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No, This Video Does Not Show Historic Turnout For Ram Navami Procession In Bihar

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Claim
Historic turnout of 3 lakh people for Ram Navami procession in Bihar’s Purnea.

Fact
Old video of Datta Jayanti celebrations in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru.

While social media platforms are abuzz with unverified, distressful visuals of violent attacks and clashes following Ram Navami celebrations in Bihar, a video allegedly showing a massive turnout of “3 lakh people” at one such procession, purportedly in Purnea, is being widely shared. The 22 second footage shows a massive crowd enthusiastically dancing and revelling to DJ beats, in a sea of saffron.

Twitter and Facebook users who shared the video claimed that it was from Bihar’s Purnea. The posts further added that Purnea is a “Muslim dominated district” in the Seemanchal region.

Such posts can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.

Also Read: Old Video Shared As Kawardha Skyline Dotted With Saffron Flags, Goes Viral

Fact Check/Verification

On carefully analysing the viral footage, we noticed that the text on the hoarding on a few shops were not in Devnagri script, raising our doubts.

Ram Navami Procession In Bihar?
Screengrabs from tweet by @anandkalra69

Following this, we conducted a Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral clip which led us to a Facebook post by @Hiden2life, dated April 17, 2022.

Screengrab from Facebook post by @Hiden2life

The post carried a longer version of the viral video with the caption “Odisha.” 

We also came across another Facebook post by @mohantypuspashree, dated April 11, 2022, featuring the longer version of the viral clip in a post on Ram Navami celebrations in “Odisha.”

This led us to conclude that the viral footage is at least one-year-old, and does not show recent “Ram Navami” celebrations.

But is this video from Bihar? Or from Odisha?

Newschecker continued our investigation to  find the exact location where the video was shot. We analysed the longer video and spotted several hoarding displaying the names of the commercial outlets including “Gujarath Sales,” “Bharat Fashion,” “Pearl” and “IDBI Bank”.

Screengrabs from Facebook post by @Hiden2life

On looking up the same on Google, and found a website Infolabel identifying  the location as Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka.

Also Read: Video Of Men Waving Saffron Flags Outside A Mosque In Karnataka Linked To Karauli Violence

Taking a clue, we looked up IDBI Bank Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka on Google Street View and found a location similar to the one seen in the longer version of the viral video.

(L-R) Screengrab from longer version of the viral video and screengrab from Google Street View

We then looked up “MG Road Chikmagalur Hindu Yatra” on YouTube which yielded a video by SGS kannada vlogs, dated December 19, 2021, titled ‘MG Road chikmagalur shobhayatre | datta jayanti 2021.”

Screengrab from YouTube video by SGS kannada vlogs

It carried the longer viral video that is being shared to show record participation in Ram Navami Yatra in Bihar.

Multiple other videos uploaded on YouTube, like this, this and this, identify the viral footage at that of the 2021 Datta Jayanti celebrations in Chikkamagaluru.

Notably, Datta Jayanti or Dattatreya Jayanti is a Hindu festival that commemorates the birth of Lord Datta (Dattatreya), a combined form of the Hindu male divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. A celebratory procession is carried out to mark the occasion.

We compared the viral video with visuals of such processions in Chikkamagaluru over the years and found several similarities in the composition of the crowd, the flag, the saffron turbans and the decor.

(L-R) Screengrab from longer version of the viral clip and YouTube video by Asianet Suvarna News
(L-R) Screengrab from longer version of the viral clip and YouTube video by Tv9 Kannada

Furthermore, we came across a tweet by @KalanathNivane, dated December 12, 2019, carrying a slightly shorter version of the viral footage to show “grand celebrations of Datta jayanti” in Chikkamagaluru.

Screengrab from tweet by @KalanathNivane

Though the video has been in circulation since at least December 2019, we were not independently able to ascertain the exact date/year when it was shot.

Conclusion

Viral post claiming to show the historic turnout of 3 lakh people for a Ram Navami procession in Bihar’s Purnea is false. The video has been on the internet since December 2019, and shows the Datta Jayanti celebration in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru.

Result: False

Sources
Facebook Post By @Hiden2life, Dated April 17, 2022
Website Infolabel
Google Street View
YouTube Video By SGS kannada vlogs, Dated December 19, 2021
YouTube Video By Asianet Suvarna News, Dated December 21, 2018
YouTube Video By Tv9 Kannada, December 21, 2021
Tweet By @KalanathNivane, Dated December 12, 2019
(With inputs from Saurabh Pandey)


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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