Social media posts featuring a screenshot of a Wikipedia entry on Vir Das claiming the stand-up comic is a Muslim, are false as the page was vandalised by users to make the fake claim.
The viral posts falsely claim that the stand-up's real name is actually 'Vir Abdullah Das'. The entry has since been removed.
The fake claim is being shared after Das shared a video of his performance at Kennedy Centre in Washington titled, "I come from Two Indias"- a monologue on the many contradictions in modern-day India.
The video has since gone viral, with stand-up comic facing heavy criticism from political leaders for what they claim is presenting India in a bad light at an international stage. At least two police complaints have also been filed against him in Mumbai and Delhi, so far.
The screenshot is being shared with a caption in Hindi that translates to, "Do you understand... 👇 This cheap comedian who was doing indecent comedy on India and Hindus in America, his name is not only Vir Das, but full name is Virr Abdullah Das...A dog's tail is never straight..."
(Original text in Hindi - जो कॉमेडियन अमेरिका में जाकर हिंदुओं और भारत पर अभद्र कॉमेडी कर रहा था उसका नाम सिर्फ वीर दास नहीं बल्कि उसका पूरा नाम वीर अब्दुल्लाह दास है।)
BOOM found Vir Das' Wikipedia page was vandalised. The page was edited to falsely claim the stand-up comic is a Muslim and that his real name is Vir Abdullah Das. The entry which requires a citation has since been removed.
We first looked for Das's Wikipedia page and found that it does not mention the name Abdullah.
We then went through the history of the Wikipedia page of the comedian and found that several changes had been made on November 16 and 17 and the same were later removed.
Wikipedia, is an online encyclopedia project spanning articles on various topics and personalities and in present in multiple languages. The free to use site has entries written and maintained by contributors and allows anybody to make changes to the articles but in some cases the same is restricted to prevent vandalism.
One such change made at Nov 17 shows that in the birth name column his name was changed from 'Vir Das' to 'Vir Abdullah Das'
In another edit on the same day, Das's Wiki description was edited to add Vir Abdullah Das and changing his nationality from Indian to Nigerian.
The Wikipedia history page of Das shows a series of changes made by users to make the false claims that Das is born in a Muslim family, is a Nigerian national and one of the changes also claimed that he is a Pakistani.
Further in an interview to the Wall Street Journal in 2019, the actor spoke at length about his parents and mentioned their names. He says, "My father, Ranu, worked for a big Indian food-processing company. My mother, Madhur, was a teacher in Lagos."
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