By: Vivek J
May 23 2023
The viral video is of a street play organized by the DYFI in Kerala’s Kalikavu, Malappuram, and is not that of an actual incident.
A video has been widely shared on social media platforms purporting to show the killing of a female RSS worker in Kerala by two men. The video shows two men dragging a woman out of a car and shooting her. Several right-wing individuals shared this video. When translated to English, one of the post’s captions in Hindi read, “Jihadis pulled an RSS woman out of the car and shot her.” The Rashtriya Swayamseval Sangh (RSS) is the parent organization of the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). Several such posts were seen on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. However, this video has been miscaptioned and is not that of an RSS worker being shot.
Upon closely listening to the conversation from the viral video in Malayalam, it is clear that this video is from a street play, as the dialogues sound scripted. When translated to English, the audio says, “She is a fighter…put up a fight… spoke up against the RSS…and finally look… even she has been killed by the RSS…Tie him up!... What for…What for…why did you kill this poor journalist?” To this, one of the purported attackers says, “We RSS people are nationalists.”
By further looking for reports of an RSS woman being murdered in Kerala, we found several reports of a video of a street play being falsely shared as a murder of an RSS woman worker. Apparently, this same video had gone viral in September 2017. Activist and journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered the same month in Bengaluru, and news reports noted that the journalist referred to in the video was her.
One such new report by News Click, dated September 13, 2017, noted that this video was from a street play named “Silence is Dangerous” and that it was organized by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) party in Kalikavu of the Malappuram district in Kerala. This report also quoted the DYFI Kalikavu Area Secretary CT Sakkariya saying, “The play was organized as part of a campaign against RSS violence. It talks about the violence and physical attacks unleashed by the Sangh Parivar on secular people.” Sakkariya was the one who was speaking in the street play, according to a Hindustan Times report from September 2017.
By using the keywords ‘Gauri Lankesh,’ ‘street play,’ and ‘Malappuram DYFI’ in Malayalam, we found several Facebook videos shared in September 2017. One of these videos, a more extended five-minute version, was shared on the official Facebook page of “DYFI Kalikavu MC,” and the post’s caption read, “This is the DYFI of Kalikavu…Here is a superb item against the RSS…This is the street play of a public trial against the RSS for murdering journalist Gouri Lankesh.” Similar videos were also shared by DYFI members from across Kerala. We have contacted the DYFI in Malappuram for further details on the street play and will update this check once we have a response.
The video of a woman being shot is not recent and does not show an actual incident. This video shows a street play performed by the CPI(M)’s youth wing DYFI in Kerala’s Malappuram. The extended version of the video and the audio from the video confirms that it is a street play. Therefore, we mark this claim false.