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Fact Check: Old Interview Of Ex-King Gyanendra Falsely Linked With Durga Prasain’s Mass Rally

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Former King Gyanendra Shah has given consent for the November 23 protest led by Durga Prasain.
Fact
Viral Video from 2012 is not related to the current political scenario of Nepal.

At a time when businessman Durga Prasain has been leading an anti-establishment protest calling for reinstatement of monarchy and reverting Nepal back as a Hindu state, a video claiming that deposed King Gyanendra Shah has consented for the November 23 demonstration is going viral on TikTok.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @newsnepal19 posted a video showing an interview of Nepal’s former King Gyanendra Shah. Text superimposed on the video reads, “The King has consented for the November 23 protest. Now the time has come to rethink.” In the interview, King Gyanendra says, “The time has come for Nepali people to think. People are in conflict with one another. There are conflicts everywhere in society. This is not a good sign for a country. The country we knew as a child doesn’t exist anymore. It is time for us to strengthen the foundation of our nation.” Then the interviewer asks, “So you are ready to provide leadership to the nation once more?” The former goes on to say, “Yes, if the people want it.” He further says, “We have created images of our God on stones, and they sit silently. If the people come and say it is time to do something, then maybe the stones might speak.”

The video posted on November 9 has garnered 35.5k likes, 388 users have shared it and 1082 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker took a key frame from the viral video and conducted a reverse search on it. The results threw up several results matching the viral video.

On checking a video titled “King Gyanendra Interview with Prem Baniya” published on a YouTube channel named Prem Baniya on February 9, 2018, we found that the video frame and the audio exactly matched the viral video from 4.05-minute onwards. Our research showed that the exclusive interview of former King Gyanendra was done by Nepali journalist Prem Baniya back in 2012 and broadcast on News24 Channel.

We found another longer version of the interview, dated July 2012, published on the YouTube Channel named Krishna Khanal. The video actually showed the original interview of King Gyanendra by journalist Baniya.  

Thus, our findings showed that the viral video actually showed an old clip of an interview of former King Gyanendra that has no connection with the ongoing agitation led by Durga Prasain.

Conclusion

The viral video allegedly showing deposed King Gyanendra Shah consenting for the November 23 mass rally, spearheaded by Durga Prasain, demanding reinstatement of monarchy and Hindu state is misleading. The viral video actually shows an old interview of the former King in which he expressed his worry about the bleak political situation of the country after he abdicated the throne in May 2008.

Result: Partly False

Sources
Prem Baniya/YouTube, Feb 9, 2018
Krishna Khanal /Youtube, July 26, 2012


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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