A 29-second video clip of a Hindi-language song that indulges in fearmongering of a takeover by the Muslim community if the BJP rival Samajwadi Party (SP) forms the government in the Uttar Pradesh Elections in 2022 is being shared on social media with the claim that the song was composed by the Muslim community. The news was verified, and it was found that it was a Hindu man with active accounts supporting BJP that performed these songs.
Assembly elections were held in Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the months of February and March 2022. Samajwadi Party, a regional political party, mainly based in Uttar Pradesh, is a major rival of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the national ruling party in India. UP assembly elections are usually decisive in national politics as it is one of the biggest states in India. While the major vote bank of the BJP is people with biases against Muslims, Muslims are one of the major vote bank of SP. The campaigns against SP usually feed into the narrative of them being a minority appeasing party to the threat that their political power will attack Hindu religious institutions. One such video clip that shared this anxiety was widely circulating on social media before the 2022 elections. Even though the fact-checking sites identified this video clip as a propaganda video by a BJP supporter himself, the clip was shared on WhatsApp and social media and misassociated with the SP party and as an open threat to the Hindu institutions. The songwriter later posted a note on Facebook explaining that it is a song written in favour of the BJP and not the other way around.
The video clip can be accessed here. A screenshot of the same clip is given below.
The song lyrics are translated by Alt News India in English. It says:” If SP Government comes to power, then the construction of Ram Mandir will stop, the green flag will be flown, while the saffron flag will be lowered”. Even though the video has the name of the person who has written and performed the song written on top of the video and is clearly verifiable, multiple Twitter users have posted it with misguiding comments. The text attached to the one above says: “The song that is made for the Muslim community should be an eye opener for the Hindus. From this clip, it is evident what these people think. However, there are some Hindu caste groups who keep dreaming about an SP government”.
The video was also shared on Facebook with a similar caption. A few screenshots are given below.
The clip had a name and WhatsApp number. It was forwarded on WhatsApp several times. However, when it is forwarded as a caution to the Hindu community and song is characterised as a threat from the Muslim Community that is campaigning for Samajwadi Party. The person who wrote the song actively identifies as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporter. The handle that shared the song is also identifying as a BJP supporter.
Malicious intent is shown by the people who have shared it because the song clearly carries the name and contact number of the person who had shared it, yet they haven’t revealed the origin of the song to the public. However, the actors on Twitter are not hiding their identities. We do not have access to know the way in which it is circulated on WhatsApp.
Content has not been manipulated or forged. However, the accompanying text is misleading and targeted against a particular community and party.
It is a one-on-one operation. The shares that the content received on Twitter is limited.
Polarising content during the election.
Verifiably false content to deceive the public. Disinformation.