India’s farmers’ protests against the new pricing laws are showing no sign of abating.
The discord became very politicized, with Several thousand farmers block access roads around the capital, Delhi With tractors and other machines.
Both sides sought to control the social media narrative, and we caught a glimpse of attempts to spread misinformation about well-known figures taking part in the conflict.
Did Obama say that meeting Modi was “shameful”?
Our first example is an allegation related to former US President Barack Obama, who met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a number of occasions while he was in office.
Social media posts have appeared showing the two men together, and it appears Obama is now expressing his regret for meeting Mr. Moody at the White House in 2014.
Some of these posts contain hashtags showing support for farmers’ protests.
The photo is real enough and is from a real meeting between the two men that year.
However, the Twitter post is fake. The text is in poor English and misspelled, and it appears that President Obama’s Twitter profile has been modified.
The verification again through Obama’s timeline on Twitter shows that there has been no such tweet from him since the protests began last month.
Justin Trudeau in Review of Solidarity?
The next stage has to do with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who got involved in an argument after expressing his concern On the Indian government’s response to the demonstrations.
This got a general reprimand from the Indian government.
Regardless of the issue, some people have resorted to social media to spread a misleading picture of Mr Trudeau, claiming to show him sitting with a group of Sikhs (many of the Sikh farmers in India) in a show of solidarity.
Canada has a large population of Indian descent, including many Sikhs.
But this picture is misleading, because it is at least five years old.
This was confirmed by the Prime Minister’s Office to the BBC, which indicated that Mr. Trudeau now has a beard, while the photo shows him without a beard.
It is from a visit he made in November 2015 to a Sikh religious center in Ottawa. There is a local news report At the time of the visit.
Whatever Trudeau’s views on the current protests in India, this image has been used out of context.
Senior Indian Minister did not change his position
It might come as a surprise to learn that Rajnath Singh, a prominent government member and strongman of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is already supporting farmers’ protests.
This is what he claims to be shown by a video making the rounds on social media.
In the video, Mr. Singh, who is the defense minister, can be heard saying: “If I had known about this protest earlier, I would have come here and offered my support the same day.”
Some of the posts linking to this video claim that the farmers ’rampage has revealed” a major split within the BJP “.
But a Google search reveals that this is an old video from 2013, when Mr Singh was in opposition and was supporting farmers against the then congressional-led government.
Mr. Singh gave a speech at the time, supporting their demands for a steady source of income, and It is available on their official website.
Notably, Mr Singh, a former agriculture minister with an agricultural background, said in October that the current government “will not do anything against the interests of the farmers”.
Is the top politician in Punjab working against farmers?
Our latest example concerns Congress politician Amarinder Singh, the prime minister of the state of Punjab from which many farmers come, and Mukesh Ambani, one of India’s most famous businessmen.
Social media posts with the two men shaking hands – incorrectly – claim that they met just a day before farmers began locking down the country to put pressure on their demands.
The text in one post asks: “On the one hand, Congress supports angry farmers and on the other hand it meets industrialists like Mr Ambani… What kind of policy is this?”
The implication is that Mr. Singh – despite his public party’s support for farmers – is working with the interests of private companies, which may benefit from changes in the farming laws.
But this photo is three years old, from October 2017, when Mr Singh met Mr Ambani to discuss investment opportunities in Punjab.
It is also wrong to claim – as social media posts do – that Mr Singh has accepted a recent proposal from the government – rejected by farmers – to relax some provisions in the new farming laws.
Mr. Singh continued to support their demands for the complete abolition of the new laws.