“See People Standing On
#RamSethu in The Middle of Th e Sea ! Absolute engineering marvel & these sickulars call it mythology, how strange!! Thanks to Dr. @Swamy39 to move SC and declaring it as a National Heritage site! Jai Shri Ram !” This message, posted along with a video on Twitter has been shared widely. The video begins with an aerial view of a spit (landform) and goes on to show hundreds of people standing on it. The claim here is that this is the Ram Setu- the iconic bridge of the epic Ramayana.
The video with the aformentioned claim has been tweeted by Ravi Ranjan, who is a consultant with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and is followed on the social media platform by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In another tweet, Mr. Ranjan claimed that he had received this video and the message via WhatsApp. Among those who have retweeted this video include actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal, and movie producer Priya Gupta.
Wow ….! https://t.co/nNP1pBqgMq
— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) October 5, 2018
Ponnani beach, not Ram Setu
The video is not of Ram Setu, which lies in the Palk strait between India and Sri Lanka. It is of Ponnani beach in Malappuram district of Kerala. The strip of sand jutting out into the sea where people have gathered, was formed in the aftermath of the devastating floods that ravaged the state in July 2018.
Abhilash Visha who shot the video has posted on his Facebook account that the video was taken by him on September 15 at Ponnani in Kerala. He has clarified that the video is not of Ram Setu and acknowledged that this false message has been circulating in several states and several languages.
The News Minute and India Times have reported that the geological formation emerged after the recent floods and has attracted scores of tourists to the beach which has compelled law enforcement authorities to be on alert over safety concerns.
Videos and photographs are repeatedly taken out of context and shared with false and/or misleading claims on social media, at times to further an agenda. A video of a beach in Kerala was shared as that of Ram Setu, accompanied by potshots at ‘sickulars’ for calling it mythology and given credence by a public figure like Paresh Rawal.
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