On December 22, Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker tweeted two images of an event poster by Samvidhan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. According to the poster, the speakers for the event are Arundhati Roy, Zeeshaan Ayyub and Bhaskar herself. However, the Bollywood actor said in another tweet that her name was erroneously added to the list.
The poster on the right, with images of Burhan Wani, Afzal Guru & an anti-Indian slogan was termed as “fake” by Bhasker. “How the fake news factory operates.. note how Babasaheb Ambedkar & Bhagat Singh’s photos & Constitutional slogans have been replaced by Burhan Wani, Afzal Guru & anti-Indian slogans. #FAKE,” she tweeted.
How the fake news factory operates.. note how Babasaheb Ambedkar & Bhagat Singh’s photos & Constitutional slogans have been replaced by Burhan Wani, Afzal Guru & anti Indian slogans. #FAKE @Mdzeeshanayyub @AltNews @free_thinker @boomlive_in pic.twitter.com/A8ytDro4WH
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) December 24, 2019
IS BHASKER’S CLAIM TRUE?
Both the images tweeted by the Bollywood actor are similar apart from a few differences which have been highlighted below. Photographs of B R Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh on the poster on the left have been replaced with images of Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru on the poster on the right. Similarly, the slogan “Constitution Long Live Secularism Long Live” has been replaced with “भारत तेरे टुकड़े होंगे इंशाअल्लाह इन्शाअल्लाह (India will be divided inshallah inshallah).”
Alt News rang up the first number mentioned in the poster and spoke with DU law student Mayank Yadav, co-founder of Samvidhan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti. On December 23, Yadav had shared a post on Facebook saying, “In Delhi University we are conducting a gathering against unconstitutional citizenship law. Arundhati Roy, film actor Zeeshan Ayub, and actress Swara Bhaskar will speak in DU! Along with them, students from various universities will also be present. Come to all arts faculty gate on 25th December 12:30! (Translated from दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय में हम असंवैधानिक नागरिकता कानून के खिलाफ एक सभा आयोजित करा रहे हैं. अरुंधति रॉय, फिल्म अभिनेता जीशान अयूब, और अभिनेत्री स्वरा भास्कर डीयू में बोलेंगे ! इसके साथ ही देश की तमाम यूनिवर्सिटीज से छात्र नेता भी अपनी बात रखेंगे ! 25 दिसम्बर को 12:30 पर आप सभी आर्ट्स फैकल्टी गेट आएं !”)
The next morning Yadav learnt that a morphed image of the poster is being circulated. On December 24, he posted on Facebook, “Colleagues, I just got information from the police that the poster below is being circuited on social media, which is completely fake! I strongly condemn this kind of bad act by RSS and its children to defame our tomorrow program. The correct poster is in the comments section. (Translated from साथियों अभी पुलिस से सूचना मिली है कि नीचे दिया हुआ पोस्टर सोशल मीडिया पर सर्कुलेट किया जा रहा है, जो कि पूरी तरह से फर्जी है ! हमारे कल होने वाले कार्यक्रम को बदनाम करने के लिए आरएसएस और उसके बगलबच्चे द्वारा इस तरह का घटिया कृत्य किये जाने की मैं पुरजोर निंदा करता हूँ। सही पोस्टर कमेंट बॉक्स में है.)”
Yadav told Alt News that they were alerted by an officer from Maurice Nagar police station. He further informed, “I would like to clarify that on account of some confusion and miscommunication Swara’s name was added on the event list. She will not be joining the event.”
We also contacted Swara Bhasker who said that the organisers had added her name on the list of speakers prematurely. “Unfortunately, I have a shoot on December 25. Due to some misunderstanding, the organisers added my name was on the event list,” she informed. On December 24, Bhasker had posted two tweets clarifying about the miscommunication (Tweet 1, Tweet 2). “This type of misinformation is easily corrected. But what about misinformation which discredits events organised in public interest? The latter has sinister intent and clearly cause more harm,” she told us.
Yadav shared an image of an updated poster and text message for the event. The third speaker at the event will be economist Arun Kumar.
Thus, the claim made my Swara Bhaskar that a morphed photo of an event by Samvidhan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti is being circulated is true. The original poster features Bhagat Singh and B R Ambedkar.