A 2:20-minute-long video clip of a bare-chested individual handstand-walking around a religious structure is widely circulating on social media. Multiple social media users have shared this video with captions in Hindi claiming that this is a video of a 26-year-old Narendra Modi performing yoga at the monastery of Sadhu Dayanand in Rishikesh.

This claim is viral on both Twitter and Facebook.

We have also received several requests on the official Alt News mobile application (Android, iOS) to verify the authenticity of the video.

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Fact-check

We broke down the video into keyframes using the InVid verification plugin tool to verify its authenticity. We then performed a reverse image search on one of the keyframes using Yandex. This led us to a YouTube video from June 2021. The video did not have any description and it had a title in Tamil that read, “26 June 2021”. However, the video was of better quality which gave us the opportunity to analyse it carefully.

Upon close observation, we noticed a few anomalies:

  1. In the viral video, we can see snowflakes falling from the sky but we do not see any snow on the ground. The higher resolution video clearly shows that the snow has been digitally added.
  2. At the 3:01-minute mark, we can see an individual in the background with a mask on.
  3. At the 3:45-minute mark, we can see another individual wearing a mask.

All of these points establish the fact that the video was most likely shot in the early phases of the coronavirus pandemic, hence it cannot feature a young PM Modi.

To probe further, we performed a subsequent reverse image search on the keyframes of the YouTube video. This led to the same video on platforms like ShareChat, Facebook and Twitter. These videos were also published in June 2021 and were of higher quality. We noticed that on the top right corner, the video has a superimposed text that reads “Created by सबसे सुंदर मेरा केदारनाथ ज्योतिर्लिंग आचार्य श्री संतोष त्रिवेदी जी”.

Taking this clue, we performed a Google search using relevant keywords. This led us to a tweet from June 2021 by ANI. The tweet by ANI has a photo of Acharya Santosh Trivedi protesting outside Kedarnath Shrine in a headstand position. The attire worn by Acharya Santosh Trivedi in the photo posted by ANI appears similar to the one seen in the viral video.

We did another keyword search and found videos of Acharya Santosh Trivedi performing handstands on several occasions.

Moreover, we found a video report by ETV Bharat from June 2021, confirming that the man seen in the viral video is indeed Acharya Santosh Trivedi.

To conclude, the viral video of a man walking around the premises of a temple on his hands is of Acharya Santosh Trivedi. The claim that this video shows a 26-year-old Narendra Modi is false. Previously, Alt News had debunked a similar claim when a “rare” video of a young PM Modi performing yoga was viral. The man in the video turned out to be yoga guru BKS Iyengar.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc