On September 29, Facebook user ‘Ram Bhakt’ posted a video of a large number of men marching and chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’. The men were dressed in white attire and all of them carried swords. As per his claim, devotees of the Hindu deity Ram reached Ayodhya to push for the declaration of India as a Hindu nation. This video has been shared over 2,000 times and has 32,000 views.
हिंदू राष्ट्र घोषित करवाने के लिए सारे राम भक्त अयोध्या पहुंच चुके हैं
हर हिंदू का एक ही सपना हिंदू राष्ट्र हो भारत अपना जय जय श्री राम🙏🏻
Posted by राम भक्त on Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Two days later, FB user Ramesh Pandey also posted the video on the group titled ‘Pushpendra Kulshrestha (पुष्पेन्द्र कुलश्रेष्ठ)’. It was shared over 1,000 times.
Similarly, multiple FB users have posted this video on pro-Hindutva or pro-BJP groups including — Hindu Ekta, भावी मुख्यमंत्री राजस्थान, योगी आदित्यनाथ फैन ग्रुप, ओमप्रकाश सिंह, and भाषाणां जननी संस्कृत भाषा.
Old video from Maharashtra
Despite multiple reverse image searches via InVid, a video verification tool, we could not find other instances of the viral video. However, analysing the video based on keyframes, we identified that at the 3-second mark one of the shops in the background is called ‘Laxmi Sports’.
Using this as a clue, we looked up the said shop on Just Dial and rummaged until we found New Shree Laxmi Sports located in Miraj town of Maharashtra’s Sangli district. The store has identical hoarding as seen in the viral video.
Alt News spoke with the owner of the store. He said, “The video shows a rally that took place around Navratri two years ago. This video is not recent.”
Next, we performed a keyword search on YouTube, based on inputs from the above-mentioned call, and found that YouTube user Akshay Shinde had uploaded the viral video in 2019.
A 2019 video from Maharasthra’s Sangli district that shows a festive rally was shared with the false claim that followers of Hindu deity Ram marched to Ayodhya to declare India a ‘Hindu rashtra’.