Video of actor-turned-politician Arun Govil on campaign trail shared with false casteist angle

By: Ishita Goel
April 16 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Video of actor-turned-politician Arun Govil on campaign trail shared with false casteist angle

A screenshot of a social media post claiming to show that Arun Govil did not consume food at a Dalit man’s house. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Other visuals from the same visit clearly show the BJP candidate eating food at the residence of booth president Neetu Jatav.

Claim ID 861ed5dc

What is the claim?

Ahead of the upcoming general elections in India, a video of Indian actor-turned-politician Arun Govil is going viral with a claim that he declined to eat food at the home of a woman from the Dalit community, a historically marginalized social group in India. Govil is renowned for his portrayal of Indian deity Lord Ram in the popular 1980s television series Ramayana.

The video shows the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut Lok Sabha seat sitting on the floor with other members of the party, some of them eating from the plates in front of them. Social media users however claimed that Govil did not partake of the food.

This video was shared by social media users and Opposition parties criticizing Govil's purported actions. The official X (formerly Twitter) account of the Uttar Pradesh Congress (archived here) shared the video and wrote in Hindi, "BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Meerut district Arun Govil ji reached the house of a Valmiki worker for 'food darshan'. Lord Shri Ram had eaten the sour berries of Shabri in Treta Yuga, but he is not able to eat food from a Dalit's house in 2024."

Another Congress member (archived here) also shared the video and claimed that Govil insulted both the food and the entire Dalit community. “Why does the BJP hate Dalits so much?,” the user wrote.

Similarly, the National General Secretary of the Samajwadi Party also wrote (archived here) in Hindi that the video showed Govil unable to eat food prepared by a Dalit, questioning how a person like him would protect the rights of Dalits and backward classes.

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this claim is false. We went through more visuals from Govil's visit and found videos and photos where he can clearly be seen eating.  

What are the facts?

The video in question shows Govil visiting the house of a booth president Neetu Jatav in Meerut’s Bhagwatpura on April 13, during his election campaigning. We found photos of the visit on Govil’s Facebook account, where he could be seen in the same outfit and the surroundings, sitting on the floor, with plates of food in front of him and the other BJP members. The post said that Govil had had breakfast with ‘loved ones’.

We also found that Govil himself had posted a video of his visit to Jatav’s residence on his social media accounts. The caption of the post, originally in Hindi, read, "In Bhagwatpura, Meerut, a discussion program was held with local public representatives over food at the residence of booth president Mrs. Neetu Jatav ji and a discussion program over tea at the residence of councilor Mr. Arun Machal Valmiki ji."

The one-minute-long video clearly shows him eating the food in front of him, along with his other party members. 

We found an interview given by Govil to a reporter from news channel News18 India during his visit to Jatav’s house. The footage included in the video report, between the 2:40 and 2:50 mark, also shows Govil eating.

A report by News 18 showing Arun Govil eating (Source: Screenshot/ News 18)

Amar Ujala, a Hindi language daily newspaper, reported on Govil’s campaign trail and shared a video of the women serving food to all the guests. This report also stated that Govil and BJP leaders were served food at Jatav’s home, which they ate. 

While we could not locate the full video of his visit to Jatav’s home, it is clear that the viral video was taken at a moment when Govil was not eating and is being used to spread a false casteist narrative.

The verdict
Several visuals from Arun Govil’s visit to Neetu Jatav’s house on April 13 clearly show him eating, contrary to the claims on social media. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before