A photograph has gone viral on social media with the claim that it is representative of a Dalit protest. In the photo, bike borne cadres can be seen raising a flag which, it is claimed, is the national flag of Pakistan. The caption accompanying the photograph says ‘Dalit Andolan, Jhanda Pakistani, Yehi hai asli kahani’ (Dalit protest, Pakistani flag, this is the real story). The image with the caption has been shared widely on social media across various platforms.

Postcard News was among those who reported that the Pakistani flag was a part of the protest rally. Another caption accompanying the photograph read ‘दलित जुलूस में #पाकिस्तानी झंडे क्या कर रहे हैं। ये जातिबाद का जहर घोल के न तो महाराष्ट्र को तोड़ पाओगे और न ही “#भारत_तेरे_टुकड़े_होंगे” का ख्वाब पूरा होगा।’ (What are Pakistani flags doing in a Dalit rally? By spreading this poison of casteism, neither will Maharashtra break nor will the dream of a divided India be realised)

The image is being circulated in the aftermath of the violence that erupted at Koregaon, 30 km from Pune following the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon by the Dalit community. Mahesh Vikram Hegde who is the founder of the fake news website PostCard News and is followed by PM Modi on twitter was among those who joined the bandwagon.

While Alt News could not verify when and where the photograph was taken, in the aftermath of the Bhima-Koregaon violence, this image has been used extensively to portray the Dalit agitation as anti-national in nature. Regardless of the veracity of the image, a closer look at it will reveal that it is not the Pakistani flag that was raised. It is in fact the banner of Islam. The Pakistani flag has a white band on the left side. Also, there is a difference in the colour and the angle of the crescent in both flags. Alt News had earlier reported how News18 had mistaken the Islamic banner for the Pakistani flag.

In recent times, it has been observed that there’s been a surge in movements expressing Dalit-Muslim solidarity and the presence of Islamic flags could be seen in the same context. For the lay person, the nature of the flag can be a cause for confusion as a result of which one may easily believe that it was indeed the Pakistani flag that was displayed at the rally. The insinuation is however not innocuous when it emanates from profiles and pages which are known to spread false and misleading information with ulterior motives.

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Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry as a reporter with Times Now, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.

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SuhasKarandINFORMEDbhaktRajaPakChipak RajaBabu Recent comment authors
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Pankaj
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Media is sharing these photos and it has reached almost to everyone via whatsapp. Should it not be reaponsibility to correct themselves once they make such mistake. Not even a tickr going on at any channel.

Pankaj
Guest

Media shows such news and never clarify or apologize when caught. Should there responsibility be fixed.

Rakesh Agrawal
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Rakesh Agrawal

This is yet another example that proves the fact that RSS/BJP is a Brahminical, anti-Dalit and anti-Adivasi congregation of blind bhakts who just want to create mayhem in the country to rule it.

PakChipak RajaBabu
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PakChipak RajaBabu

BJP’s and its ardent followers logic is that Any anti-government protest should automatically be linked to a Pro-Pakistan conspiracy and a threat to break India into pieces.. The poor followers can’t seem to digest anyone questioning their supreme leader or his many stooges.

Raja
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Raja

Can anyone clarify why Pakistani flags were raised!? I went through the article in PostCard which clearly mentions the flag to the LEFT in the picture is Pakistani flag and the one to the RIGHT is Islamic flag. Why Arjun Sidharth has misreported or intelligently suppressed that fact from this news piece!? This is how FAKE news spreads Mr Arjun, please correct it before this mistake is noticed, thanks.

dINFORMEDbhakt
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dINFORMEDbhakt

U went through an article in postcard news….dude something is seriously wrong with u……get some medical help

Suhas
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Suhas

The flag on the left appears more like a Pakistan flag. You could have rebutted it by explaining if it was a photoshopped image etc. Personal attacks are not the right choice.

Karan
Guest

And what’s the reasom behind waving ‘islamic flags’ in a protest by Dalit Hindus? Doesn’t this protest seems to be a conspiracy of muslims?