Clips of actor Aamir Khan slamming BJP, supporting Congress use deepfake audio

By: Rahul Adhikari
April 16 2024

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Clips of actor Aamir Khan slamming BJP, supporting Congress use deepfake audio

Social media posts claim that Aamir Khan criticized BJP's promise. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

Khan neither mocked the BJP nor campaigned for the Congress. The video is a manipulated version of a clip from the actor’s show, Satyamev Jayate.

Claim ID 08e17c89

What is the claim?

With the 2024 general elections in India just a week away, a video of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan criticizing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and supporting the Indian National Congress has gone viral.

In the 31-second video, Khan states, “Friends, if you believe India is a poor country, you are entirely mistaken. Every citizen in this country is a lakhpati (millionaire). Everyone should have at least Rs 15 lakh... What's that? You don't have the money? So, where did your Rs 15 lakh go? Beware of jumla (false) promises.” The video concludes with a promotional message: “Vote for justice, vote for Congress.”

One post by Harish Meena, a Congress MLA from Rajasthan, claimed that Khan was mocking the BJP for its 'unfulfilled promises' of depositing Rs 15 lakh into every Indian citizen’s bank account.

This 'promise' can be traced back to an election rally speech by then-prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the lead-up to the 2014 general elections. It is often misconstrued as an electoral promise made by the BJP as part of their commitment to recover black money stashed in overseas accounts. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.

Screenshot of the viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is incorrect. The video that shows Khan ridiculing the BJP over its 'unfulfilled promises' has been using an AI voice clone. The footage was extracted from an old television show that the actor hosted.

How did we find the truth?

Upon careful review of the video, we noticed some parts of the audio do not sync with Khan’s lip movements. We also heard the phrase “Satyamev Jayate” repeated multiple times over background music towards the end of the video. This led us to the television series Satyamev Jayate, hosted by Khan, which premiered its first season on May 6, 2012.

We discovered that the original video was a promo for the fourth episode of the series, published on the official Satyamev Jayate YouTube channel on August 30, 2016. In this video, Khan actually said, “Friends, if you think that India is a poor country, then you are absolutely wrong. Because every citizen in the country is a crorepati. Everyone should have at least Rs 1 crore... What did you say? You don’t have the money? So, where did your Rs 1 crore go? Find out this Sunday at 11 in the morning.” 

In the said episode, Khan claims every Indian is a crorepati and discusses India's wealth. The episode alleges systematic looting of India's wealth by certain individuals and corporations and suggests that each Indian could be worth crores if the value of the country's natural resources, land, and infrastructure were evenly distributed.

How was the viral video made?

Upon comparing the videos, we found that a few phrases had been altered in the viral video. The phrase “1 crore” was replaced with “15 lakh,” and the sentence “Find out this Sunday at 11 in the morning” was replaced with “Beware of jumla promises.” The doctored audio closely resembles Khan’s voice, suggesting the use of deepfake technology.

The promo for the fourth episode of the series, Kings Every Day, was published on Satyamev Jayate's official website. The episode was uploaded to their YouTube channel on March 23, 2014. The series aimed to raise awareness and spark discussions about significant social issues. According to the video description, this episode focused on voting rights and government participation.

However, this is not the only clip of the actor that is being circulated. Another video (archived here) shows him endorsing Congress and urging people to vote for them in the upcoming elections. The clip ends with a voice in the background that asks people to “vote for justice”. But this video, too, is one of the Satyamev Jayate promo videos in which Khan is talking about his show. The original video was published on the YouTube channel on August 30, 2016.

'Completely untrue': Khan

Khan issued a clarification about the viral video on Tuesday, April 16, via his official spokesperson. The actor labeled the viral video as “fake and completely untrue.” The statement further clarified, “We wish to emphasize that Mr. Aamir Khan has never endorsed any political party throughout his 35-year career.” Reportedly, Khan has also filed an FIR with the Cyber Crime Cell of the Mumbai Police concerning the video.

The verdict

The viral video, allegedly showing Bollywood actor Aamir Khan mocking the BJP and campaigning for the Congress party, is an audio deepfake. It was created using old clips from an episode of the Satyamev Jayate television series hosted by Khan. Consequently, we have marked the claim as false.

(Update: This fact-check has been updated to reflect another similar video that was shared to claim that Aamir Khan endorsed the Congress party.)

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