By: Rahul Adhikari
August 24 2023
The video is from late July much before the tutor was dismissed from the edtech company.
Last week, India-based online education platform Unacademy dismissed one of its tutors after a video of him discussing elections went viral. The termination of 30-year-old Karan Sangwan stoked a controversy on social media, with even political leaders joining in.
What's the claim?
Hours after Sangwan's dismissal on August 17, a video surfaced on X (formerly Twitter), claiming that the educator responded to Unacademy with a motivational Hindi couplet. Sharing the video of Sangwan reciting the couplet, a user wrote, "Karan Sangwan's reply to Unacademy after resigning… I I appeal to all students of Karan sir please stay behind him, So in future any teacher take stand for you. I am also working education industry, I know why this happened to him I request all to #UninstallUnacademy." The video garnered over 7,000 views and 237 likes at the time of publishing. Another post sharing a similar claim had received over 58,000 views. An archived version of the post can be found here.
The posts as seen on X. (Source: X/Altered by Logically Facts)
However, the video doesn't show Sangwan's response to Unacademy.
What's the truth?
Logically Facts found that the viral clip was originally part of a longer video published on Sangwan's YouTube channel on July 28, well before Unacademy terminated his services.
The video's title reads, "Motivational Lines by Karan Sangwan sir." The 18-second viral clip was taken from this 35-second YouTube video and shared out of context. The couplet is also written on the board behind Sangwan, seen in the YouTube video and the viral clip. The extended version shows Sangwan saying, "You will have to show this passion on July 30" after he recites the couplet. He further asks viewers to comment about that day's session.
Screenshot of the longer version of the viral video published on July 28. (Source: YouTube/Altered by Logically Facts)
Sangwan's comments suggest that he was trying to motivate students for an examination that was scheduled to take place on July 30. Further research revealed that the examination for Assistant District Attorney (ADA), conducted by the Haryana Public Service Commission, took place on July 30. On July 28, Sangwan uploaded another video to his YouTube channel with the title, "Haryana ADA Exam 2023 | How to Attempt". The video has the same background as the viral clip, with the couplet written on the board behind Sangwan.
Screenshot of the video which suggests Sangwan was talking about the Haryana ADA examination. (Source: YouTube/Altered by Logically Facts)
We compared the two YouTube videos and concluded that Sangwan was talking about the Haryana ADA examination after reciting the poem.
What was the controversy around Sangwan?
In the video that stirred the controversy leading to Sangwan's dismissal, the educator was heard discussing the importance of electing well-educated politicians. In the video, recorded on August 12, Sangwan said, "Remember this, the next time you cast your vote, choose a well-educated candidate so that you don't have to face these issues again in life. Vote for someone who is educated and comprehends matters, not someone who merely focuses on changing names." Several users shared the video on X criticizing the teacher for allegedly trying to influence his student's voting preferences. Within days, Sangwan was dismissed from Unacademy.
Taking to X on August 17, Roman Saini, Unacdemy's founder, wrote, "...In the current situation, we were forced to part ways with Karan Sangwan as he was in breach of the Code of Conduct."
What was Sangwan's actual response to the controversy?
On August 19, Sangwan posted a 43-minute-long video on his YouTube channel explaining the entire incident. The video, titled "The End of Karan Sangwan's Controversy," features him saying, "On August 12, I was conducting a live session on this YouTube channel, discussing the new criminal bills. At the end of the session, I made a statement which you would have seen and was subsequently shared everywhere." He reiterated that his statement revolved around the significance of electing well-educated individuals without directly naming anyone.
In the video, he explained how his content became viral and discussed how he was treated on social media and by his former employer. Here, the background is different than the viral clip, and the educator is donning a different black T-shirt.
Screenshot of the video Karan Sangwan posted on August 19 explaining the controversy. (Source: YouTube/Altered by Logically Facts)
All the above-mentioned evidence establishes that an old, unrelated video of the tutor was shared on social media as Sangwan's response to his termination.
The claim that Karan Sangwan responded to Unacademy's termination of his services by reciting a motivational Hindi couplet is false. The viral video was part of a longer video published on July 28, while Sangwan was sacked from Unacademy in mid-August. Therefore, we mark the claim false.