Old Video From Maharashtra Shared as 'Lord Ram Devotees Reaching Ayodhya'
The video is not a recent one and shows a procession that took place in Sangli district in Maharashtra.
A video of a procession with chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' (Hail Lord Ram) is being circulated on social media with a claim that all followers of Hindu god Lord Ram have reached Ayodhya to declare India a "Hindu nation."
However, we found the video is an old one of 'Durgamata Daud,' an annual religious procession organised by right-wing Hindutva leader Sambhaji Bhide's organisation 'Shivpratishthan Hindustan', on the occasion of Dussehra, in Miraj town of Sangli district, Maharashtra.
A local reporter confirmed to The Quint that it was indeed the 'Durgamata Daud' event.
The video is being shared with the claim, originally in Hindi, that reads, "All devotees of Lord Ram have reached Ayodhya to declare India a Hindu nation. All Hindus have only one dream, to make India a Hindu nation."
Another archive of the video along with the same claim can be seen here.
WHAT WE FOUND
With the help of a local journalist, we were able to identify that the visuals were from the 'Durgamata Daud' event that takes place in Maharashtra.
Using this as a cue, we looked on YouTube for related videos with keywords in Marathi like 'दुर्गामाता दौड' (Durgamata Daud). This led us to a video uploaded in October 2019 which was same as the viral video.
The caption of the YouTube videos read, originally in Marathi, read, "Durgamata Daud, Miraj division".
Next, we were able to identify a shop seen in the background of the viral video and could confirm that the video was indeed from Miraj of Sangli district.
At 0:03 second, one can notice a board that reads 'Laxmi Sports'.
We then looked for the shop on Google Maps and found the store named 'New Shree Laxmi Sports' in Miraj of Sangli district, and the hoarding matched with that in the viral video.
We also reached out to a Sangli-based local reporter, Rajendra Kamble, who confirmed to us that the visuals are indeed from 'Durgamata Daud' event in Miraj town.
Speaking to The Quint, he said, "I cover the 'Durgamata Daud' event, so I can confirm that the procession is of the event. However, this is not a recent video as last year the procession wasn't held due to COVID-19, and this year, too, it has been cancelled."
Clearly, a video of a procession from Maharashtra is being falsely shared as from Ayodhya with a communal narrative.
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