A viral video of two brothers, one from India’s Punjab and the other from Pakistan’s Punjab, reuniting after being separated for 74 years due to the partition was recently widespread on social media. The video has now been shared with the claim that the brother who remained in Pakistan had to convert to Islam but the one who moved to India continued to practice Sikhism. The claim adds that while the brother in India can say, “Waheguru Ji Da Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Di Fateh”, the one in Pakistan has to say, “Allahu Akbar”.

Below is a post by journalist Rakesh Krishnan Simha.

The claim was also shared by Twitter user, @LogicalHindu_, who opined that monolithic faiths such as Christianity and Islam have been spread through force.

Fact-check

We analysed the clip carefully and noticed that at 0:36 seconds into the video, both the brothers can be heard greeting each other by saying, “Sat Sri Akaal ji”. A keyword search led us to multiple news stories that confirmed the identity of the brothers. Reports by both Daily Mail UK and India Today identify the two brothers as Muhammad/Mohammad Siddique and Habib alias Shela.

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We noticed a TikTok logo on the video and the username @deryaala222. We used the TOR browser to find the account @deryaala222 on TikTok. The user also operates an Instagram page with the same username. We discovered that the video was made by Punjabi Lehar, a Pakistan-based organisation that tries to reconnect families that were separated due to the violence during partition.

On Punjabi Lehar’s YouTube page we found a video from May 2019. It was a message from Muhammad Siddique (in Pakistan) looking for his brother Habib (in India). Soon after this message, the team connected the two brothers with the help of Dr Jagsir Singh, a resident of Phulewala, Punjab, India. Later in the same video, the two brothers get on a video call. It took another two years to prepare the legal documents and finally, the two met in person in January 2022. The full video of the two brothers reuniting can be found on Punjabi Lehar’s YouTube channel.

Alt News reached out to Nasir Dhillon, one of the co-founders of Punjabi Lehar. Nasir told us that during partition Habib was just six months old and had gone with his mother to Phule to his maternal grandparent’s home. It was during this time that violence had erupted in which their father died and as a result, Siddique and his sister who was the middle child were orphaned. Habib’s mother’s mental condition deteriorated and four years after the partition she died by suicide.

He also confirmed to us that both the brothers were Muslims by birth. The younger brother Habib who got lost in India continued to remain Muslim and was adopted by a local family where he worked as a labourer, Nasir added. To support his claim, Nasir also shared with us the identity cards of both the brothers. It is important to note that Habib is known as Sika Khan in his village but his birth name is Habib.

Hence, a video of two brothers reuniting after 74 years of India-Pakistan partition was shared with the claim that the brothers were Sikh and the one who remained in Pakistan was forcefully converted to Islam. Upon investigation, it was found that the claim is false. Both the brothers were Muslims by birth and continue to follow Islam.

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About the Author

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