A video showing the burning of Mahatma Gandhi in effigy is being shared on social media as a recent event amid the celebration of India's 75th Independence Day, dubbed as "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav".
BOOM found that the video is more than three years old, and unrelated to any celebration of Independence Day. Our fact-check revealed that the video is part of a reenactment of Gandhi's assassination by Nathuram Godse. The event was organised on the 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 2019 by far-right nationalist organisation Hindu Mahasabha in Uttar Pradesh, during which Gandhi was burnt in effigy. The organisation's secretary Puja Sukun Pandey and her husband was later arrested by Aligarh Police.
The 32-seconds video has been shared widely on Twitter, which shows a man burning the effigy of Gandhi, followed by slogans hailing Godse. The video was tweeted by user Neha Singh Rathore, a popular Hindi folk singer.
The Hindi caption with the tweet reads, "ये है इनका असली चेहरा गोडसे जिंदाबाद का नारा लगा कर अमृत महोत्सव मना रहे है। क्या इन पर देशद्रोह की कार्यवाही नही होनी चाहिए?"
(English translation: This is their real character hailing slogans favour of Godse "Amrit Mahatsov" is being celebrated. Will they not be booked under anti national act?)
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BOOM ran a keyword search on YouTube with, "Gandhi effigy burning Nathuram", and found several news reports discussing an event from 2019.
We found the viral video being reported by AFP on February 6, 2019, titled as, "Indian woman arrested for shooting Gandhi effigy."
On January 30, 2019, NDTV also shared the viral video, titled as, "Hindu Mahasabha "Recreates" Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination In UP".
According to reports, the video shows Akhil Bhararatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) national secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey, who is seen shooting at the effigy of Gandhi with an air pistol, and then burning it later. The event reportedly happened at the ABHM office in Uttar Pradesh, on January 30, 2019.
A week later, Aligarh Police arrested Pandey along with her husband Ashok Pandey.
A different visual from the same event was also viral in January, 2020 with a claim that a BJP MLA Anil Upadhyay carried out this act. BOOM's fact check later found that Anil Upadhyay is a fictional character.
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