English, Fake News

In the video, the old Brahmin wasn’t threatened by the mob. He was dancing voluntarily at an event


Many Facebook users are sharing a post with a video of an old Brahmin dancing and are alleging that the mob seen in the video was humiliating him by making him remove janeu (sacred thread generally worn by Brahmins) and dance after stripping his clothes. In the post, they went on to write that this incident has taken place in South India and such is the situation of the Congress-led states. Let’s try to analyze the claims made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: In the video, the mob has humiliated the old Brahmin by making him remove his janeu (sacred thread generally worn by Brahmins) and dance after stripping his clothes

Fact: The old man has voluntarily danced at an event held to honour Tamil Nadu social activist and politician E.V. Periyar Ramaswamy. So, the claim that he was humiliated by a mob in South India stands FALSE.    

When we tried to verify the claim made in the post, it was found that a Tamil fact-checking website “You Turn” has already written a fact-check article on the video when it went viral with a different claim in Tamil Nadu.

When searched on YouTube, the full video (1min37secs) of the clipped video (10secs) put in the Facebook post was found on YouTube. It was uploaded by a YouTube channel “Karuppar Koottam” on June 24, 2019.

In the original video, the old man was dancing when the crowd present around him were holding black flags with the photo of Periyar Ramasamy. At around 1:14, the old Brahmin can be seen adjusting his janeu, interacting with the drummers and shaking hands with them. In the entire video, the old Brahmin has his janeu on his body.

When fact checking website BOOM contacted the YouTube channel ‘Karuppar Koottam’, they were told- “This rally which was organised by People’s Forum was held at the Periyar statue on May Day near Sankara Mutt Temple. It was a bit surprising at first seeing the old man come and look at the Periyar statue, our companions cheered and applauded when he started dancing.”

To summarise, in the video, the old Brahmin wasn’t humiliated by the mob. He was dancing voluntarily at an event.

When Factly approached ‘Karuppar Koottam’ channel for the story behind this video, they shared with us their recent YouTube video explaining its background story.  As per it- “Every year,a rally was organised by ‘Makkal Manjal’ Organisation that works on the principles of Ambedkar and Periyar. Last year on May day, when this rally reached Periyar statue near Shankar Mutt, an old Brahmin man joined it voluntarily, praised Periyar Statue and danced in front of it. No one has forced him to do so.”

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