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Fact Check: Puri Shankaracharya Praised Nepal’s PM Prachanda As Hero Of World’s Healthy Revolution? No, Viral Video Is Misleading

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 more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Puri Shankaracharya hailed Nepal’s Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ as the champion of the world’s healthy revolution.
Fact
No, Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati was actually reiterating the need to follow Sanatan Hindu faith in its pure form.

A video claiming to show Hindu religious leader Puri Shankaracharya saying that the world’s healthy revolution has originated from Nepal, is going viral on TikTok. The video goes on to claim that Shankaracharya said Nepal’s incumbent Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the champion of the revolution.

Nepal’s current Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is still known by his conflict-era nom de guerre ‘Prachanda’, led a decade-long armed Maoist revolt before joining the mainstream politics after signing a peace deal in 2006. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly in May 2008, elected to write a new constitution, declared Nepal a secular, federal democratic republic, thus ending its status as the only Hindu kingdom in the world.

TikTok user @chawaassai posted a video showing Hindu religious leader Puri Shankaracharya addressing Hindu devotees. In his speech in Hindi, Shankaracharya says, “India’s previous and current prime ministers and present Presidents should listen carefully, the healthy revolution in the world will originate from Nepal. And that healthy revolution will be used and enacted in the interest of everyone. Just listen to two lines. If Sanatan Vedic Aryan Hindu…” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Shankaracharya says, “Don’t mesh with Prachanda who is the hero of Nepal’s revolution. World’s healthy revolution has originated from Nepal and Prachanda is the hero of the revolution. A powerful speech by a Hindu religious leader.”

The video posted on January 25 has garnered 337 likes, and 14 people have shared it. 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 ran a search on Google by using clues from the speech of Shankaracharya. The search led us to a video, dated May 16, 2018 posted on the YouTube channel of Govardan Math Puri. On checking the video, we found that the video clip from 20.41-minute onwards exactly matched the viral video. However, nowhere did Shankaracharya mention Prachanda’s name in the ‘healthy revolution’ he was referring to. Rather, he says, “If Sanatan Vedic Arya Hindu Dharma is implemented in its pure form then there is no need for any other system. Communism was invented as the consequence of non-compliance with our religion.”

We also found the viral clip shared on a Facebook page named ‘Narayani Sewa’ on December 14, 2023.

Further, we found an article, dated May 14, 2018, published in Odisha TV which confirmed that Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati visited Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu during his 10-day visit to Nepal.

Thus, our findings clearly showed that the viral video depicted Puri Shankaracharya vouching for the importance for Sanatana Hindu religion.

Conclusion

No, Puri Shankaracharya didn’t praise PM Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as the champion of the world’s healthy revolution. The viral video misconstrued the old speech of Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.

Result: False

Sources
Narayani Sena/Facebook https://www.facebook.com/reel/668586305440621, December 4, 2023
Govardhan Math, Puri, May 16, 2018
Odisha TV online, May 14, 2018


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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 more 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 more essential today than ever before.

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