2021 video of tractor rally to support farmers' protests falsely linked to wrestler's protest

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 8 2023

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2021 video of tractor rally to support farmers' protests falsely linked to wrestler's protest


The Verdict False

The video is from a 2021 tractor rally led by a Congress MLA in Kerala against the central government's now-repealed farm laws.

Claim ID a231e250


Indian wrestlers have been protesting since April 2023 protesting lack of action against Wrestling Federation of India President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over accusations of sexual harassment by female wrestlers. Demanding that Singh be arrested, the wrestlers have asked for support from farmers, and others groups. Amid these events, some old misleading videos and images have been associated with the ongoing protests. One such video on Twitter showing tractors with Indian flags was shared as part of the wrestlers' ongoing protest. The post's caption read: "Walk to Delhi with a tractor to get justice for your daughters," and tagged women wrestlers Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat. This post received over 4,000 views. Another Twitter user shared the video, claiming it showed the farmers joining the wrestlers' protest. The video was also shared by the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress' official Facebook account.

Although farmers have joined the wrestler's protest in Delhi's Jantar Mantar, the viral video showing tractors with Indian flags is not recent and is unrelated to the current demonstrations against sexual harassment.

In Fact

We noted that the viral video, which apparently showed a tractor march in support of the wrestlers' protest, had a Manorama News Channel logo. However, the channel did not broadcast such footage of the tractor march during the wrestlers' protests.

After further examination, we found that a YouTube video by Manorama News contained the same visuals as the viral video between timestamps 0:46 and 1:45. However, the viral video had been edited to increase the playback speed and had a different audio track. The English translation of the Malayalam description on the YouTube video stated, "Solidarity with Farmers' Struggle; Kisan March led by Shafi Parambil," dated 2021. The rally was clearly held in support of the farmers’ protest in Delhi against the three farm laws.

Additionally, a user uploaded another video on Facebook in January 2021, which had the same footage as the viral video. Its Malayam caption, translated to English, read: ''Solidarity for the struggle of Jai Kisan food givers Youth Congress Jai Kisan March Palakkad.''

MediaOne TV, a Malayalam-language television channel, had reported on the Jai Kisan March event held by the Youth Congress in Kerala on January 3, 2021. The report, which carried a still from the tractor rally, said that the event was held in support of farmer's protests and involved a tractor march from Kuzhalmandam to Palakkad, Kerala. Member of Legislative Assembly Shafi Parambil, who also served as the State President of the Kerala Youth Congress, shared a Facebook video showcasing the Jai Kisan March in 2021.

Female Indian wrestlers have been staging a sit in against Singh since April 23 for allegedly sexually harassing seven female wrestlers, one of whom is a minor. Delhi Police registered two FIRs against the wrestling federation president a few days later.

The Verdict

The viral video shows a 2021 tractor rally in Kerala organized by Parambil. The march was taken out to support farmers' protests against the central government's controversial farm laws. The viral video is unrelated to the Indian wrestlers' protests.

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