On February 8, Congress leader DK Shivakumar and multiple media houses and journalists claimed that the Tricolour was removed in at a college in Shimoga and replaced with a saffron flag.
In a tweet, Congress leader DK Shivakumar alleged, “Some anti-national elements allied with BJP have brought down the national flag in a college in Shimoga. I urge everyone to post a photo of themselves with the national flag as a mark of protest.”
In an earlier tweet, he had said, “The situation in some Karnataka educational institutions has gone so out of hand that in one case, the National flag was replaced by a saffron flag. I think the affected institutions should be closed for a week to restore law and order. Teaching can continue online.”
The video of a boy putting up a saffron flag goes viral
A video of a boy putting up a saffron flag went viral on social media. In the video, the majority of the students that were filmed were waving saffron flags and stoles. Times Now’s Special Correspondent Imran Khan shared the video with a misleading caption. He claimed, “Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar has tweeted saying replacing National flag with Saffron flag at #Shimoga is a breakdown of law and order. And the college should be closed for a week.”
You urself tweeted this video, there was no national flag and now you are peddling lies of Congress? pic.twitter.com/RKwiUL9K1p— Facts (@BefittingFacts) February 8, 2022
Interestingly, earlier, Khan had tweeted another video of the college in which an empty pole was clearly visible. Twitter user BefittingFacts shared the video Imran Khan had uploaded and called him out for peddling Congress’s lies on social media. He said, “You urself tweeted this video, there was no national flag, and now you are peddling lies of Congress?”
Khan had earlier spread misinformation about Hindu activist Pramod Muthalik where he claimed the latter was starting a new campaign to demolish Gadag Jama Masjid. However, he had wrongly translated Muthalik’s speech in Kannada. Based on his tweet, several media houses spread same misinformation that could have lead to communal tension.
Media houses published misleading reports
Subsequently, the same was picked up by Pakistani journalist Hamza Azhar Salam where he also claimed that ‘Hindutva mob’ replaced the tricolour with saffron flag.
India implodes as a #Hindutva mob replaces the Indian tricolour flag with a #SaffronFlag representing a #HinduRashtra in a #Karnataka college. #karnatakahijab #KarnatakaHighCourt #KarnatakaAgainstHate#HijabRow #HijabIsFundamentalRight #HijabIsIndividualRight #Hijab pic.twitter.com/sPmwxs27xE— Hamza Azhar Salam (@HamzaAzhrSalam) February 8, 2022
However, there was no tricolour flying on the flag post when the saffron flag was hoisted. Speaking to OpIndia, the college authorities and students have confirmed that the pole was empty and the Tricolour was not removed by anyone. The local students said the pole was empty; hence they hoisted the flag. The Tricolour is hoisted and unfurled only on Independence Day and Republic Day, confirmed the college authorities to OpIndia.
What Congress does, Pakistan follows
Earlier, many times Pakistan has amplified Congress propaganda. In October 2021, Dr Omar Ali, a Pakistani origin blogger revealed that Pakistan actually takes clues from the ‘Liberal’ Indian establishment to attack India and create anti-India, anti-Hindu narratives. It is not too surprising either.
Like, recently, after Rahul Gandhi raised the so-called Hindu vs Hindutva narrative, Pakistan has also toed similar line. So much that Pakistan PM Imran Khan spoke similar language at the UNGA last year. “The hate-filled ‘Hindutva’ ideology, propagated by the fascist RSS-BJP regime, has unleashed a reign of fear and violence against India’s 200 million-strong Muslim community,” Imran Khan had said. However, this sounds like something very similar Rahul Gandhi keeps talking about.
Not just this, on matters of abrogation of Article 370, the Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC and many other causes, Imran Khan has often taken inspiration from Rahul Gandhi. You could read more on this here.