Video of elderly Brahmin dancing falsely shared as a crowd in South India beating the old man

A video of an old man surrounded by a crowd of people is circulating on social media with the claim that he is a Brahmin who was thrashed in South India. “एक वृद्ध ब्राह्मण की पहले यग्योपवित (जनेऊ) काटी फिर कपड़े उतार कर भीड़ ने डांस करने के लिए मजबूर किया। यह स्थिति है दक्षिण के .@INCIndia शासित राज्यों की, .@RahulGandhi जी क्या यह अल्पसंख्यक ब्राह्मणों के साथ मोब लिंचिंग नही है? (An old Brahmin’s janeu (sacred thread) was removed and he was forced to dance in a crowd after his clothes were stripped off. This is the state of South. States under Congress rule. Rahul Gandhi ji, isn’t this mob lynching of minority Brahmins?)” – is the message shared with the clip. It was retweeted over 3,400 times and received nearly 24,000 views from the Twitter handle of one Dev Oza (@DevOza7).

Another user Twitter user, Pragya Bhushan, who is followed by BJP leaders, shared the video. The clip is also widely circulating on Facebook.

Oza’s tweet was quote-tweeted by BJP MP Balbir Punj. The latter’s tweet was subsequently quote-tweeted by RBI director Gurumurthy.

We found that the video has also been shared with a Tamil text – “இந்து பெரியவரை மிரட்டி பெரியானை கும்பிடவைத்த பெரியாரிஸ்ட்கள் எங்கேடா போனீங்க நடு நிலை நாய்களா ! (Those who heckled Hindu Periyavar and forced him to worship Periyar (E v Ramaswamy) where are you now you centrist Periyarist dogs.)”

இந்து பெரியவரை மிரட்டி பெரியானை கும்பிடவைத்த பெரியாரிஸ்ட்கள் எங்கேடா போனீங்க நடு நிலை நாய்களா !

Posted by Ganesh Raj on Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Fact-check

The video was picked up from Tik Tok, which is evident from the platform’s logo on the top left corner of the screen. The username of the person who posted the video is given below the logo. It says – ‘@hero.m.s’

Alt News found the video on Tik Tok, uploaded earlier this week.

The Tik Tok video carried another logo on the bottom left corner of the screen which said – ‘Karuppar Koottam.’

Alt News searched the phrase on Facebook and came across the page that had uploaded the video. The page goes by the same name ‘Karuppar Koottam’ and had uploaded the full video of the incident on their corresponding YouTube channel. In the complete video, the old man seems to voluntarily dance with the crowd as he can be seen gesturing to people to make space for him to do the same. The crowd cheers for him while he dances.

Several people in the video can be seen holding black flags which have an imprint of Tamil social reformer Periyar’s face. Alt News spoke to the administrator of ‘Karuppar Koottam’, Senthil, who said that the elderly man wasn’t manhandled by the crowd but was cheered by them when he began dancing in front of Periyar’s statue. “They have just used those ten seconds where the man is folding his hands. He was actually paying respects to Periyar’s statue. Everything else is fake news.” The event was part of a rally which was organised by People’s Forum, held on May Day at the Periyar statue near Sankara Mutt Temple.

Thus, a video of an elderly man dancing with a crowd of Periyar supporters was shared on social media as a Brahmin being ‘lynched’ in the southern part of the country.

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