News channel TV9 Bharatvarsh recently sparked controversy, after a YouTube video showed former ISIS bride Shamima Begum holding a sheet with the Indian National Congress logo affixed to it.
The contentious video was uploaded on the official Youtube channel of TV9 Bharatvarsh on June 11. At about 2 minutes 30 seconds into the video, Begum was seen holding a piece of paper. Surprisingly, the logo of the Congress party could be seen affixed to the back of the document. The revelation had created a furore on social media.
The TV9 Bharatvarsh video was originally sourced from a 2-year-old documentary uploaded by Guardian News in February 2019. The document, which Shamima Begum held in her hand, was issued by the UK Home Office and declared that she had been stripped of her British citizenship. At about 3 seconds into the Guardian News video, and also later, it could be seen that the sheet was devoid of the Congress logo on its backside, and that side of the paper was completely empty.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the Congress logo was not there on the UK Home Office order issued to Shamima, but when TV9Bharatvarsh used a frame from the video in its own video, the logo mysteriously appeared on the document.
When we probed how the Congress logo appeared on the backside of the document in the footage, we found that TV9 Bharatvarsh used the image from a satire site, perhaps not realising that it was digitally edited.
In April 2019, just over a month after the video had emerged, Indian satire site The Fauxy had published an article titled “ISIS Bride Shamina Begum Gives Thumbs Up To Congress Manifesto”. The satirical article said that Shamima Begum had praised the manifesto of the Congress party for the general elections.
ISIS Bride Shamina Begum Gives Thumbs Up To Congress Manifesto https://t.co/FrP8qlWOpU— The Fauxy (@the_fauxy) April 3, 2019
The Fauxy had used a screenshot of Shamina holding the document from the video, and had digitally affixed the Congress logo on the paper to go with the article. The same image can be seen in the TV9 Bharatcarsh report.
Therefore, it can be concluded that TV9 Bharatvarsh used the image from The Fauxy due to some unknown reason, instead of using the original footage, perhaps not realising that the image is digitally altered to add the Congress logo to it.
It must be mentioned that the 21-year-old Shamima is a former ISIS bride who had left the UK to join the Islamic terrorist outfit in Syria at the age of 15. Following her arrival to the ISIS territory, she was married to Dutch-born jihadist Yago Riedijk. In Syria, she gave birth to three children, all of whom died eventually, and later was locked up in two Kurdish-run detention camps in north-east Syria, following the defeat of ISIS.
In the documentary ‘The Return: Life After ISIS’ which premiered in the US, Shamima Begum described herself as the ‘black sheep of the family’ growing up and claimed that the difficult relationship with her mother, who did not make her feel loved, was one of the reasons for her to join the ISIS. Essentially, Begum held her mother and her ‘lack of love’ responsible for her decision to join the terror group ISIS. She said that she always wanted to be part of a Muslim community because when she was young, however, she always felt like an outsider in her community.
Her citizenship was revoked by the UK government on national security grounds after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019. In February this year, the Supreme Court blocked her return to the UK to appeal against the loss of her citizenship.