False: The Malabar Charitable Trust awarded scholarships only to Muslim students.

By: Rajini KG
January 27 2023

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False: The Malabar Charitable Trust awarded scholarships only to Muslim students.


The Verdict False

Scholarships were given to 630 students from different communities. The group has denied claims that students were chosen on the basis of religion.

Claim ID b711bda3


Accompanied by communally divisive narratives, an image of a group of girls on stage holding their certificates is going viral on social media. A Twitter user named ಶಕುಂತಲ/ Shakunthala shared the image with a caption in Kannada that read, "Malabar Gold Company has given scholarship only to Muslims and they have only Muslim customers...?" The image depicts a group of girl students, almost all of them in burqas, standing on the stage, holding their scholarship certificates. As the girls pose for a group photo on the stage, the logo of Malabar Charitable Trust looms large in the background. The tweet has garnered nearly 40 thousand views so far and has been liked by more than 900 users. Several other users have also shared the image in posts implying that the charitable trust gave scholarships only to Muslims. However, the image has been shared selectively to spread misinformation.

In Fact

Logically reached out to a representative of Malabar Charitable Trust, who categorically said the claim that the group has provided scholarships only to Muslim students is fake news. A senior executive at the group’s regional office in Karnataka, Haider (who goes by a single name), told Logically, "We provided scholarships to 630 students in an event held in Mangaluru on January 17. We give scholarships based on merit, and not based on caste or religion. Group photos of different college students were taken at the event, and one particular group photo of Muslim students has been picked selectively and made viral with false claims." He added, "Around 80 to 90 percent of students who participated in the Mangaluru event and received scholarship were students from other religions, less than 20 percent students were Muslims."

According to the website of the Malabar Charitable Trust, the scholarship is granted to girl students on 'Merit and Means Basis' only. Those who wish to apply for the scholarship need to submit attested copies of “certificates or merit issued by the board/controller of examination pertaining to the qualifying examination and a copy of the income certificate issued by the Revenue authorities along with the application." The website does not mention the need for caste or religion-based documents from the students to be considered for the scholarship.

Further, through a keyword search, we found a poster of the said event on Facebook. It was shared by Thanzeem Shirva on January 20, 2023. The poster was shared with the caption: "Scholarships Distribution to 630 Girl Students Of 60+ Colleges,” and had multiple pictures of students receiving scholarship certificates. The students were from various colleges, including the Government PU (Pre-University) College Aladangady, Government PU College Belthangady, Government PU College Carstreet Mangaluru, and others. According to the poster, the viral photo shared with the unsubstantiated claim was of students from the Government PU College Uppinangady. The poster also contained details about the event and the chief guests who were present there. Shirva also posted group photos of female students from various colleges posing with their scholarship certificates separately. Photographs from the event were also shared by two others — Girish S Rai and Mohammed Sameer, who, according to their Facebook bios, work at Malabar Gold and Diamonds. 

Malabar Gold and Diamonds, part of the group that also runs the charitable trust, also uploaded a video of the event on its YouTube channel on January 21, 2023. Captioned "Educational Scholarship Program | CSR Initiative | Malabar Group", the video gives details about the scholarships provided to girl students in the Karnataka region for the FY 2022-2023. The viral image was shared in the video at 1:02. There is no indication that the scholarships were given only to Muslim students in the photo and posters shared on Facebook and the YouTube video. 

A video report shared on the YouTube channel of Kannada news channel V4news also showed visuals from the scholarship distribution event. According to the report, the event was held in Kudmul Rangarao Town Hall in Mangaluru. Channel9 Live, another Kannada News channel, also reported about the event on its YouTube channel. Both channels did not mention anything about the scholarships being distributed on the basis of religion in their reports. 

The Verdict

One of the many photos taken at an event in Mangaluru has been picked selectively and given a communal spin. The charitable group has denied the claim that scholarships were provided to students from only one community. Therefore, we mark the claim false. 

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