A video of a news report by the broadcast channel, Times Now NavBharat, showing their coverage of a public gathering in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, is being shared as a recent occurrence on social media.
What is happening in the video?: The Times Now NavBharat anchor can be heard mentioning that the event happened in the presence of the Rajnandgaon mayor, Hema Deshmukh, who is a part of the Congress party.
The footage of the event then plays in which the person taking the oath on the microphone says, "I will not believe in Hindu gods or goddesses and not perform puja (worship). I will not believe that God has taken any form of avatar (incarnation)."
We received a query about this on our WhatsApp tipline.
Is it true?: While this event did take place in Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, it is not a recent one.
This event happened in November 2022 when Rajnandgaon mayor and Congress member Hema Deshmukh attended this event.
How did we find out?: With a relevant keyword search, we came across a news report by Times Now Navbharat that was published on 9 November 2022.
It reported on the Buddhist mass convention event that took place in Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh.
The attendees took an oath to denounce the worship of Hindu gods and goddesses and Rajnandgaon mayor, who belongs to the Congress party, was in attendance and was seen on the stage.
She came under fire from the Opposition for attending an event that insulted the Hindu religion.
The English channel, Times Now had also reported on the event on 9 November 2022.
Hema Deshmukh's reaction: According to the Hindustan Times and ThePrint, Deshmukh clarified to the press that neither did she take the vows nor 'raise' her hands as she is a Hindu and has her own beliefs.
According to the Hindustan Times, Deshmukh 'was not aware' about such an oath ceremony at the event
Conclusion: The claim is false. The viral video showing people vowing to not worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses is old and dates back to November 2022.