2022 video shared to claim Islamic text inscribed over Tricolor after Congress' Telangana win

By: Mohammad Salman
December 8 2023

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2022 video shared to claim Islamic text inscribed over Tricolor after Congress' Telangana win

The video is viral with the claim that a kalma was written on the Indian flag as soon as Congress won in Telangana. (Source: X/Screenshot)


The Verdict False

The video is from June 2022, when protesters in Telangana, hoisted the national flag with a kalma written in place of the Ashok Chakra

Claim ID 79f919cd

What is the claim?

After emerging victorious in Telangana, one of the five states whose election results were announced last week, the Indian National Congress is all set to form the government in India's youngest state. In the wake of election results, a video is circulating online with the claims that as soon as Congress won in Telangana, a kalma (a religious phrase recited by Muslims) was written on the Indian flag.

The 48-second video shows a crowd of protestors, and someone from the mob seems to be waving the Indian flag with a kalma written on it in place of Ashok Chakra. The video appears to be part of a news report by Hindi news channel Zee News and shows news anchor Sudhir Chaudhary commenting on the incident. In the video, Chaudhary can be heard saying, "...Today, during one such procession in Telangana, the protesters tampered with the Tricolor of India and these people removed the Ashoka Chakra from the middle of the Tricolor and instead put the Islamic Kalma there (roughly translated from Hindi)..."

This video is being shared by many right-wing users on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, "As soon as Congress won in Telangana, Kalma was written on the flag of India....Will you still want to bring Congress (translated from Hindi)..." One such post received more than 1,56,000 views at the time of publishing. Archived versions of the posts and similar others can be viewed here, here, here, and here.

Screenshots of viral X posts. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video is from June 2022, when protesters in Telangana hoisted a flag with the Islamic text written in place of Ashok Chakra amid nationwide protests over objectionable remarks made by Nupur Sharma, the then spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, against Prophet Mohammed.

How did we get to the facts?

The first thing to note here is that Sudhir Chaudhary is no longer with Zee News and joined Aaj Tak, another Hindi news channel, in July 2022. 

Second, when we searched for the longer version of the video using relevant keywords, we found the clip was from the Zee News show 'DNA,' which was previously hosted by Chaudhary. The extended clip was uploaded on Zee News' YouTube channel on June 10, 2022.

This confirms that the viral video is not related to the recently concluded Telangana elections but is more than a year old.

In the show, Chaudhary 'analyzed' the nationwide protests over former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's objectionable remarks against Prophet Muhammad. The viral clip starts around the 33:14 mark of the Zee News video. Here, Chaudhary mentions the alleged role of Asaduddin Owaisi's party, AIMIM, in the violence and refers to the protests in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

After this, when Chaudhary says, "Such similar processions in Telangana today..", he refers to the incident from June 10, 2022, during which protesters replaced the Ashoka Chakra, India's national emblem, with a kalma on the country's flag at a gathering in Mahabubnagar, Telangana. 

We found the video of someone waving the Indian flag with the kalma instead of the national emblem was shared by several media outlets, including India Today, Times Now, and The Economics Times, in their reports—all published on June 10, 2022. 

A Times Now report stated that people of the Muslim community held a protest after the Friday prayers in Mahabubnagar, Telangana. Hundreds of people were present at the demonstration, where a protestor was seen waving the Tricolor with the kalma. According to the report, after the video of this incident surfaced, the police said that they would take action against those who insulted the Indian flag.

Logically Facts have also reached out to 1-Town Police Station of Mahabubnagar for confirmation, and this fact-check will be updated if and when we receive a comment.

What are the rules and regulations related to the Indian flag?

The Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971 prohibits insulting all national symbols of the country, including the national flag. If anyone burns, mutilates, alters, desecrates, destroys, tramples on, or brings into contempt (whether by words, orally or in writing) the Tricolor in any public place or within public view shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both. 

The verdict

The claim that a kalma was written on the Indian flag after the Congress emerged victorious in Telangana is false. This video used as proof for the same is not recent but from June 2022. It was taken when, during a protest in Mahabubnagar, Telangana, protesters waved a flag with a kalma written on the national flag in place of Ashok Chakra.. Therefore, we mark the viral claim to be false.

(Translated by Rajini KG)

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