Did The Home Ministry Ask States To Stop Using The Word 'Hindu'?
MHA declines ever issuing a letter notifying states to not use the words 'Hindu' and 'Shivling'
A screenshot of a circular claiming the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directed that the word 'Hindu' should not be used in any official communication by the Chief Secretaries of states and union territories is false.
This claim was also debunked by the government's Press Information Bureau's fact-checking Twitter account- PIB Factcheck
A purported #MHA letter asking the Chief Secretaries 'to avoid the use of the term ''Hindu" in respect of Indian in Official Communication and transactions' is doing the rounds of social media#PIBFactCheck: This letter has NOT been issued by MHA.— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) January 17, 2020
Conclusion: #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/53hiP4kcUj
BOOM contacted Joint Secretary- Administration Shri Prakash who confirmed the email was fake. "It is hereby confirmed that every part of the letter is fake as no such letter has ever been issued by Ministry of Home Affairs", Prakash said in an email reply.
The image claims that the MHA is now following a 1995 ruling by the Supreme Court which mandated that the word 'Hindu' should not be used in any official communication from the Indian state as it is implied to be a 'Gali Galouch'. The image also suggests that the word Shiva ling represents 'penis' and should not be used to describe temples or shrines referring to Lord Shiva. These words should be replaced with the words 'secular' and 'Mahadeo'. This document was scanned by somebody using the CamScanner app as visible in the bottom left of the image.
The notification further stated that Shiv lingas should not be worshipped in public. It also states that the Shiv linga is the Brahman, Stupa and Vihar which was built by King Ashoka and was worshipped as Mahadeo by the SC, ST, and OBC communities.
BOOM received the image on its Whatsapp helpline for verifying the document's veracity.
The image suggests that this notification was written by Sanjay Mehta, an Under Secretary on October 4, 2019 and was passed on November 27, 2019. BOOM could not find this circular or notice on MHA's official website.
BOOM used the aforementioned dates and the keywords 'Supreme Court' 'Hindu' '1995' and 'Sanjay Mehta' but did not find any such document. There were no news reports about the same.
The keywords 'Supreme Court' 'Hindu' and '1995' spoke about a completely different ruling mandated by the Supreme Court. The apex court had requested the chief justice to constitute a larger bench of five judges to define the term 'Hindutva' but the Supreme Court has not constituted any such committee till date.
On further inspecting the letter, we found that the letter had many spelling and grammatical errors. Along with this, the letter does not follow the the procedure that is normally followed for orders and notifications. Words such as directed, mandated, ban, installation have been irregularly capitalised. In addition words such as 'penis' or 'gali galouch' are not usually found in any official communication.
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