A post shared with a video on social media platforms claims that All India United Democratic Front’s (AIUDF) President, Badruddin Ajmal, spoke about making India an Islamic nation.
An archived version of the claim can be viewed here.
Five Indian states—Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu will have their State Assembly elections held in the next few months. Both regional and national parties are trying to attract voters through social media, and we’ve observed this has led to a significant amount of false and misleading news being shared.
In the past five years, the National Democratic Alliance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Ghatak Dal has been ruling the state While the major opposition parties include the Indian National Congress party and AIUDF, in the second and third positions, respectively (in terms of the number of MLAs in the state).
Pro-BJP social media users shared a video claiming that AIUDF’s President Badruddin Ajmal made several communally-conflicting statements including that of making India an Islamic nation, as was in the past Mughal era.
Note that the above Twitter posts have been marked as “Manipulated Media.”
Fact Check / Verification
We first performed a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes. But this did not yield sufficient results except leading to the official Twitter account of AIUDF President Badruddin Ajmal.
We found that Ajmal rewteeted one of AIUDF’s MLA Dr Hafiz Rafiqul Islam’s video, which said that viral video in context has been edited. Shared on 10 March, the tweet’s caption reads, “Several media outlets including @NewsLiveGhy, @DY365 along with right wing groups have been sharing a doctored video of Honourable @BadruddinAjmal Sahab, clearly with a vested agenda. Here’s the original video from where parts are clipped to make the doctored one.”
In the same thread, Islam shared a link to the original video was posted on YouTube one year ago.
On watching the 21 minute YouTube video shared in the above tweet, we found that the video in the initial claim has in fact been edited. This Youtube video was posted on 17 April, 2019 by Sanidul Vlogs in light of the 2019 General elections.
The first edit comes at the 8-second timestamp where Ajmal is talking about India and the Islamic nation. In truth, Ajmal said that the Mughals ruled India for hundreds of years but they did not dare to make India an Islamic nation.
The second edit comes at the 12-second timestamp in the viral video, the truth of which can be after 7 minutes 55 seconds in the Youtube video.
The third major edit has been done after 30 seconds in the viral video, and can be heard after 6 minutes 7 seconds in the original Youtube video.
Additionally, Senior Editor at Economic Times, Shantanu Sharma, also clarified the claim. Sharma’s tweet posted on 10 March reads, “AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal’s viral video with blatant “communal remarks” is doctored. Several Assam TV channels telecast it. DY365 now shows both the doctored & the original, the meaning of what Ajmal said in the original is exactly the opposite.”
This claim was first debunked in our Hindi fact-check.
Our research makes it clear that AIUDF’s President, Badruddin Ajmal, did not make a statement on making India an Islamic nation. The edited video clip has been sourced from a 15-minute video of Ajmal in Barpeta during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Result: Manipulated Media
Dr Hafiz Rafiqul, AIUDF MLA: https://twitter.com/HafizRafiqulMLA/status/1369513650948476928
Youtube video of Badruddin Ajmal’s speech at Barpeta, 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxxiNC3OqfU
Shantanu Sharma: https://twitter.com/shantanunandan2/status/1369546476498653185
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