A cropped video of school students performing a skit at a school in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, is circulating on social media with misleading and communal claims that the student enacting the role of 'Bharat Mata' (Mother India), was forced to remove her crown and made to wear a hijab.
The mischievously cropped video shows students dressed wearing skull caps and burqas removing the crown from a girl dressed up as Bharat Mata. The latter is then made to wear a head gear following which she kneels down while the aazan (Islamic call to prayer) can be heard playing in the background.
BOOM found the video is an incident from Shishu Bharatiya School in Lucknow's Malviya Nagar Police Station, Bazarkhala area. The skit was staged on August 15.
In a longer version of the video, the girl dressed up as Bharat Mata takes part in the prayer rituals of four different religious communities along with students wearing their respective religious attire, in a skit about communal harmony and diversity.
Sudarshan News tweets cropped video
The 20-second long viral video, tweeted by pro-Hindutva TV channel Sudarshan News, is circulating with claims that the crown adorned by Bharat Mata was removed to make her wear a hijab.
Sudarshan News' tweet with the text "Crown removed from Bharat Maa's head and she was made to wear a hijab."
(Original text in Hindi: भारतमाँ के सिर का मुकुट हटा कर पहना दिया हिजाब। ) and has garnered more than 2.8 lakh views at the time of writing the article.
Below is Sudarshan News' Facebook post of the same cropped video.
BOOM has fact-checked Sudarshan News on several occasions for peddling misinformation. (Read more about it here.)
The video was also tweeted by BJP leader Abhijat Mishra and journalist Hemendra Tripathi tagging Lucknow Police and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and seeking an investigation on the same. Both Mishra and Tripathi have since deleted their tweets.
The cropped video has also made its way on WhatsApp and Facebook and is being circulated with the caption, "See this, the game of these jihadis has now started in schools also, after removing the crown from the head of Mother India, she is being made to offer namaz. All this is happening in partnership with these schools, immediate action should be taken on this school. Make this video viral. Action should be taken today, otherwise their spirits will be raised."
(Original text in Hindi: ये देखिए इन जिहादियों का खेल अब स्कूलों में भी शुरू हो गया है भारत माता के सिर से मुकुट हटा कर उनसे नमाज पढ़ाई जा रही हैं ये सब इन स्कूल कि मिलीभागत से हो रहा हैं इस स्कूल पर तुरंत कारवाई होनी चाहिए इस वीडियो को वायरल कीजिए आज के आज ही कारवाई होनी चाहिए नही तो इनके हौसले बुलंद होते जायेंगे)
Click here to see posts on the video
BOOM reached out to Sunil Kumar Sharma, ACP, Bazarkhala, Lucknow Police, who directed us to a tweet by Police Commissionerate Lucknow debunking the same video.
In a statement, Police Commissionerate Lucknow stated, "A video has been received from social media, where a crown is being removed from a girl dressed as Bharat Mata and she is made to offer namaz. We have investigated the video and found that the said video is from Shishu Bharatiya Vidyalaya, Malviya Nagar Police Station, Bazarkhala. We reached out to the principal of the school and watched the entire video and found that school students staged a skit. The message of the skit is communal harmony and it appeals to maintain peace and not indulge in fights in the name of religion. Twitter users have used a cropped portion of the video to mislead. We have initiated an investigation."
The Police Commissionerate Lucknow's handle also tweeted the entire video of the skit which shows an act where a girl, dressed as Bharat Mata, is seen being worshiped in Hindu, Islamic, Sikh and Christian customs respectively.
Additionally we also found a tweet by The Times of India journalist Arvind Chauhan, featuring a comment from one of the teachers of the school. In the video, the teacher who identifies herself as Pragati Nigam, clarifies that the cropped video is misleading. "The viral video is fake. My aim was to bring together all the four religions. My intention was not to hurt any religious sentiments. I appeal everyone to watch the entire video."
The school authorities could not immediately be reached for a comment.
(Additional reporting by Mohammed Salman)
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?