CMD & Editor-in-Chief Sudarshan News TV, Suresh Chavhanke tweeted a photo of a pink colored bag with ‘Eid Mubarak, Ramzan Gift, Telangana Government’ written on it. He wrote “तेलंगाना सरकार मुसलमानों को रमज़ान कि स्पेशल किट फ्रि में दे रही है। हिन्दू के त्यौहार रामनवमी,हनुमान जयंती,उगादि पर घर से भी बाहर निकलना मना था.” His tweet by now has been retweeted by 10.5K people or more.
Translation: “The Telangana government is offering special kits of Ramadan to Muslims for free. On the Hindu festivals Ramnavami, Hanuman Jayanti, Ugadi, it was not allowed to move out of the house.”
तेलंगाना सरकार मुसलमानों को रमज़ान कि स्पेशल किट फ्रि में दे रही है।
हिन्दू के त्यौहार रामनवमी,हनुमान जयंती,उगादि पर घर से भी बाहर निकलना मना था. pic.twitter.com/8bUb3LaQU6
— Suresh Chavhanke “Sudarshan News” (@SureshChavhanke) May 11, 2020
Since the tweet, a lot of people started posting it on their social media profiles
The post has been shared for over 1.6K times.
The post was shared widely,
Soon, a lot of people starting tweeting it.
The tweeted photo is 5 years old, no such gifts were given this year, Telangana Government also gave Saaris to Hindus and Sanctioned 1 Lakh to 200 churches each i.e. to other religions as well in last few years.
Q. 1. Is this a photo from this year, during COVID-19 outbreak ?
Ans. No, the image is from 2015, 5 years old
Q 2. Were other religions not allowed to celebrate or go outside but Muslims were gifted ?
Ans. None were allowed, not even Muslims.
Q 3. Were other religions were given gift in last years or only Muslims?
Ans. All were given gifts, not only Muslims.
Upon doing a Google Reverse Search of the viral image, it led to a news report by iChowk dated 10 July, 2015. The featured image in the article has the same image that has gone viral. The 2015 article stated that the Telangana Government would be distributing gift packs of 500-500 rupees to poor Muslim families during Ramzan.
After scrolling down the same article, the same image is used, which is viral.
The reverse image search found that the image shared by Chavhanke dates back to at least 2015. It was posted on a Tamil blog.
However, due to the COVID-19 this year, the packets will not be distributed. Addressing the media on May 5, CM of Telangana, KCR had even clarified that the state government will not distribute Ramadan gifts this year in a bid to prevent crowding in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This can be heard at 1:39:40, in the below video, wherein KCR is seen addressing a press conference in Telugu. The entire address can be seen here.
Krishank Manne, Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader and head of the party’s social media wing also tweeted the clip from the press conference, stating that CM KCR has made it clear in the press conference, that since “people will touch the bags with their hands, and there is a chance for the virus to spread, the Telangana government will not be distributing Ramzan gifts for the year”.
Hon'ble CM KCR made it clear in the PC —-
As people will touch the bags with their hands and there is a chance for virus to spread , Government will not be distributing Ramzan gifts for this year…
— krishanKTRS (@krishanKTRS) May 12, 2020
News Meter in their fact-check mentioned the memo by the Minorities Welfare Department dated April 27, 2020. The memo says that all government programs pertaining to Ramzan this year have been canceled in view of the COVID-19 crisis.
The tweets and the posts suggest that the Hindu Festivals are being overlooked by the Telangana Government. It should be noted that in the past the state government has not only offered gifts during Ramzan but also on Bathukamma, which is a Hindu festival and also on Christmas.
2017 – Gifted Sari to Hindu women
Rs. 1 Lakh sanctioned to 200 churches each last year –
In addition, Chavhanke’s second claim that no Hindu festivals were celebrated during the lockdown is also misleading. In April, several media outlets – Economic Times, The Print, The New Indian Express and Scroll – reported that social distancing was breached during Ram Navami.
Looking at the recent tweet against the Telangana Govt. by the CMD and Editor in Chief of Sudarshan News, Suresh Chanvhanke. He and the media organization, ‘Sudarshan News’, as a whole has received a lot of backlash for putting out fake and misleading news in the past.
Suresh Chavanke is not new in posting misleading false news –
In 2019, Sudarshan News posted on Twitter, with a video claiming that the Muslims are chanting slogans against the RSS in Bhopal. Later, fact-check revealed that video is from a Muharram procession in Dehri on Sone, Bihar, and they were not chanting slogans against RSS. The entire article can be read here.
In 2017, Sudarshan News put out a false image of cops dragging a man claiming it to be of a Rohingya criminal. Fact-check revealed that the photo was from a protest in Bangladesh. The entire article can be read here,
Therefore, it is established that the viral image is old and the Telangana govt. has not distributed Ramzan gift packs this year due to the pandemic. The image has been floating on the internet since 2015. Also, it is to be noted that Hindu festivals have not been overlooked by the Telangana Government.
The claims are absolutely false. It is to be noted that the Ramadan packets were not distributed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and additionally, Hindu festivals have not been overlooked.