Video of a rally organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) is doing the rounds on social media with a claim that it shows the PFI parading workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in handcuffs on the streets in Kerala.
However, we spoke to officials from both PFI and the RSS and found that the individuals seen in handcuffs in the video are not affiliated with RSS, but were role-playing members of the organisation.
The claim with which the aforementioned video is being shared reads: “ये देखिये ये PFI द्वारा रैली केरल में निकाली गयी है जिसमें RSS के लोगों को जंजीरों में जकड़ कर कैसे दिखाया गया है। इस तरीके से जंजीरों में जकड़े हुए अगर कोई हिंदू संगठन निकाल देता तो अब तक मामला यूएन में पहुंच चुका होता पूरे देश का मीडिया छाती पीट रहा होता भारत में सेकुलरिज्म खत्म हो चुका है।PFI को सीधे बैन कर देना चाहिए”
[Translation: This is a PFI rally where they’ve shown RSS people in chains and handcuffs. If a Hindu organisation would’ve done this, the matter would have reached UN by now and media would’ve cried in the name of secularism. PFI should be banned.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The Quint reached out to representatives of the PFI, the RSS and Kerala Police who told us that people seen handcuffed in the said rally were not affiliated with RSS, but were allegedly only role-playing the members of the organisation.
Anis Ahmed, PFI General Secretary said that the viral video shows a depiction by the people of Malabar during an event organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI).
“This particular drama represents the fight between British and the people of Malabar in 1921. Every year we see people of Malabar celebrating it. The idea here in the video is that people of Malabar played a crucial role in fighting British imperialism in 1921 and now when the RSS is posing an internal threat of fascism, people of Malabar will confront them and protect our country.”Anis Ahmed, PFI General Secretary
We also reached out to NR Madhu, RSS spokesperson in Kerala who told us that although the people shown in the rally were not actual members of the RSS, but the organisation condemns such depiction.
“The RSS was not founded when Malabar Rebellion took place. It is factually wrong to represent RSS functionaries as convicts of the rebellion. We have condemned the depiction.”N R Madhu, RSS Spokesperson in Kerala.
We also reached out to officials in the Kerala Police force who told us that they were aware of this rally and have received no complaint from either parties. “The claim with which the video is being circulated is misleading. There has been no complaint of PFI workers attacking members of the RSS,” they said.
Clearly, accounts of all the three parties suggest that people purportedly in RSS uniform in the video are not real members of the organisation and the event was a dramatic depiction by the Popular Front of India. The Quint, however, does not condone depiction of violence against any particular group as shown in the video.