Misinformation around the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya has seen a spike in the last one week. From fake quotes attributed to politicians to unrelated videos being passed off as the architectural plan for the grand temple in Ayodhya, The Quint's WebQoof team has debunked at least seven such fake news stories in just about seven days.
Fake News Targeting Politicians
With the Ayodhya issue being the hotbed of politics, politicians have become the favourite targets of fake news peddlers.
For example, a news website called 'News Track Live' reported that SP leader Azam Khan has pledged to take "jal samadhi" if he is not invited to the foundation-laying ceremony of the temple. This really caught the attention of several people on social media, including BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and right-wing website Swarajya.
However, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan didn't say it, Azam Khan, the national president of the Muslim Karsevak Manch, did. We even spoke to him and confirmed that he had made the statement.
In another instance, a fabricated quote attributed to Kapil Sibal resurfaced on the internet. According to the false quote, Sibal had claimed that “he will die by suicide if Ram Mandir is built.” We found that this quote originated from an unreliable WordPress blog and Sibal had never said any such thing.
Similarly, a viral screenshot of a tweet, supposedly by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, also found its way through social media, but even that turned out to be fake.
Fake Videos Viral as ‘Layout Plan of Ram Mandir’
But that's just one part of it. People started sharing 3D animation videos claiming that those were the layout plans for the Ram Temple. While one of them turned out to be a 2014 animated rendition of a Jain temple made by an architecture visualisation studio, the other was a 3D design of the ISKCON temple in Bengal’s Mayapur.
Ramayana Stamps & Dhol Performance in Spain To Celebrate Temple Construction? No!
Claims about Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching Ramayana stamps ahead of the ceremony and a Dhol performance in Spain held to celebrate the temple construction also went viral. However, neither of them turned out to be real. While the stamps were launched way back in 2017, the Dhol performance is actually from 2018, when a Pune-based group went to Spain to participate in a folk festival.
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