By: Praveen Kumar
April 5 2023
An edited video of IYC President Srinivas BV talking about inflation has been used to claim that he made inappropriate remarks about Smriti Irani.
A 12-second clip of Congress leader and the president of the youth wing of the party, Indian Youth Congress (IYC), Srinivas B.V., is going viral on social media. In the video, Srinivas B.V. appears to be allegedly referring to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani, union minister for women & child development and minister for minority affairs, as a "dayan" (witch) who has been kept as a "darling." The video starts with him saying in Hindi that "Smriti Irani has become mute and deaf" and that "the inflation witch has been made into a darling and kept in the bedroom." Several Twitter accounts associated with the BJP, such as the Karnataka outfit of the party, BJP IT(Information and Technology) cell chief Amit Malviya and political commentator Priti Gandhi, shared this clip and condemned Srinivas for what they claimed was an undignified and misogynistic attack on Irani.
Logically found the original video from where the viral clip was taken from. Srinivas B.V. gave a speech at Raj Ghat, Delhi, on March 26 during the Congress Party's Sankalp Satyagraha. An almost 6-minute long video of this speech, uploaded on the Congress' YouTube channel, shows Srinivas saying that unemployment and inflation are present wherever the BJP is. Four-and-a-half minutes into the video, he says that in 2014, BJP claimed that inflation has become a "witch." He adds that "Smriti Irani has now become a mute and deaf person" (meaning someone ignoring ongoing issues) and adds, "the same witch, the mehengayi (inflation) witch, has been made into a darling, and has been kept in a bedroom." This established that the viral clip has been cut from in between and shared without context.e Srinivas had actually referred to inflation and not Irani as a "witch."
On March 27, 2023, the IYC Legal Cell's official Twitter account shared a press release about the "misrepresented clipping of the speech made by the IYC President (Srinivas B.V)." The release stated that the viral clip has been edited and is a case of "misrepresentation, fabrication of facts and aims to tarnish the image of the organization." It further explained that when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power at the Centre, BJP leaders often referred to inflation and price rise (mehengayi) as "dayan" and that the IYC president was only using the same references.
Further, Srinivas himself took to Twitter to share the unedited clip of his speech, asking people to share his full statement, not clipped versions. The politician clarified that he quoted one of the BJP leaders' old statements wherein they had called the inflation of an LPG cylinder priced then at ₹400 a "witch." He added that today, the same BJP has made the same "witch" as their "darling," as the price of an LPG cylinder has reached ₹1,100.
A clipped version of IYC President Srinivas B.V.'s speech about inflation has been used to claim he launched a misogynistic attack on Smriti Irani. The original full video and the IYC press statement about it makes it clear that the Congress leader only referred to inflation as a "witch,” a term used by the BJP for inflation in the past. Srinivas did not call Irani a "witch." Therefore, we have marked the claim false.