Claim: A video of a street play goes viral on social media platforms with false communal angle. The video shows police officer requesting a Muslim man to offer prayers at home, who was insists on visiting a mosque. The man doesn’t abide to the police and starts praying in public. That’s when three men enacting the coronavirus enter the scene and infect the man. Subsequently, the man is taken by the medical staff and quarantined. The skit ends with a police officer instructing people to pray at home only, whether it is puja or namaz.
However, the caption along with the video sparked communal hate as it claimed that the skit only incorporates Muslims which directed that they are responsible for spreading corona virus.
The caption in Hindi said “ये वीडियो भोपाल का है जुसमे police द्वारा एक नाटक बनाया गया कोरोना फेला ने के लिए मुस्लिमो को नाटक में जिमेदार बताया गया इसको इतना फैलाओ के सब के सब सस्पेंड हो सके इन पुलिस वाले ने अगर किसी ओर धर्म को इसतरह से दिखया होता तो??”
Translated to English “This video is from Bhopal, a drama made by police where Muslims are said to be responsible for corona spread by showing them praying in Namaz in the play. Police showing such religious biases should be suspended.
The video was shared on multiple social media platforms including YouTube.
The post has been archived here.
ये वीडियो भोपाल का है जुसमे police द्वारा एक नाटक बनाया गया
कोरोना फेला ने के लिए मुस्लिमो को नाटक में जिमेदार बताया गया
इसको इतना फैलाओ के सब के सब सस्पेंड हो सके
इन पुलिस वाले ने अगर किसी ओर धर्म को इसतरह से दिखया होता तो??👇👇😡😡😡 #RamadanMubarak #Islamophobia_In_Indi pic.twitter.com/SYU7KIiQEG
— 💞ᴵˢᴸᴬᴹ ᴷᴵ ˢᴴᴱᴴᶻᴬᴰᴵ💕 (@coQ8azyxOQ9Kq1i) May 12, 2020
The tweet has been archived here.
This street play happened on 4th May 2020 in Katras, a Dhanbad city which was organized by Shiksha Samadhan, a Dhanbad-based NGO. The NGO is an initiative by Damodar Prasad Saw who posted multiple videos of the play on Twitter. In one of them he wrote, “On the behalf of Shiksha Samadhan Trust, I’m uploading all the proper videos that we performed with Katras Thana on 4-05-2020. Please don’t be misled by haters. We are mainly spreading awareness of COVID-19.”
The tweet can be seen here.
This is the full video which is been misguided to you people. Please don't take in other ways. It was only a drama act for social awareness. pic.twitter.com/CKlbz5K4yz
— Damodar Prasad Saw (@Damodar65212309) May 8, 2020
The collage below shows screenshots from both the videos. The above picture shows Saw’s tweet about the street play and the below image shows one of the viral post with false claims.
Saw also posted a video statement addressing this issue on the NGO’s Facebook page on May 11th. He cleared out the air that there was no communal angle involved and the purpose of doing this skit was to spread awareness about social distancing in the times of COVID-19 pandemic.
The caption read, “मैं जागरूकता फैलाने की कोशिश कर रहा हूँ , कृपया इसे कोई धर्म से ना जोड़े। कृपया आप लोग भी इस वीडियो को ज्यादा से ज्यादा फैलाये ताकि लोगो में कोई भ्रांति पैदा ना हो। पूरा विडिओ देखने के लिए मेरे ट्वीटर अककॉउंट पे या फेसबुक अककॉउंट पे जाए। धन्यवाद”
Translated to, “I am trying to spread awareness, please do not add it to any religion. Please also spread this video as much as you can so that there is no delusion in the people. To watch full video visit my twitter account or Facebook account. Thanks”
Hence, the video clip of the street play is being shared with a fake communal narrative and it had included different angles in the skit of mosque as well as temple goers. The skit was also not performed in Bhopal.