A video has been recently doing the rounds on the Internet in which demonstrators are seen protesting against the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Opposition politicians and several social media users have shared the video, alleging that the Union Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal, barely managed to escape the wrath of angry protesters staging a demonstration against him in Lucknow.
The video was shared by the National Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party, I.P. Singh, who said in a tweet that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal somehow managed to escape the beating after policemen somehow escorted him to safety. He also ominously added that in the coming times, BJP ministers across the country will be beaten by public.
रेल मंत्री पीयूष गोयल लखनऊ में पीटते-पीटते बचे पुलिस वाले किसी तरह से उन्हें बचाकर लेकर भागे,आगे देशभर में भाजपा मंत्रियों और ऊपर वालों की भी जनता पिटाई करेगी। pic.twitter.com/gq7BtiKHEh— I.P. Singh (@IPSinghSp) September 11, 2020
Another politician, Piyush Mishra, In-charge of the National Information and Technology & National Spokesperson of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, also tweeted the same video, claiming Railway Minister Piyush Goyal ran away from Lucknow after hearing negative slogans against him.
रेल मंत्री पीयूष गोयल जब मुर्दाबाद के नारे सुन कर लख़नऊ से भागे pic.twitter.com/7dqicGLG8S— Piyush Mishra (@PMLUCKNOW) September 11, 2020
Similarly, social media users have also shared the video, ostensibly a video clip from Zee News report which says that protesters had mounted a demonstration against the Railway Minister.
रेल मंत्री प्यूष गोयल की बात रेलवे कर्मचारियों ने नहीं सुनी।जय कर नारे लगाए रेल मंत्री मुरादाबाद। pic.twitter.com/O2cIbwS3mf— Kiran Yadav (@KiranYa37047307) September 10, 2020
Old video being circulated as a recent one
However, the video that has been shared by political functionaries and various social media users to allege that demonstrators are up in arms against the Railway Minister at Lucknow, is actually from November 2018. The video is from a Zee News report from two years ago showing protests launched by Railway employees against minister Piyush Goyal.
In fact, the propagandists who have tried to pass off the protests as a recent one did not even bother to check the video as it carried the date of the news broadcast. In the bottom left of the video that is going viral on the Internet, one can observe the date of the report which says November 17, 2018.
Even the official Twitter account of Police Commissionerate Lucknow has responded to the tweet by I.P. Singh, saying that the video shared by him is from 2018.
उक्त वीडियो वर्ष 2018 का पुराना वीडियो है।— POLICE COMMISSIONERATE LUCKNOW (@lkopolice) September 11, 2020
In addition to this, the official Twitter account of Piyush Goyal’s office had already issued a clarification in November 2018, refuting the allegations of protesters attacking Railway Minister in Lucknow. Categorically denying the misleading reports, the tweet said that there was no attack against Piyush Goyal or his car and nobody was injured.
Certain incorrect news reports have appeared regarding Railway Minister’s speech at today’s event of Northern Railway Men’s Union in Lucknow. It is to clarify that there was no attack on Shri Piyush Goyal or his car and nobody was injured.— Piyush Goyal Office (@PiyushGoyalOffc) November 16, 2018
Opposition indulged in peddling motivated social media campaign against the Modi government
However, it appears that propagandists have decided to run a string of motivated social media campaigns against the central government. Recently, old videos of protests and out-of-context images were circulated on the Internet to attack the central government on its decision to continue with the JEE and NEET examinations.
A large number of inflammatory social media posts had come up in the aftermath of the government’s decision going ahead with the revised schedule. The social media posts, mostly made by recently created Twitter and Facebook accounts, and based out of India, demanded the deferment of the competitive exams that were scheduled to happen in September. Through these posts, the rabble-rousers attempted to whip up anti-government sentiments, piggybacking on the discontent surrounding the government’s denial to adjourn the exams further.
Continuing with this chicanery, the social media propagandists and opposition politicians have resorted to sharing an old video, that was already called out by the Railway Minister as “incorrect”, to falsely project that there is growing dissatisfaction among the people against the BJP government.