A viral video claiming to show students at Bengaluru's Christ College danced to a 'Jai Shri Ram' song at a college festival, is fake as the audio has been tampered with by overlaying the song on to the clip.
BOOM found that the audio of Jai Shri Ram song was added by a student of the same college, Pratham Makhija, and uploaded to Instagram as a reel on his account.
The video with the edited audio went viral on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp with claims that 'Jai Shri Ram' was played at an event at Christ College in Bengaluru, Karnataka and students danced enthusiastically to the same.
The edited video shows a large crowd of students dressed in sarees and other Indian ethnic wear, dancing to 'Bharat Ka Baccha Baccha Jai Shri Ram Bolega'.
It is being shared on Facebook with a text in Hindi that translates to, "Ever kid in Bharat will now chant, 'Jai Shree Ram'. Christ University, Bengaluru, Karnataka"
(Original text in Hindi - भारत का बच्चा बच्चा अब " जय जय श्री राम" बोलेगा.. 🙏🚩 क्राइस्ट विश्वविद्यालय बेंगलुरु, कर्नाटक")
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A Twitter user uploaded it with the caption, "Christ University in Parallel universe. I hope Christ won't have a "issue issue" with Jai Shree Ram. Because Ram toh Rome Rome mein baste hain" (sic)
The video was also uploaded on YouTube with the same false claim.
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We found that the video first went viral after an Instagram user Pratham Makhija with the handle @thenationalistguy uploaded it as an Instagram reel. Makhija uploaded with the caption, "Christ University in Parallel Universe. Expectations from Christ (deemed to be university)... Dreams.
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Makhija in his replies, told users who asked if the students actually danced to the song, that the audio had been added to the video.
A Facebook search for the user Pratham Makhija showed that he was a student of Christ University itself. We then contacted Kailash Koushik, Assistant Professor, Department of Media Studies at Christ college who said that the video was from October 28, 2022 when the annual festival - Bhasha Utsav was held.
"The event was Bhasha Utsav, an annual event organised by the Department of Languages to promote linguistic fraternity. Students dress in ethnic wear on this day," Koushik responded in an email. "No such song was played during this event and the same has been confirmed by the DJ," he added.
We then reached out to the DJ who on condition of staying anonymous said, "I have been the DJ for all Christ College events for many years now. We never play any religious songs at any college event. There are live performances representing several states including the Chenda from Kerala. In addition to this we play popular beat versions of some traditional music and music from movies which students can dance to. We have never played any religious song and the song in the viral video was never played at the Bhasha Utsav event at Christ College,"he said.
BOOM then reached out to Pratham Makhija created the doctored video and uploaded it to Instagram. Makhija's video received 1.6 million views and over 600 comments with many people believing that the students actually danced to the Jai Shri Ram song.
Makhija, who is incidentally a third year Political Science student at Christ College said, "I shot the video and then uploaded the Jai Shri Ram song with it using the option on Instagram. Instagram app gives option to mute or reduce the original background music and add any song of choice."
According to his Facebook profile, Makhija is with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and has been the media coordinator for the local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh during the Lok Sabha elections.
When asked why he added the song to the video, Makhija told BOOM, "When I shot the video, the actual song the students were dancing to was Kudukku...which I think is a South Indian song. I don't know what language the song is in and my followers also don't understand the words of South Indian songs. That's why I added the Jai Shri Ram song. I have a lot of followers and most of them are not from South India." He added, "as I explained in replies and the caption, it is a dream that such a thing happens at Christ. It clearly means that the Jai Shri Ram song was not played,"
The song 'Bharat ka baccha baccha, Jai Shri Ram bolega, is a popular among right wing users. Several videos have been doctored to overlay the song on to them. BOOM earlier debunked viral posts which claimed Indian and Pakistani fans at the T20 World Cup in Australia, danced to the song together.
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