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HomeEnglishFact Check: Viral Video Claiming To Show Ram Kirtan In Saudi Arabia...

Fact Check: Viral Video Claiming To Show Ram Kirtan In Saudi Arabia 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
Viral video purportedly shows Muslims singing Ram Kirtan in mosques of Saudi Arabia. 
Fact
The viral clips actually show Muslim devotees singing Kirtan at Sai Baba Ashram in Karnataka state of India.

A video claiming to show Ram Kirtan being held in Mosques in Saudi Arabia is going viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @user9828115385380 posted a video showing a Hindu devotee saying, “See this video of Ram Kirtan being held in a mosque in Saudia Arabia.” The video shows a clip of Muslim women clad in Burkhas singing a Hindu devotional song, “Ram Charan Sukhadaai Bhajor Re.” The footage follows another clip showing Arab men singing, “Narayana Hari Narayana Hari Om.” The narrating lady goes on to say in Hindi, “It is said that Islam originated from Saudi Arabia. But the people there praise the glory of Sanatan Dharma [Hinduism]. They believe that it will never be enough to praise the glory of Sanatana Dharma. Temples are being destroyed in India, while Sheikhs are donating their lands for building temples. Plans are being made to dismantle temples in India, while they are making plans to build temples in Saudi Arabia. Many huge organisations are contributing to build temples in Saudi Arabia.”

She adds, “This is the difference that the publicity of Sanatan Dharma is growing in foreign countries but some Hindus in India are speaking against their own religion and not being able to recognize it. Say Hail with mother India, Jaya Jaya Shree Ram.” While the lady praises the glory of Hinduism, a series of pictures showing Muslim Sheikhs and Hindu holy men together are shown in the video.  

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on September 6 has garnered 47.6k likes, 2762 users have shared the video and 2642 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely watched the video and found that it contained two footages and 11 images. We split the video into several keyframes from the viral video.  Then, we conducted a reverse search on the keyframe from the first footage of Burka-clad Muslim women. The search led us to a video, dated March 31, 2023, posted by one Twitter handle named Sanjoy Ghose Chandra Shekhar Galgale. The video frames and the Kirtan audio exactly matched the footage shown in the viral video.

The video caption read, “Muslim Bhakts at Sai Baba’s Prashanti Nilayam Ashram singing Ram Bhajan,” indicating that the video was from Sai Baba’s Ashram in India and not from Saudi Arabia.

Taking a clue from the video, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video, dated 17 July 2012, published on the official YouTube channel of Satya Sai Organisation. The video frames from 45.57-minute onwards exactly matched the clip used in the viral video.

Then, we conducted a reverse search on a keyframe from the second footage used in the viral video and found that the video. The search led us to a video, dated April 1, 2015, published on a YouTube channel named Castrol983. On checking the video, we found that the video frames and audio from the 0.57-minute timestamp exactly matched the second footage used in the viral video and was from the same event at Sai Baba’s Ashram. We also checked the Sai Channel video, dated 17 July 2012, found that the video frames from 52.43-minute timestamp onwards matched the footage used in the viral video.

Further, we conducted a reverse search on a keyframe from an image showing Hindu priest along with a Sheikh offering worship. The search led us to an article carrying the image, whose frame exactly matched the viral video, published in Kuwait Times online. The article, dated October 10, 2016, showed a representative image of Hindu rituals being performed. According to the article, a temple will be built on land donated by the government of Muslim Abu Dabhi, the capital of Saudi Arabia, by the end of 2017.  

Thus, our findings showed that the footage and images used in the viral video are unrelated.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming to show Muslims singing Hindu devotional songs in Saudi Arabia is misleading. The video is actually old footage of Muslim devotees singing Kirtan at Sai Baba’s Ashram in Karnataka state of India.

Result: False

Sources
Sanjoy Ghose/Twitter, March 31, 2023
Sri Satya Sai Official /YouTube, July 17, 2012
Castrol983/YouTube, April 1, 2015
Kuwait Times Online, October 10, 2016


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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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