A video of priests embroiled in a verbal altercation and toppling the donation box in a temple has been shared on social media. Twitter user @DMadiso68932229 shared this video claiming that Hindu priests in Karnataka have started removing donation boxes from temples stating, “What is the purpose of the donation box when funds for Hindus are not being utilised for Hindus?” The video received over 1.5 lakh views on Twitter.

It has also been claimed that the pujaris told the government officials who had come to collect the donation that they should first visit mosques and churches.

The same video was viral last year as well.

The video drew 24,000 views from the Facebook page We support BJP & RSS in 2021. It was in fact viral on the social networking site.

Claim circulating since 2020

Twitter user @TapasNiyama linked the video to the Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan held on August 5, 2020 and how the event has brought about a wave of “change”. His tweet drew 9,000 likes and over 5,000 retweets at the time.

Author Advaita Kala’s tweet sharing the video garnered 4,000 retweets in 2020.

Twitter user Gaurav Pradhan and @bellhampi also shared the video. So did the Facebook page ‘Pushpendra Kulshrestha Fans Club’.

 

कर्नाटक के पुजारियों ने मंदिर से दान पेटी हटाना शुरू कर दी है। कहा यदि भक्तों का पैसा हिंदुओं के लिए प्रयोग नहीं होना तो दान पेटी क्यों।

Posted by Pushpendra Kulshrestha Fans Club on Friday, 7 August 2020

Fact-check

In a reply to Advaita Kala, a user wrote that the clip was shot at Kolaramna Temple in 2015. Based on this, we performed a keyword search on Facebook and found that several users had shared the video in 2015.

A Twitter user also shared a screenshot of an article in the Kannada daily Prajavani published on October 31, 2015. According to the report, “Priests disrupted worship services in the famous Kolarmma Temple on Friday. On the order of the High Court, District Collector Dr KV Trilokachandra and Muzrai Department officials arrived at the temple in the afternoon. Priests engaged in worship at the temple had an argument with the authorities.”

In Karnataka, as many as 34,559 temples come under the ambit of the Muzrai Department, according to a report in The Indian Express from July 26, 2020.

Prajavani reported that the priests had removed a hundi placed by the government in the Kolaramna temple eight years ago for collecting donations. Such donations are taxed by the state. The priests had appealed in the High Court to get the hundi removed but they lost the case and the district administration reinstalled the hundi. The priests had an argument when government officials visited the temple to place the hundi. “We have eight priests who rely upon this profession. What should we do to maintain our lives if the authorities set up a hundi? How do we raise children?” the priests were quoted by Prajavani.

Therefore, a video from 2015 where priests had an argument with government officials placing a hundi was revived on social media with a false communal claim.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people contribute towards the same. Please consider donating in support of this endeavour to fight misinformation and disinformation.

To make an instant donation, click on the "Donate Now" button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD, click here.

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.