By: Vivek J
January 12 2023
The man in the video is not a Muslim, and the video has been shared with a communal spin.
A video has been shared multiple times on social media showing a man kicking a photo of the Hindu goddess Saraswati. The video's caption in Kannada claims that the person in the video is a Muslim man and that he insulted the Hindu community by kicking the photo of the goddess. One such caption, when translated to English from Kannada, says, "Do not spare this Jihadi who kicked the photo of our Goddess Saraswati."
Social media users have shared this video with captions in various languages claiming that a Muslim man disrespected Hindus. However, we found that these claims are incorrect.
The original source of the video is the clip from ABP News Gujarati titled "Chotaudepur: Drunk tourist teacher kicks Saraswati Mata's photo." According to the report, the teacher's name is Yogesh Rathwa, and the incident occurred in Kawant Taluka in the Chhota Udepur district in Gujarat on December 28, 2022.
An Aaj Tak news report noted that Rathwa, who was visiting a school in the area, was drunk and swearing at his fellow teachers. Later, the police arrived on the scene, took Rathwa into custody, and registered a case against him.
The Quint accessed the First Incidence Report (FIR) of the incident. The sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the state of Gujarat, with some exceptions for visitors and health reasons. The FIR notes that Rathwa did not have a permit to drink alcohol, and so he was booked under Section 66(1)B of the Gujarat Prohibition Act. The Quint said that the FIR does not mention him kicking the photo of the goddess. Speaking with Chhotaudepur SP Dharmendra Sharma, the Quint also confirmed that Rathwa is a Hindu, and not a Muslim.
A video of an intoxicated teacher named Yogesh Rathwa kicking a photo of the Hindu goddess Saraswati was shared with a communal spin. The person is a Hindu and not from the Muslim community, as social media users claim. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.