No, Krishna Janmashtami Procession in Srinagar Wasn't a 'First in 32 Years'
We found people celebrating the festival in Srinagar across years, such as in 2004, 2007 and 2012.
As Kashmiri Pandits took out a procession in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir on Monday, 30 August, on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, various media outlets and social media users claimed that this was the first such procession in 32 years.
However, we found multiple instances of people celebrating the festival in Srinagar across years starting from 2004.
The Twitter handle of 'Organiser Weekly' shared visuals of a procession at Srinagar's Lal Chowk and claimed that "this is the first time in 32 years that Janmashtami processions were taken out in Kashmir."
Opindia, too, in its article, mentioned that the Janmashtami procession is being carried out 'like this at Lal Chowk for the first time in 32 years'.
The claim was amplified by editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, Suresh Chavhanke and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval’s son Shaurya Doval, who tweeted "It has only been possible under the able leadership of PM."
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
A PTI article published on Monday, 30 August, mentioned that Kashmiri Pandits took out a Janmashtami procession in Srinagar that started from the Ganpatyar temple in the Habba Kadal area and passed through other areas before it reached the clock tower at Lal Chowk.
The article further noted that the procession was taken out after a gap of two years as no such procession was held in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. In 2019, the event got cancelled due to lockdown that was imposed in the wake of abrogation of Article 370.
Now, let's look at multiple instances of Janmashtami celebrations in Srinagar in the past.
VISUALS OF JANMASHTAMI CELEBRATIONS IN SRINAGAR IN THE PAST
The slideshow below comprises of the images available on Associated Press (AP), Getty images and Alamy, among others. (Note: Swipe right to see the images.)
Further, we came across visuals of Kashmiri Pandits celebrating Janmashtami in Srinagar in 2018 that were uploaded on the YouTube handle of media outlet Greater Kashmir.
WHAT ABOUT JANMASHTAMI CELEBRATIONS AT LAL CHOWK?
In September 2007, Sanjay Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), had said, "This is for the first time since 1989 that the procession passed through Lal Chowk,” Hindustan Times had reported in an article on Janmashtami procession in Kashmir.
Next, we came across an image uploaded on Getty images that was captured in August 2013 and mentioned that it showed Kashmiri Hindu devotees dance during Janmashtami celebrations in Srinagar.
The caption along with the image mentioned: "Kashmiri Hindu devotees dance during Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, celebrations in Srinagar on 27 August 2013.The Janmashtami festival, which falls on 28 August this year, marks the birth of the Hindu god Lord Krishna. (sic)"
Next, we could identify two shops in the 2013 image with one named as 'Nishat Dry Fruits' and a part of the other shop mentioned 'BEE ENN Stat.'
We then found that the two shops are located in Lal Chowk as can be seen in the other image showing city centre Lal Chowk, uploaded on Getty images.
Evidently, certain media outlets and social media users shared a false narrative that in 2021, Srinagar witnessed its first Janmashtami celebrations in 32 years.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.