English, Fake News

2017 video of PM Modi’s speech in Varanasi is being shared linking it to Gyanvapi Mosque Shivling issue


In light of the recent reported discovery of a Shivling in the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, a social media post accompanying a 29 second video of PM Modi addressing a public gathering is being widely circulated. In the video, PM Modi can be heard saying ‘hamaare Uttar Pradesh to aisa hai ki yahaan bhee khuda, vahaan bhee khuda, idhar bhee khuda, udhar bhee khuda, jahaan nahin khuda hai, vahaan kal khudega’. This short clip of Modi’s speech is being shared linking it to the recent reported discovery of Shivling in the Gyanvapi Mosque. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: PM Modi’s speech claiming God is omnipresent in Uttar Pradesh – Modi predicting God in Gyanvapi.

Fact: Modi made this speech during the assembly election campaign in Varanasi in 2017. In the viral excerpt, Modi was actually paraphrasing a state MP’s satirical dig at the condition of roads, using the word ‘Khuda’ as a wordplay for ‘खुदाई’( Khudaee, which in Hindi is digging). And Modi made these comments in the context of highlighting the negligence of previous governments regarding the development of Varanasi and pitching his vision for the development of the city. The transcript of his speech is available on PM Narendra Modi’s personal website. It is clear from the transcript that the viral excerpt has nothing to do with the recent developments of a reported discovery of Shivling in the Gyanvapi Mosque.  Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court directed for a videographic survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque and following the survey a lawyer from the Hindu side claimed a Shivaling was found inside the well. Whereas the Gyanvapi Mosque management committee, Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid ruled out the claim made by the Hindu faction.

Following these developments, ‘the Supreme court ordered the Varanasi district magistrate to seal off the “wazu khana” (ablution pond) area within the Gyanvapi Mosque but allowed Muslims unfettered access to the mosque for offering namaz.’ It is in this context the viral video of PM Modi is being shared linking it to the issue.

However, the viral clip of PM Modi has nothing to do with the recent developments in the Gyanvapi issue. The viral clip is an excerpt of Modi’s speech during an election rally in Varanasi back in 2017.

In his speech talking about the development of Varanasi, Modi paraphrased the state MP’s satirical take on condition of roads, using using the words ‘Khuda’ and ‘खुदाई’( Khudaee, which in Hindi means ‘digging’) as a wordplay. This is evident from the transcripts of his speech, available on Narendra Modi’s website. Since Khuda also means ‘God’, people have been sharing the video linking it to the Gyanvapi issue.

Following the viral remarks, Modi spoke about the state government’s inability to repair the roads after works for underground wiring of electric cables were done, fearing that the Prime Minister would get credit, as he earlier promised to make the city free from hanging electric cables. Thus, the follow up statements from Modi also make it clear that Modi’s earlier (viral) comments were not about God but about the condition of Varanasi roads (Basic Infrastructure).

This speech of Modi was also reported by news agencies (here, here, here, & here). If Modi had indeed made any comments in line with the viral claim, every media organization would have reported the same, however, none of these reports claimed that Modi made such comments.

To sum it up, old video of PM Modi’s speech in Varanasi is being shared linking it to Gyanvapi Mosque Shivling issue.


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