An old video of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Dr S Somanath being felicitated is being shared online with the misleading claim that he visited the office of right-wing Hindu organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) following the success of Chandrayaan-3.
BOOM found that the claims are misleading, the video is from July this year, before the successful landing of mission Chandrayaan-3, and does not show Dr Somanath at RSS' office.
India became the fourth country to land on the moon and the first country to land on the south pole of the lunar surface on August 23 after it successfully landed Chandrayaan-3. ISRO's chief Dr S Somanath and the entire team of engineers and scientists have received wide acclaim for achieving this feat.
The video of Somanath is viral in this context.
A caption on X (formerly Twitter) reads, "ISRO Chief Somnath at the RSS office, Banglore.🔥🚩 It will give solid heartburn to Italians/IsIamists/commies.😂"
Click here to view the post.
BOOM found that the video shows Dr Somanath being felicitated at Rashtrotthana Parishat, an NGO in Bengaluru, not in the RSS office.
A keyword search on Google using 'isro chief s somanath felicitated' led us to an image carrying visuals similar to the ones in the viral video. The image led us to the website of Rashtrotthana Parishat where they had posted a blog about Dr Somanath's visit.
The undated blog mentioned how Dr Somanath was felicitated by RSS' General Secretary, Dattatreya Hosabale. Dr Somanath was also presented with a shawl for leading India's Chandrayaan-3 mission.
Rashtrotthana Parishat is an NGO based in Chamarajpet, Bengaluru, that primarily works in social, educational, and cultural areas. Their social transformation activities also include slum transformation, establishing blood banks, fitness centres, and cowsheds.
Excerpts from the blog such as, "The spacecraft sent by ISRO has already reached the moon’s orbit and is expected to land at the moon’s south pole by the end of August," and "He (Somanath) also stressed the importance of proper landing in the mission, which is scheduled to take place at the moon’s south pole by the end of August," led us to believe that the blog is not recent and was most likely published in July.
A simple keyword search on Facebook using 'S Somanath and Dattatreya Hosabale' led us to a video shared by the official page of right-wing media outlet Vishwa Samvad Kendra Bharat (VSK-B). The post carried the same video as the viral video and was shared on July 19.
The caption read, "RSS Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale Ji congratulated ISRO Chairman Dr. S Somanath Ji, on successfully leading of Chandrayan3, at Rashtrotthana Parishat, Chamarajapete, Bengaluru."
VSK Karnataka also put out a clarification on their official X page regarding the video and mentioned how Dr Somanath "has not visited RSS office."