An old video of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, S Somanath dancing at an event is viral with a misleading claim that it shows him celebrating after the Chandrayaan-3's soft landing on the Moon on Wednesday.
BOOM found that the video is from July 2023 from an event in Bengaluru and not connected to the Chandrayaan-3's mission or any celebration post its landing on August 23, 2023.
India on August 23, 2023 made history and recorded its name as one of the few countries to successfully conduct a mission to the moon. ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 which had taken off from Sriharikota on July 14, made a soft landing on the moon, and is expected to record information and conduct an in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface.
Hours after the soft landing, a video of the ISRO chief S Somanath dancing to a popular song started going viral with captions claiming, "ISRO chief Dr. S Somnath and other scientists are dancing after #Chandrayaan_3 successful moon landing."
BOOM found that the video is from July 2023 and not from August 2023, after the soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon.
We noticed that several viral posts credited 'Sidharth MP - WION News' as the source for the video.
Using this as a cue, we ran a search on X (formerly Twitter) and found a tweet by WION news journalist Sidharth MP with the same video. The tweet was shared on 7.40 pm on August 23, 2023, an hour after the success of Chandrayaan-3.
Sidharth MP had tweeted the video with the caption, "Dr. S. Somanath & team #isro...Celebrate and dance your hearts out tonight ❤️❤️🇮🇳🇮🇳🚀🚀🌕🌕 How many ppl in the world have the power & knowledge to make 1.4+bn hearts swell with pride & joy!" and included several hashtags linking it to the lunar mission.
In a subsequent tweet, Sidharth clarified saying the video is from "earlier this year".
We then reached out to Sidharth, a reporter covering defence for WION News who confirmed that the video was old and added that he had shot the video himself, "at an event in Bengaluru on July 6, 2023".
While he declined to divulge further details about the event and its nature, we found a fact check by the Press Trust of India (PTI) where he was quoted as saying "This (video) is from an event in July (last month) in Bengaluru. It was the G20 Space Economy Leaders meeting cultural night event"
We then looked for photos from the G20 Space Economy Leaders Meet (SELM ) held on July 6-7 in Bengaluru, Karnataka and found several visuals from July 6 where S Somanath the ISRO chief can be seen wearing the same attire. DD News uploaded a video of a press conference held by Somanath on July 6 about the G20 Space Economy Leaders Meet and in that he can be seen wearing the same white shirt and black suit.
Watch the video here