Viral Video

Fact check: The video of Kanhaiya Kumar shouting for 'azadi' – it’s doctored

The obviously edited video, shown on TV news as well as spreading over social media, actually has Kanhaiya asking to end social ills such as caste and hunger – not any sort of political secessionism.

Wednesday morning had the news channel NewsX and India News run a video which they claimed “exposed” Kanhaiya Kumar, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru student’s union, now in jail charged with sedition.

“Kanhaiya’s ‘sedition’ exposed on tape,” ran the blazing headline on NewsX.

As proof, the channel ran a video which had Kumar shouting slogans for “azadi” (freedom). "’Leke rahenge azadi,' he said,” accused the NewsX ticker ("we will take our liberty"). “Can Kanhaiya be saved now?”.

The NewsX report

Well, there seems to be a good chance he can, since the video that NewsX ran appears to have been doctored, as a news report on ABP news shows.

Kanhaiya was indeed asking for “azadi” but it was freedom from hunger, sanghwaad (RSS-ism), feudalism, capitalism, Brahminism and Manu-ism. The NewsX/India News video edited these words out, leaving Kumar’s claims for “azadi” open to feverish interpretation. The channel then ran the video with the subtitle: “Hear Kanhaiya’s ‘seditious’ rant”.

After this video was aired, it also made its way around social media.

Kanchan Gupta, director of the recently shut right wing portal, Niti Central shared the video. However, he later deleted this tweet.
Kanchan Gupta, director of the recently shut right wing portal, Niti Central shared the video. However, he later deleted this tweet.
Rupa Subramania, columnist for Swarajya, shared and then deleted the doctored video:
Rupa Subramania, columnist for Swarajya, shared and then deleted the doctored video: "I can't be 100% sure if KK looking for Kashmir's independence or freedom from something else. Apologies"
Journalist Swapan Dasgupta's clarification for sharing the doctored video.

Shekhar Gupta, senior journalist, shared the undoctored video and said that maybe Kanhaiya deserved an apology from the Delhi Police.

Senior journalist Barkha Dutt contextualised this with the sudden softening of the Delhi Police's stance towards prosecuting Kumar.

Further confirming that there was no evidence whatsover against Kanhaiya Kumar, the Hindu ran a report saying that the Delhi Police may have to drop the sedition charges altogether.

Watch the undoctored video on ABP news.

Update, Friday, Feb 19, 11:15pm: The allegedly doctored video had also apparently been shown on Times Now on February 17, 2016. In the video posted below, Arnab Goswami, an anchor at the channel, asks Sambit Patra, the Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson to play the video on his tablet. The cameras then zoom in on the video [watch from 22:00].

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Also see: 'We have complete faith in the constitution': Watch Kanhaiya Kumar's speech hours before his arrest

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