Mohan Bhagwat Never Said He Lost Faith in Religion Amid COVID-19

A clipping of a Hindi newspaper article which reports that Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat has lost faith in religion over the coronavirus crisis across the world, has been going viral on social media.

However, The Quint found this claim to be false – Bhagwat has not said any such thing and the newspaper clipping in circulation has been fabricated.

CLAIM

The Hindi newspaper clipping, headlined “Corona has destroyed my faith in religion – Mohan Bhagwat” reports that Bhagwat has said that “today, amid the crisis, no gods have come to the rescue and instead only doctors and nurses are in the process of saving lives”.

This, Bhagwat appears to have said, has taught him a lesson and he has realised that it is not places of worship that we need, but hospitals and schools; not priests but doctors and scientists.

An archived version of the post can be found here.

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The article goes on to say that all temples in the country should now be closed and that schools, libraries and hospitals should be built in their place.

The Quint received a query from one of its readers on its WhatsApp helpline regarding the viral newspaper clipping.

Many also took to Twitter to share the newspaper clipping.

An archived version of this post can be seen here.
An archived version of the search page can be seen here.

WHAT WE FOUND

We noticed that while the article mentioned that Bhagwat had said these things in the headline, the article itself seemed to be written in first person, rather than a report of what Bhagwat had said. Quotes or attributions were missing completely, which seemed unlikely for a newspaper report.

Further, there were no distinguishing marks to tell which newspaper the report belonged to

On running a thorough Google search, we found no reports of Bhagwat having made any such statement about religion. A search on Twitter too, yielded no results.

Further, we came across several tweets by RSS and related political leaders who had taken to Twitter to debunk the article as fake.

RSS leader Narender Kumar tweeted that Mohan Bhagwat had made no such statement.

Delhi BJP General Secretary Rajesh Bhatia also said the same.

Vishwa Samvad Kendra (VSK), the communication wing of the RSS’s Nagpur chapter, took to Twitter to bust this newspaper clipping, labelling it fake news.

Therefore, it is clear that Bhagwat has made no such statement and that the newspaper clipping has been fabricated.

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