On February 11, Karnataka High Court passed an interim order asking students not to wear any religious dress to class in educational institutions that have prescribed uniforms. Several district administrations in Karnataka have subsequently forced Muslim students and even teachers to remove hijabs and burqas before entering college premises.

A day after the court passed the interim order, a clip of actor-dancer Rakhi Sawant in hijab was shared by a plethora of accounts on social media, including the Facebook page AIMIM Amberpet Constituency [over 40K followers]. This clip has gained close to four million views. The video’s caption reads, “Rakhi Sawant arrives in Hijab at gym…” The post gives the impression that the incident is recent and Sawant wore a hijab in solidarity with protesting students.

On the same day, Aaj Tak journalist Ashraf Wani posted an image of Rakhi from the above-mentioned clip and wrote, “Rakhi Sawant supported #Hijab.”

Twitter user Sanam Sutirath Wazir and Pakistan-based Twitter user @thevocal_guy also shared an image of Sawant in a hijab.

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Using the social media monitoring tool, CrowdTangle, we found that since February 10 over 300 accounts have posted a clip or an image of Sawant in a hijab.

Old video

Alt News performed a keyword search using the words ‘Rakhi Sawant Hijab’ on Google and found that the incident is true. However, it is from August 2021 and thus, has no relation to the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka.

The video was shared by The Times of India as well. Sawant told the media that the hijab was gifted to her by a friend and she was wearing gym clothes underneath.

Entertainment outlet Koimoi tweeted an unedited clip of her interaction with camera persons. In the brief interaction, Sawant responded to questions about the TV show Big Boss and other mundane questions.

To sum it up, a 2021 video of Rakhi Sawant in hijab is being shared amid the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka.

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About the Author

He joined as an intern in 2019. Until June 2022, his work primarily focused on fact-checking. Now his primary responsibilities include catalysing all aspects of organisational growth — from fundraising to development of new projects at Alt News. He attended the Asian College of Journalism (2015-16) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (2012-2015). In past, he worked at The Hindu and Zee Media's WION.
Tipline Bling: archit@altnews.in