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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.

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WebQoof
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Media outlets and social media users shared a false narrative that Srinagar witnessed its first Janmashtami celebrations in 32 years.</p></div><div class="paragraphs"><p></p><p><br></p></div>
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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.

CLAIM

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."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/MR255">here</a>.</p></div>

You can view the archived version here.

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Similarly, media outlets News18 and Zee News published articles with the headline of one of them being: 'Janmashtami Celebrated in Srinagar First Time in 32 Years, Jhanki Yatra Taken Out in Lal Chowk.'

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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

We searched for visuals of Janmashtami celebrations carried out in Srinagar in the past and found images dating back to 2004, 2007, 2012, and 2018.

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.)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>The image shows Janmashtami celebrations in Srinagar in 2004.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Visual of a man dancing during Shobha yatra on the occasion of Janmashtami in Srinagar in 2007.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Procession taken out during Krishna Janmashtami in Srinagar in 2007.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Procession taken out ahead of Krishna Janmashtami in Srinagar in 2012.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Procession taken out during Krishna Janmashtami in Srinagar in 2018.</p></div>

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.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>In 2007, HT reported that Janmashtami procession passed through Lal Chowk for the first time since 1989.</p></div>

In 2007, HT reported that Janmashtami procession passed through Lal Chowk for the first time since 1989.

(Source: Hindustan Times/ Screenshot)

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)"

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Visual of people dancing ahead of Janmashtami festival in Srinagar in 2013.&nbsp;</p></div>

Visual of people dancing ahead of Janmashtami festival in Srinagar in 2013. 

(Source: Getty images/ Altered by The Quint)

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.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Left: 2013 image. Right: Image of Lal chowk.</p></div>

Left: 2013 image. Right: Image of Lal chowk.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

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Evidently, certain media outlets and social media users shared a false narrative that in 2021, Srinagar witnessed its first Janmashtami celebrations in 32 years.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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