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Fact-check: Did Modi Say, “I Don’t Believe In Hindu Dharm”?

Fact-check: Did Modi Say, “I Don’t Believe In Hindu Dharm”?

The video is edited from a 2014 interview of Narendra Modi on Times Now


A video on Twitter purporting to show that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We are not ready to accept that Hinduism is a religion” is edited and taken out of context. The same edited video also shows an old news report from Gujarat of demolition drive against illegal constructions including temples in a bid to back up the misleading claim.

The edited video was tweeted by an account ‘Re-tweet Sarkar 100 Follow back same day’, with the caption, “Modi himself confess, I don’t believe in Hindu dharm, he is fooling all Hindus”

Click here to view tweet and here for an archive.

50 temples brought down clip
Clip from an old news report of temples being demolished in Surat plays after the edited part


BOOM found that the video in the tweet has been edited from a 2014 interview aired on Times Now channel as part of the show – Frankly Speaking With Arnab Goswami. The video in the tweet has taken half of a sentence from the original interview to give it a misleading spin that Modi said he does not believe “Hinduism is a religion”

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In conversation with the anchor on the line in the BJP’s 2014 manifesto which states, “India will remain a natural home for persecuted Hindus”, Modi makes this statement that is taken out of context. 

In the interview, Modi who is speaking in Hindi can be heard saying,
“We are not ready to believe Hinduism is a religion” and then immediately continuing it with, “Hinduism is a way of life.”

Transcript of the relevant part from the Modi-Goswami interview:

Goswami : मगर आपकी मेनिफेस्टो में सिर्फ हिंदू उसका रेफरेंस था (But in your manifesto there was a mention of Hindus…)

Modi: हम हिंदुओं का जो रेफरेंस करते हैं वह सुप्रीम कोर्ट जजमेंट के हिसाब से करते… रिलीजन के हिसाब से नहीं करते (Hindus were referred to in the manifesto as in accordance with the Supreme Court judgment. not according to religion.)

Arnab: So the reference to Hindus in the manifesto?

Modi: We don’t believe that… हम मानने को तैयार नहीं हिंदू एक रिलीजन है (We are not ready to accept Hinduism is a religion)…Hinduism is a way of life.

(At the counter 20.40 in the video below.)

News Report:

The tweet has also included visuals from a 2008 NDTV news report of clashes breaking out after a demolition drive in Surat, Gujarat. The news report is about a demolition drive led by the then Modi government against illegal constructions in the city of Surat. These illegal constructions included temples and the NDTV report shows footage of people protesting the same.

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Claim Review : Video Shows Modi Say, "I Don't Believe In Hindu Dharm"

Fact Check : Misleading

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Anmol Alphonso is a fact-checker with BOOM. He has previously interned at IndiaSpend as a fact-checker and was a reporting intern at Times of India, Indian Express, and Mid-Day. He is a post-graduate diploma holder in journalism from St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.

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