Social media users were up in arms after R&B artist Rihanna and environmental activist Greta Thunberg tweeted about the raging farmer protests in India. While one group appreciated their support, the other felt they were ‘interfering” in India’s internal matters. Responding to the tweets by Rihanna, Greta, and some other prominent international celebrities, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement instructing foreigners not to comment on the farmers’ movement. This was followed by a string of Bollywood actors and cricketers posting nearly identical tweets about India’s unity and integrity. All of these contained the hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda coined earlier by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Social media is now buzzing with an alleged statement by former cricketer Kapil Dev. Users began sharing a photo of the former cricketer claiming he stated that Indian players were tweeting against farmers due to pressure from Amit Shah’s son, BCCI secretary Jay Shah. One such tweet by user Hami Khan garnered more than 1,100 retweets at the time of writing. This claim has gone viral on Twitter.
— Hami Khan (@hamikhan01) February 7, 2021
The viral claim has also made its way to Facebook. The post below was shared by more than 600 users at the time of writing.
The screenshot below indicates the widespread traction it has been gathering online.
Alt News combed through recent news reports about Kapil Dev. Most of these reports mention one particular tweet. In a February 4 tweet, he wrote, “I simply love India, I wish the tiff between Farmers and Govt gets resolved ASAP. Let the experts take a call. One thing for sure India is supreme. Also, I wish my Indian cricket team a grand success in the upcoming series against England. Jai Hind.” We checked Dev’s Twitter timeline and noticed that this was his latest tweet. He had not posted any other tweets at the time of writing.
I simply love India , I wish the tiff between Farmers and Govt gets resolved ASAP.
Let the experts take a call.
One thing for sure is supreme
ALSO I WISH MY INDIAN CRICKET TEAM A GRAND SUCCESS IN THE UPCOMING SERIES AGAINST ENGLAND
— Kapil Dev (@therealkapildev) February 4, 2021
There is no mention of Amit Shah’s son Jay in this tweet. Neither has he mentioned farmers in any of his previous tweets. According to the viral claim, Kapil Dev allegedly revealed that Home Minister Amit Shah’s son and BCCI secretary Jay Shah pressured cricketers to tweet against farmers. This claim is completely false. The former sportsperson has never issued such a statement.
This post was originally published on Radio Free.