ADVERTISEMENT

Old Pics of 'Priest' With Liquor, Desecrating Idol Falsely Linked to DMK Govt

The two images have been in circulation long before DMK leader MK Stalin came to power in Tamil Nadu.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Old images of a man, claimed to be a priest, were falsely linked to the present DMK government in Tamil Nadu.</p></div>
i

A set of images of a man drinking liquor and desecrating an idol is being shared by several social media users claiming that he is a Christian who has been appointed as a temple's priest by the government of Tamil Nadu.

However, we found that both the images are old with one being traced back to 2017 at least and the other one has been in circulation since 2020 at least while the present MK Stalin-led government came into power in May 2021.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government had initiated a move in August under which persons of all castes can be appointed as priests in temples.

ADVERTISEMENT

CLAIM

One of the images shows a priest consuming liquor while the other photo allegedly shows the same priest standing on an idol.

Social media users claimed that he is one Thomas Rajan, a Christian man, who has been appointed as a priest in a temple by the Tamil Nadu government.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this tweet can be seen <a href="https://archive.md/zkkBn">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

The image has also been shared with a similar claim in Hindi that reads: "फ़ोटो में दारू पीता दिख रहा व्यक्ति थोमस राजन, एक ईसाई है। जिसको तमिलनाडु की सरकार ने एक मन्दिर में पुजारी नियुक्त किया है। क्या हमारे मन्दिरों पर कब्ज़ा करने के लिए अब सरकारें यह कदम उठाएगी? क्या मन्दिरों में ऐसी दखल अंदाज़ी ठीक है?"

[Translation: The man in the picture is Thomas Rajan, a Christian man. He has been appointed by the government of Tamil Nadu as a priest in a temple. Are governments going to take this step to take control of temples? Is this meddling in the affairs of temples by governments okay?]

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this post can be seen <a href="https://perma.cc/8C9W-2CD8">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/ Screenshot)

Archived versions of the claims shared on Twitter and Facebook can be seen here, here, here, and here.

WHAT WE FOUND

We found that both the images are old and are being falsely linked to the present Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government in Tamil Nadu.

IMAGE 1

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Viral image showing man drinking liquor.&nbsp;</p></div>

Viral image showing man drinking liquor. 

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

We ran a Google reverse image search and came across a video posted on YouTube in July 2017 that showed the same man as in the viral image holding a liquor bottle.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The video of the priest consuming liquor is from 2017.</p></div>

The video of the priest consuming liquor is from 2017.

(Source: YouTube/ Screenshot)

The viral visual can be seen at 0:39 in the YouTube video. The person filming the video asks the man in the viral visuals as to why he is drinking next to late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's poster.

On further questioning, the man in the viral video can be heard saying that he is from Kodambakkam, Chennai.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Left: Viral image. Right: Screenshot from the 2017 video.&nbsp;</p></div>

Left: Viral image. Right: Screenshot from the 2017 video. 

(Photo: Altered by The Quint) 

IMAGE 2

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The viral picture claiming that a Christian man is desecrating an idol.&nbsp;</p></div>

The viral picture claiming that a Christian man is desecrating an idol. 

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

On reverse searching the second viral image with specific keywords, we found out that it has been in circulation since 2020. The archived version of the posts from 2020 carrying the image in question can be viewed here, here, and here.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The image has been in circulation since February 2020.&nbsp;</p></div>

The image has been in circulation since February 2020. 

(Photo: Altered by The Quint) 

It is pertinent to note that we haven't been able to independently verify the identity of the people seen in the viral images.

Further, MK Stalin was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on 7 May, which is long after the viral visuals had surfaced online.

ADVERTISEMENT

DMK GOVT APPOINTED PEOPLE OF ALL CASTES AS PRIESTS

In August, The Indian Express carried a PTI report mentioning that State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department Minister PK Sekar Babu had said that the Tamil Nadu government had started appointing people belonging to all castes as priests in temples.

Another PTI article mentioned that on 14 August, the DMK government appointed 24 trained ''archakas'' belonging to different castes as priests in shrines.

Clearly, old images of a man, claimed to be a priest, were falsely linked to the present DMK government in Tamil Nadu.

(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.)

Edited By :Saundarya Talwar
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT