At the height of the JNU anti-national slogans incident, there were videos and counter videos flying across from all sides. In this melee, Delhi CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal shared the following video:
This is shocking. Who shouted anti-India slogans? https://t.co/vCNrwU0gmv
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 13, 2016
The tweet by Kejriwal quoted a tweet by ABP News’ journalist Abhisar Sharma, who had originally shared the “shocking” video. The same video was shared by AAP leader Dilip Pandey, which was then retweeted by Delhi’s Cabinet Minister Satyendar Kumar Jain. AAP leader Ashutosh also tweeted about this video and was retweeted by another AAP leader Sanjay Singh.
Kejriwal later gave a statement too to NDTV that the “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were raised by ABVP to malign JNU:
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 15, 2016
This video was also shared by many other controversial journalists such as Mihir Sharma, Shivam Vij (who has since deleted the tweet) and CNN-IBN employee Zakka Jacob:
This looks damning. Absolutely damning. Shameful but unsurprising from the ABVP. https://t.co/Qyj3AwyjCo
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) February 13, 2016
If this is true, its damning. https://t.co/6ZZfltbvwr
— Zakka Jacob (@Zakka_Jacob) February 13, 2016
This video was also shared by Left supporter Swara Bhaskar and General Secretary of CPI Sitaram Yechury. The original tweeter “Siddharthya Roy”, who has been a columnist for Newslaundry , The Hindu, The Hoot and possibly also for The Wire, has now deleted his account, perhaps realizing the truth of the video, which this post will talk about.
First have a look at the video:
The entire video focuses on a 10 second clip from the 9th of February in which some ABVP students are seen and some slogans are heard which seem to be calls of “Pakistan Zindabad”. So are these really ABVP students? Are they really shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans? Was this a planned strategy by ABVP?
From the pictures, it appears these are indeed ABVP students. The girl circled in the video though never shouts any slogan, but another male student on the right is seen saying “Zindabad”. So was he saying “Pakistan” Zindabad? Listen to the clip again, this time maybe without the video:
Does it still sound like “Pakistan” Zindabad? Especially the second time? No! That slogan was not raised. It’s a bunch of guys saying “Bhartiya Court Zindabad”.
Does this explain why the police report abut JNU did not mention “Pakistan Zindabad” as a slogan but had many other slogans such as “Bharat ki barbaadi”, “Bharat tere Tukde honge etc?” To get further confirmation, we talked to a ABVP student from JNU and he confirmed that the slogans were “Bharatiya Court Zindabad” i.e. long live Indian Courts as a counter to the claims of “judicial killing” of Afzal Guru.
Arvind Kejriwal had instructed the District Magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the claims that ABVP had shouted these anti-national slogans. Even the District Magistrate’s report states that, in the FIR, the police too mention Pakistan Zindabad in inverted commas, but not any other slogan. The DM further states that the slogan can neither be “clearly heard” in the video, “nor in the transcripts of the JNU videos shot by the security staff”. This he says, showed that even the cops had doubts about this slogan. And this, as we know, is eventually reflected in the police’s submission to the court, which skipped this slogan entirely.
But, surprisingly, although the brief of the DM was to investigate the role of ABVP, his 1 page summary letter does not even mention ABVP. Neither does the report anywhere mention any clean chit to ABVP, although he himself says doubts existed that the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad” was even raised.
So did a group of AAP and Leftist leaders, along with another group of Leftist journalists, spread a fake video around to attack ABVP at the height of the anti-national controversy? Whom were they trying to protect? Will any action be taken against them? Will they apologise?
As to how did this entire propaganda that “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were shouted begin, see this.
Truth Labs Report
Another angle to this issue is what did Truth Labs, the forensic lab checking the videos say? Truth Labs’ final observation on Q4 (the name they gave to a longer version of this video, which besides the above, had Kanhaiya’s speech etc) was that Q4 was an “authentic recording, representing actual events”! How did they arrive at this conclusion? The report said that there were “no abrupt changes in pitch and intensity contours” and “no signs of temporal and spatial distortions”.
So the DM has doubts about this video, the police do not say this slogan was raised, ABVP students corroborate, but the forensic lab which studied these videos said Q4 which was the video shared by Kejriwal and the video with “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan was an “authentic recording, representing actual events”, all on the basis of some technical analysis? This in spite of the fact that the content clearly claims that “Pakistan Zindabad” is being shouted, whereas you can hear yourself (and we confirmed it from JNU sources) that it was “Bhartiya Court Zindabad”.
In our opinion Truth Labs should have simply stated that there doesn’t seem to be malicious editing of the video, such as adding/deleting audio/video tracks. By saying it was an “authentic recording, representing actual events”, they have exceeded their scope since they have not analysed the content of the video, and hence cannot opine whether the video, along with all its annotations and commentary represents actual events.