A video, showing Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani talking about goddess Durga, is going viral on social media.
The claim states that Irani disrespected the goddess in her speech in a parliament session.
Moitra had said, "Within Hinduism, being a Kali worshipper I have the freedom to imagine my Kali in that way. That is my freedom and I don't think anyone's sentiments should be hurt. I have the freedom as much as you have to worship your God."
She made this comment in reference to the poster of film-maker Leena Manimekalai’s film ‘Kaali,’ the poster of which showed an actor dressed as the goddess while smoking.
However, Irani's comments are being taken out of context. Irani was reading out from a pamphlet, allegedly found in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), during her speech in Parliament in 2016.
The caption along with Irani's video said in Bengali, "Friends, don't forget the ugly comment of made by Smriti Irani on goddess Durga. Nobody except people who follow Smriti Irani can understand why she commented so badly about the goddess. (sic)"
In the video, Irani can be heard saying, "Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasura. Mahishasura, a brave self-respecting leader, was tricked into marriage by the Aryans."
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
On conducting a reverse image search on the video's keyframes using keywords, we came across a YouTube video posted by the verified account of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The video posted on 24 February 2016 carries the viral video from 31:50 timestamp.
From 31:25 timestamp, Smriti Irani can be heard talking about the poster, that she says was was distributed in JNU on 10 February 2016.
She then reads out from the pamphlet, which is about goddess Durga and that part of the video has gone viral on social media with a misleading context.
The same excerpt went viral in 2020 when social media posts claimed that a news website, The Wire, intentionally disrespected Hindu goddess Durga. You can read our fact-check here.
Clearly, an excerpt from a pamphlet, which was read by Smriti Irani in the Parliament, was shared with a misleading claim that Irani is disrespecting the goddess.
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