The ongoing farmers’ protests have led to a barrage of misinformation promoted on social media to discredit the movement. In the latest spree, in-charge of social media for BJP Mahila Morcha, Priti Gandhi tweeted a video where a man raises slogans in favour of Pakistan and Khalistan. Many surrounding him can be seen holding the Pakistani and Khalistani flags. “Are these really farmers?” questioned Gandhi and later took down her tweet which comes against the backdrop of the protests led by farmers from Punjab attracting racist and derogatory online vitriol. ‘Khalistan’ was a top trend on Twitter just a few days ago.
Social media and IT cell head of BJP Delhi Punit Agarwal shared the same video with the caption, “Is this farmer’s protest? Congress and AAP’s anti-national agenda has been exposed yet again. Both there parties are an equal or bigger threat than Pakistan to our country. For their cheap politics, they won’t think a second before breaking this country.” He too later took down the tweet.
The same video was posted by Twitter user @GorAruna with a Hindi caption.
ये सरदारजी मोदी सरकार हाय हाय के नारे लगा रहे है यह तो समझ में आता है..
लेकिन ये “पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद खालिस्तान जिंदाबाद” के नारे क्यों ….
वीडियो देखने और सुनने के बाद आगे बताने की ज़रूरत नही है आप खुद समझदार हो …!!#मोदी_संग_किसान
— Aaru rajgor T.A.B (@GorAruna) November 28, 2020
Facebook page Pushpendra Kulshrestha Fans Club also shared the video, drawing over 60,000 views.
सरदारजी मोदी सरकार हाय हाय के नारे लगा रहे है, यह तो समझ में आता है..
लेकिन ये पाकिस्तान जिंदाबाद खालिस्तान जिंदाबाद के नारे क्यों
Posted by Pushpendra Kulshrestha Fans Club on Friday, November 27, 2020
Old video from UK
A keyword search on YouTube directed us to the same video uploaded by ANI News on July 6, 2019, with the title, “Sikhs in UK denounce pro-Khalistan slogans during World Cup match.” The part viral can be watched around 20 seconds in the broadcast.
The comparison below shows that both videos represent the same event.
The broadcast also shows the Sikh men walking around the seating area of the cricket stadium with flags of Pakistan and Khalistan. This part, however, has not been included in the viral video.
According to a report published by Deccan Herald on July 13, 2019, several videos of a few Sikhs, along with Pakistani fans, raising the flags of Pakistan and Khalistan during Pakistan vs Afghanistan cricket World Cup match had gone viral on social media. “They can also be heard chanting slogans like ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in the videos,” said the report adding that the incident was a clear attempt by “Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to malign India’s image and use sports as a platform for its political gains.” It further said that Sikhs living in Leeds categorically denounced the pro-Khalistan slogans raised during the match on June 29, 2019 in the United Kingdom.
The video, therefore, does not show farmers raising pro-Pakistan and Khalistan slogans in the ongoing ‘Delhi Chalo’ protests. In fact, the incident did not even take place in India but the video was shot in the UK more than a year ago.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.