Madhya Pradesh Congress tweeted a video of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a rally with a message, “चौकीदार चोर है :सुनिये, राजनाथ सिंह भी ग़लती से ये क्या नारा लगवा बैठे..? (Chowkidar chor hai: listen to what slogan did Rajnath Singh inadvertently got the people raise -translated)”. It is being claimed that Rajnath Singh had asked the people to raise a slogan and they responded with ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’. The slogan has been used to target the ruling BJP, which has sought to counter it with its own ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign. This video was also posted on INC Madhya Pradesh’s Facebook page on March 29.

Clip viral on Twitter and Facebook

Multiples users on Facebook and Twitter have shared the video with an identical narrative. On March 28, one Gautam Krishna had posted the same video with a caption, “ले लोट्टा अब राजनाथ सिंह भी बोल रहे है” चौकीदार चोर है” (Now even Rajnath Singh is saying “Chowkidar chor hai” -translated)”.

ले लोट्टा अब राजनाथ सिंह भी बोल रहे है” चौकीदार चोर है”
😆😆😆😆😆

Posted by Gautam Krishna on Thursday, 28 March 2019

Clipped video

Alt News found that the video of Rajnath Singh addressing a rally in East Delhi has been clipped to suggest that people, when asked to raise a slogan, said, “Chowkidar Chor Hai”. An extended version of the rally was also posted by news agency ANI on YouTube with a caption, “Chowkidar chor nahi, pure hai: HM Rajnath Singh”.

At 1:10 min in the video, Rajnath Singh can be heard, “मैं कहना चाहता हूँ, जिसको तुम चौकीदार चोर कहते हो, चौकीदार चोर नहीं है, चौकीदार Pure है। बोलो चौकीदार…। चौकीदार का दोबारा PM बनना Sure है।वह देश की सभी समस्याओं का ‘Cure ‘ हैं। (I want to say this, the watchman whom you call ‘thief’, is not a thief. Watchman is Pure. Say Chowkidar.. It is sure that watchman will once again become the Prime Minister. He is the cure to the problems of this county -translated)”

In his speech, after Rajnath Singh said, “chowkidar chor nahin hai, chowkidar pure hai”, there’s a pause in his speech, where the crowd reiterates, “chowkidar pure hai”. The part where Singh said, “Chowkidar Pure Hai”, was mischievously clipped from this video. In the clipped video, the response of the people in the rally, when heard without reference to what Rajnath Singh said earlier is likely to be misconstrued, as ‘Pure’ and ‘Chor’ are two words with similar phonetics. The crowd had actually responded with ‘Chowkidar PURE hai’, and not ‘Chowkidar CHOR hai’, as claimed.

A clipped video of Rajnath Singh was shared with a false caption to mislead social media users into believing that he got the crowd to raise the slogan, “Chowkidar Chor Hai”. Last week, the official Twitter handle of Madhya Pradesh had shared an old video of a BJP worker harassing a woman with a false narrative.

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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.