them verified users. A few examples can be seen here:

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User ‘Sanatani Hindu’ @HinduPolitics shared the video (this one is without the embedded text) with the claim that a “boy named Rafiq has started the business of draping women sarees in their marriages.” (Archive)

On Facebook, user Devyansh Kemaya shared the video. The caption said, among other things, “… women of Hindu houses wear saris in their weddings by inviting boys like Rafiq Miyan. I want to get married to Henna Hasan Miyan. Make up has to be done by Alam Miyan. We Hindus are increasing the business of this community. We are the ones who are shameless…”

अभी तक शादी विवाह में मुस्लिम पगड़ी बांधनेवाले को बुलाते थे लेकिन अब हिंदू महिलाओं को उनकी शादियों में रफीक नाम के मुस्लिम लड़के ने साड़ी पहनाने का बिजनेस शुरू कर दिया है ☹️..हिन्दू धर्म का नाश करने में हिन्दू महिलायें ही सबसे ज्यादा होती है अपना ही सोना खोटा है तो दूसरो…
इन महिलाओं को खुद से साड़ी पहननी नहीं आती। ना ही इनके घर में कोई बड़ी बुजुर्ग महिलाएं हैं जो इनको साड़ी पहना दें। इसलिए रफीक मियां जैसे लड़कों को बुला कर साड़ी पहनती हैं हिंदू घर की महिलाएं अपनी शादियों में।

मेंहदी हसन मियां से लगवानी हैं। Make up आलम मियां से करवानी हैं। इस कौम को बिजनेस हम हिंदू ही बढ़ा रहे हैं।

बेशर्म हम ही हैं। why blame the boys

अपवित्र स्त्री ( ऐसी स्त्रियाँ पतिव्रता बन ही नहीं सकती) 😡

Posted by Devyansh Kemaya on Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Fact Check

With the help of digital verification tool InVid, we broke the video into multiple key-frames and ran reverse image search on some of them. This led us to a video posted on YouTube channel ViVi TV on July 13, 2019. The description of the video says “How to Wear a Saree Simple Steps l Simple Tips to Wear a Saree , Proper Saree Draping Video, Joseph Jerry, the Malaysian Saree man, drape the saree effortlessly within 3 minutes”. (sic)

We looked for ‘Joseph Jerry’ on Facebook and found his profile. The ‘About’ section mentions that he is an ‘expert’ on sarees and received awards in Malaysia.

He had shared photographs of some woman on May 5, 2019, with the caption: “Specially draped by me 19 top model .thanks to zobha kanjivaram for appointing my services. its really not easy maan u need a lot of energy to make u look slim.” (sic) The woman seen in the viral video features in this photograph (Second from left).

Specially draped by me 19 top model .thanks to zobha kanjivaram for appointing my services.its really not easy maan u need a lot of energy to make u look slim.

Posted by Joseph Jerry on Sunday, 5 May 2019

Taking a cue from this, we performed a keyword search and found a video of a fashion show on Facebook, where we can another woman from the above photograph at the 6:05-minute mark. It is titled ‘Fashion Show 2019 By Zobha @ 10th Indian Wedding fair 2019′.

We found out photographs of the same event on the Instagram page of Zobha Kancheevaram Weaves posted on May 10, 2019. The photographs are captioned: IWF 2019 “A PALETTE OF PLEATS By ZOBHA” with #malayasia. The photographs can be seen here, here and here.

The location of the saree studio as mentioned in the caption of the Instagram page is “Location: 12, Jalan Tun H S Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.” We also found a lifestyle article in The Star titled “Malaysian Sari Man’ Joseph Rakesh’s video tips on how to wear a saree“.

We can thus confirm that the viral video is not from India, but from Malayasia. The man seen in it is not Rafiq, but Jerry Joseph, a professional saree draper based in Malayasia. The video is is not from a Hindu wedding, but a fashion show. Hence, the viral claims are false and the video is being shared with a communal spin.

Shreyatama Datta is an intern at Alt News.

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