A set of old pictures, and a video showing Sikh men painting Hindi signboards black is viral with a false caption linking them to the ongoing farmers' protests.
BOOM found that while the viral pictures are from 2017, the video was recorded in September last year and none of them are related to the ongoing farmers' protests. The pictures and the video are part of protests against alleged Hindi imposition in the state.
The pictures and video is viral in the backdrop of the protests going on at the borders of Delhi where farmers have been camping since November 26, 2020. The farmers have been demanding a complete roll back of the three farm laws passed by the Indian Parliament in 2020.
The set of viral pictures has been shared with a Hindi claim which translates to 'After damaging Reliance Jio towers, there next target is to put an end to Hindi. Are they farmers? They want obstruction not solution...they want agitation not peace...they want destruction not development...they want a free hand not freedom...they want roadblocks not roads. #FakeFarmersProtest'.
(Hindi: रिलायंस जियो के टॉवर तोड़ने के बाद अब अगला काम हिंदी_नही_चलेगी... क्या ये किसान है ? ये समाधान नहीं व्यवधान चाहते हैं..ये शांति नहीं संघर्ष चाहते है...ये विकास नहीं, विनाश चाहते हैं, ये स्वतंत्रता नहीं, स्वछंदता चाहते हैं, ये सड़क नहीं, स्पीड ब्रेकर चाहते हैं। #फर्जी_किसान_आन्दोलन)
A video showing a Sikh man painting the Hindi words on a signboard black is also viral with a Hindi caption that translates to 'This is their true face...farmers protest is just a guise, the real agenda is resistance against Hindus'.
(Hindi: ये है इनका असली चेहरा...किसान आन्दोलन बहाना है हिन्दू और हिन्दू विरोध असली मकसद )
According to a report published in Hindustan Times on October 25, 2017, protests were taken up by some organisations in Punjab 'over relegating Punjabi to number three on signboards, behind Hindi and English.
Another report published in India TV on October 25, 2017 states that radical Sikh groups had undertaken a 'massive drive to blacken Hindi and English words on signboards along the Bathinda-Faridkot National Highway'. They were demanding that Punjabi gets precedence over all other languages on signboards.
Upon reverse image search on a screenshot from the viral clip, we found a YouTube video uploaded on September 14, 2020 by the channel Sathiyam News.
The title with the video in Tamil translates to 'The protest against Hindi imposition is now not only seen in south India, but in north as well'.
(Tamil: "தெற்கில் மட்டுமல்ல.. வடக்கிலும் இந்தி திணிப்புக்கு எதிர்ப்பு")
The anchor in the video can be heard saying 'After Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Protest against Hindi imposition started in Punjab'.
BOOM was however unable to independently confirm the location of the viral video.
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