A 9-second clip featuring the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), S Somanath, is viral on social media with the claim that the ISRO chairman visited the Bengaluru office of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In the video, a man can be seen felicitating S Somanath with a shawl.

X (formerly Twitter) Blue user @MrSinha_, who often shares misinformation, posted the above-mentioned clip on August 25 claiming that the clip shows that the ISRO chairman is at the RSS office in Bengaluru. His tweet has received over 8.7 Lakh views and has been retweeted over 6,000 times. (Archive)

Several other users such as @TheAbhishek_IND, @VlKAS_PR0NAM0, @asliarpita, @NewsArenaIndia, @Indian_Analyzer, also shared the same clip with similar claims.

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Fact Check

After breaking down the clip into multiple keyframes we ran a reverse image search on a few of them. This led us to a tweet made by RSS leader Rajesh Padmar (@rajeshpadmar) on July 19, 2023. The tweet included the viral clip where the ISRO chairman was being felicitated and other pictures related to the event. The caption says Dattatreya Hosabale, the general secretary of RSS, congratulated S Somanath for the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3 at Rashtrotthana Parishat, an NGO in Bengaluru.

The above tweet proves that the video clip is from July and not recent. It also states that the felicitation took place at the office of the NGO, Rashtrotthana Parishat, and not the RSS office in Bengaluru.

Set up in 1965, the NGO works in the fields of social awareness, social education and service to people. In 2022, it established a 162-bed integrated multispecialty hospital with a vision to provide affordable health care to all sections of the society.

We checked the website of the NGO Rashtrotthana Parishat and found a blog on their website titled: “Rashtrotthana Parishat Felicitates ISRO Chief, Dr. Somnath”. The blog also carried similar images as those in Rajesh Padmar’s tweet.

The blog mentioned that the event was organised by the NGO and the location of the felicitation was in Chamarajpet, at the head office of Rashtrotthana Parishat where RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale felicitated him with a shawl. Members of the NGO were also present there and can be seen in the photos.

While the blog did not mention the date of the felicitation or when the blog post was published, it did mention the successful sending of spacecraft to the Moon and not the landing achieved by the Chandrayaan-3 mission, hence, it is likely that the post is from July.

We also came across a Facebook post made by VSK Karnataka, VSK stands for Vishwa Samvad Kendra — the official media centre of the RSS. The post was made on July 19 and included the same viral clip. The caption in Kannada can be translated as: “In the view of the success of India’s ambitious Chandrayaan-3 mission, ISRO chairman S Somanath was felicitated by Dattatreya Hosabale, general secretary of the RSS. Rashtrotthana Parishat president M P Kumar and general secretary N Dinesh Hegde felicitated the ISRO chairman on behalf of the NGO”.

ಭಾರತದ ಮಹತ್ತ್ವಾಕಾಂಕ್ಷೆಯ ‘ಚಂದ್ರಯಾನ–3’ರ ಯಶಸ್ಸಿನ ರೂವಾರಿಗಳಾದ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಬಾಹ್ಯಾಕಾಶ ಸಂಶೋಧನಾ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಯ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರಾದ ಎಸ್. ಸೋಮನಾಥ್ ಅವರನ್ನು ಆರೆಸ್ಸೆಸ್ ನ ಸರಕಾರ್ಯವಾಹರಾದ ದತ್ತಾತ್ರೇಯ ಹೊಸಬಾಳೆ ಅವರು ಅಭಿನಂದಿಸಿದರು.
ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೋತ್ಥಾನ ಪರಿಷತ್ತಿನ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರಾದ ಎಂ.ಪಿ. ಕುಮಾರ್ & ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಕಾರ್ಯದರ್ಶಿ ನಾ. ದಿನೇಶ್ ಹೆಗ್ಡೆ ಅವರು ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೋತ್ಥಾನ ಪರಿಷತ್ತಿನ ಪರವಾಗಿ ಇಸ್ರೋ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರನ್ನು ಸನ್ಮಾನಿಸಿದರು.

Posted by VSK Karnataka on Wednesday, 19 July 2023

VSK Karnataka also tweeted a clarification regarding the viral clip on August 26. They mentioned that the claim that ISRO chief S Somanath visited the RSS office in Bengaluru was false. They also mentioned that the clip shows the ISRO chief interacting with people heading the TAPAS project.

Tapas‘ is an initiative by Rashtrotthana Parishat in 2012 through which they provide IIT and NIT boy aspirants from underprivileged sections of society with free IIT-JEE coaching.

Therefore, it is clear that the claim that ISRO chief S Somanath visited the RSS office in Bengaluru is false. Neither is the clip recent nor did S Somanath visit the RSS office. The clip shows the ISRO chairman being felicitated by the general secretary of RSS Dattatreya Hosabale at an NGO called Rashtrotthana Parishat after successful launching of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

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