A viral video of a seer from Varanasi criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for using Hindu god Ram's name for political gains is misleading, as the clip has cropped out parts where the seer also slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for getting agitated by 'Jai Shree Ram' chants.
The viral video has cropped out sections from the starting and ending of Avimukteshawarnand's interview to local channels where he spoke about Banerjee's response to Jai Shree Ram chants at political events. The West Bengal chief minister has reacted strongly in the past to the slogan from detractors who have used it to heckle her at rallies.
In the video, he has also criticised PM Modi and Shah for their handling of the farmers' protest and also says all three politicians are in the same category for chanting Ram's name for their convenience and political gain.
The edited video is being shared with a caption in Hindi, that translates to, "Does Modi have the right to indulge in politics under Ram's name? Hear this saint talk about Ram..."
(Original text in Hindi - क्या मोदी को राम के नाम की राजनीति करने का हक़ है ? एक बार इन संत से राम की परीभाषा सुन ले...)
In the 1.29 minutes video, the seer can be heard saying talking about how politicians chant Jai Shri Ram for their gain during election but don't stand true to the belief propagated by the god.
He says, "Should Ram's name be taken only during elections? Is his name meant only for elections? If you want to take Ram's name then as soon as the first request comes you should heed to it. Since 70 days, farmers are protesting in winters, in harsh winters. Bone numbing winters have passed, but the government is not listening and is still taking Ram's name! How do these people who are chanting Jai shri ram, have the right to take Ram's name? The right to chant Jai Shri ram is for those who will pay heed to the first call of help and get out of their palaces and hold a hearing on the streets....You don't have the right chant the name of this Ram's name! Lakhs of farmers are dying...look at their state...and for them you have dug nails into the street! And you want to chant Jai Shri ram! I spit on the faces of these people who are using Ram's name for politics! Be it Narendra Modi or Amit Shah...both are of the same category...misusing Ram's name..."
Supreme Court Lawyer Prashant Bhushan also shared the same edited video from his Twitter handle.
The viral video has the logo and ticker with the name Live VNS and a search for the same showed that it is YouTube channel for news from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The channel had uploaded the full video of Avimukteshwaranand on Feb 4, 2021 with the description that the seer criticised PM Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for building the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, a pet project of the prime minister.
In the original video, Avimukteshwaranand starts with naming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her recent remarks about Jai Shri Ram chants and then goes on to speak about the Bharatiya Janata Party led union government's handling of the farmers protest and says they do not have the right to chant Ram's name who are ignoring the plight of the farmers. The part where the seer mentions Banjerjee has been edited out of the viral video. Avimukteshwarnanand again mentions Banerjee and says that she too has no right to be irritated at Jai Shri Ram chants and goes on to add that Banerjee, Shah and Modi are the same brand of politicians who use are using religion for political gain. This part too has been edited out of the viral video.
In the original video, Avimukteshwaranand says the lines as in the viral video at the counter of 2.55. The said is a continuation of him talking about Banerjee and can be heard at the 2.50 counter in the video where he says, "Ram ka naam lene se Mamata ko bhay lag raha hai. Aur dusre ko khushi bhi toh horahi hai..." which translates to, "Mamata Banerjee is scared of Ram chants. But others are getting happy..." and then starts the part from the viral video. This line about Mamata Banjerjee has been edited out of the viral video.
In the video being shared, Avimukteshwaranand towards the end says, "I spit on the faces of these people who are using Ram's name for politics! Be it Narendra Modi or Amit Shah...both are of the same category...misusing Ram's name.." But in the original video, he in fact says with, "I spit on the faces of these people who are using Ram's name for politics! I spit even on Mamata Banerjee's face who is not clearing this topic but is getting irritated at people taking Ram's name. Be it Mamata Banerjee, Narendra Modi or Amit Shah...both are of the same category...misusing Ram's name... one by taking it and the other by opposing it...."
This part where he mentions Banerjee has been edited out to misleading claim that he is criticising only Modi and Shah.
Watch the full video starting below :
Claim : Seer Avimukteshwaranand from Varanasi criticises PM Modi and Amit Shah for chanting Jai Shri Ram for politican gain.
Claimed By : Social Media posts
Fact Check : Misleading