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Fact Check: Old photos and videos of painting a Hindi signboard black falsely linked to ongoing farmers' protest

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Summary

The viral pictures of painting a Hindi signboard black with a claim that these are from the recent farmers’ protests and the real motive behind the ongoing agitation was to protest against the use of Hindi is false. 

A set video and photos of a Sikh man painting a Hindi signboard black went viral on social media with a claim that it was from the recent farmers’ protests and the real motive behind the ongoing agitation was to protest against the use of Hindi.

A Twitter user name Dr. Santosh Vyas share a video with a claim that “The real face has now surfaced, after breaking the tower, Hindi will no longer run in Punjab. The peasant movement is an excuse Hindu and Hindu protest is the real motive. This is the Khalistani movement, terrorists in the disguise of farmers, their supporters. Their agenda is to spread anarchy, separatism, casteism,”

The viral post received 2700 views, 126 likes, and 144 retweets at the time of writing this article. 

Several Twitter users also shared photographs of signboards in Hindi being blackened is also viral claiming the same.

 

Fact Check

In our investigation, we found that the viral claim is false and neither the videos nor the photographs are from the current farmer's protest. The photos are from 2017 when some organizations in Punjab demanded that Punjabi should be given preference over other languages in signboards.

After doing reverse image research on google we found a news report of India tv published on 25 October 2017  in which the same viral image can be seen.  According to the article these pictures are from the Bathinda-Faridkot highway. Demanding that Punjabi should get precedence over all other languages on signboards, radical Sikh groups have undertaken a massive drive to blacken Hindi and English words on signboards. Activists of Dal Khalsa, SAD (Amritsar), BKU (Krantikari), and Malwa Youth Federation and other organizations have smudged signboards written in Hindi and English leaving names of places only in Punjabi. 150 people involved in blackening the signboards, especially in Bathinda, have been booked on the charges of damaging the government property. 

We also found a video published on the official youtube channel of India Tv on this matter. The description of the video reads "Andolan: Radicals group blacken Hindi signboards at Punjab highway".

 

According to the news report of The Tribune Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, president, Bhai Kanhaiya Society, claimed that the writing of these milestones in English and Hindi had led to confusion due to shoddy translation of names of villages and towns of Faridkot and Bathinda districts. By writing the names of places in our mother tongue at the bottom of the milestones with wrong spellings is an insult to Punjabi. This is against the three-language policy for road signage, vernacular of the particular state, Hindi, and English, said Sarbjit Singh Brar, a member of the society.

In Conclusion, The viral pictures of painting a Hindi signboard black with a claim that these are from the recent farmers’ protests and the real motive behind the ongoing agitation was to protest against the use of Hindi is false.  The photos are from 2017 when some organizations in Punjab demanded that Punjabi should be given preference over other languages in signboards.

Note: You can reach out to us at support[at]facthunt.co.in if you find any issue with our articles.


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