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HomeFact CheckChennai Engineer Mocked For Not Knowing Tamil Did Not Post In Hindi,...

Chennai Engineer Mocked For Not Knowing Tamil Did Not Post In Hindi, X Page Belongs To Another Woman Of Same Name

Authors

Vijayalakshmi leads our Tamil team. She’s worked in the media industry for more than eight years. This includes her work as a senior correspondent for Times Now before joining Newschecker. She turned to fact-checking to create awareness around misinformation through her writing.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

Claim: A woman who claimed she was mocked by CISF for not knowing Hindi in Goa has posted on X in Hindi.

Fact: The social media handle belongs to another woman named Sharmila Rajasekharan, and not the woman who claimed to have been mocked for not knowing Hindi.

mocked by the CISF personnel for not knowing Hindi at the Goa airport has once again triggered the Hindi imposition debate. It has become a talking point on social media and has evoked a sharp reaction from Tamil Nadu CM, who reiterated that Hindi is not the national language, and called such notions ‘misguided’ and ‘concerning’. 

In this context, several social media users are sharing a screenshot of a Hindi post by a user, going by the name Sharmila Rajasekharan, on X formerly known as Twitter. The users sharing the screengrab claim that the account belongs to the woman who claimed to have been mocked for not knowing Hindi, casting aspersions at her claim.

Fact check/ Verification

Newschecker began by verifying the X handle @SharmiSharmiji that has been mentioned in the viral screengrab. On verifying the handle, we found a post in Tamil shared on 14 December 2023 where the user says “Some trouble seems to have happened in the Goa airport. I don’t know the woman who spoke up there. Just because I share her name, you BJP-ADMK are doing publicity about me. Intellectuals, do you have something to think with or not?” This indicates that the woman whose handle shared Hindi language posts is different from the woman engineer who was allegedly mocked for not knowing Hindi.

We also found another response by the same handle where she says that she is not the woman in question and that she knows Hindi well.

We also found a Facebook page belonging to the same Sharmila Rajasekharan, where we found more pictures of her.

We compared the display image of Sharmila from X, and the other image of Sharmila from Facebook and found it to be an exact match, confirming that both pages belonged to the same person. 

Comparison of Sharmila Rajasekharan’s photograph from Facebook and X

We then compared the image with the image of the Chennai-based engineer who claimed to have been mocked for not knowing Hindi.

The results revealed that the two women are different individuals. 

Comparison of photographs of the Chennai engineer to was mocked for not knowing Hindi and Sharmila Rajasekharan’s photograph from Facebook

We further found a post by DTNext journalist Srikkanth, who covered the story for the publication. He clarified that Sharmila Rajasekharan, the owner of the X page that made Hindi posts, is a different person. 

Conclusion

A case of mistaken identity on social media has led users to confuse an individual with the same name as the Chennai engineer who reported mistreatment at the Goa airport. The posts in Hindi are being circulated in an attempt to discredit the engineer’s claim.

Result: False

Our sources
Comparison of the two images
Post on X by Sharmila Rajasekharan, dated December 14, 2023
Post on X by DTNext journalist Srikkanth, dated December 14, 2023

(This article was first written for Newschecker Tamil by Vijayalakshmi Balasubramanian)


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Authors

Vijayalakshmi leads our Tamil team. She’s worked in the media industry for more than eight years. This includes her work as a senior correspondent for Times Now before joining Newschecker. She turned to fact-checking to create awareness around misinformation through her writing.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Ruby leads editorial, operations and initiatives at Newschecker. In her former avatar at New Delhi Television (NDTV), India’s leading national news network, she was a news anchor, supervising producer and senior output editor. Her over a decade-long career encompasses ground-breaking reportage from conflict zones and reporting on terror incidents, election campaigns, and gender issues. Ruby is an Emmy-nominated producer and has handled both local and international assignments, including the coverage of Arab Spring in 2011, the US Presidential elections in 2016, and ground reportage on the Kashmir issue since 2009.

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