How we did it
- Found a watermark of Videsh TV on the video.
- Searched for the video on Videsh TV's YouTube channel and found the video shared in July 2019.
- Found posts from BBC News' official X handle and journalist Mukesh Sharma clarifying that the video is old.
News outlets including Zee News and Times Now have shared an old clip of BBC journalist Aaron Heslehurst criticising India's space mission as recent, while claiming that the anchor was speaking about Chandrayaan-3. BOOM found that the clip is from 2019 and not recent; Heslehurst was speaking about Chandrayaan-2 and not Chandrayaan-3.
Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the moon's surface and created history on August 23. The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will now carry out a 14-day mission where the latter will study the moon's surface and check its chemical composition, among other experiments and send the data back to Earth through the lander.
In the clip, Heslehurst is heard speaking to Indian journalist Nitin Srivastava and questioning why India invests so much money in its space mission when the country is dealing with severe poverty and lacks infrastructure. "700 million Indians don't have access to a toilet," he is heard saying in the 27-second clip.
Times Now published a video report about this clip on August 24 with the headline '‘Focus On Poor, Not On Space,’ BBC’s ‘Classist’ Comment on India After Chandrayaan 3 Success."
Click here for an archive.
Anand Mahindra reacted to the clip on X and said that India's poverty was due to years of colonial rule by the British. Zee News Hindi (archive here) and Mint (archive here) based their reports on this reaction by Mahindra, without clarifying that the video was old.
Right-wing X (formerly Twitter) handle Megh Updates shared the clip with the caption, "Listen to what BBC had to say about #Chandrayaan3 - Should India which lacks in Infrastructure and has extreme poverty, Should they be spending this much amount of money on a space program."
BOOM has previously debunked several false claims made by this account. Read here.
The video is also viral on Facebook.
Click here to view the post.
BOOM found that the clip is from 2019 during BBC's Chandrayaan-2 coverage and not recent.
We looked at the video closely and found a logo of Videsh TV on it.
Taking a cue from this, we searched Videsh TV's YouTube channel and using relevant keywords, found a longer version of the video uploaded on July 22, 2019. The title of the video read, "BBC REACTION ON CHANDRAYAAN 2 :700 MILLION INDIANS DON'T HAVE TOILET WHY INDIA SPEND MONEY ON SPACE". The portion of the viral video begins around the 1:04 mark of the video.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 from Sriharikota but crashed on September 6 due to a software glitch. The spacecraft was less than a kilometre away from reaching the lunar surface when the Vikram lander lost control, damaging the machinery and losing communication with the control room.
BBC published a report about Chandrayaan-2 on the same date in July 2019. Read here.
We also found a clarification posted by BBC News' Press handle, confirming that the video was old.
Mukesh Sharma, BBC journalist and former digital head of BBC India refuted the viral claim as well while also providing a link to BBC's coverage of Chandrayaan-3.
BOOM has reached out to Nitin Srivastava, the Indian journalist seen in the video clip. This story will be updated upon his response.
Editor's Note: A previous version of the story misidentified the anchor as Bradley Walsh. The error is regretted.