By: Ishita Goel
January 27 2023
The man seen dancing to the Hindi song in the video is not Bilawal Bhutto Zardari but Mehroz Baig, a student at Iqra University, Karachi.
Days after Pakistan’s foreign minster Bilawal Bhutto Zardari represented his country at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos in Switzerland, social media saw an uptick in posts about the 34-year-old politician. Several posts have linked Zardari’s remarks made at the gathering to the ongoing economic crisis in Pakistan and “new world order” conspircy theories. On January 22, Twitter user @kakar_harsha (retired Major General Harsha Kakar) shared a video of a man and a woman dancing to the Hindi song 'Besharam Rang' from the film Pathaan. In a post that has garnered more than 1,200 likes so far, the user wrote that the man seen dancing in the video is Zardari, and mocked the Pakistan minister for "flaunting his feminine grace while his country is about to go bankrupt." Journalist Rohan Dua also shared the video the same day from his verified Twitter account taking a potshot at the ‘worthiness’ of the Pakistani minister. In his tweet, that has raked over 1.6 million views, Dua also termed Zardari’s dancing skills “dangerous.” Similar claims mocking Zardari were widely shared on the Indian social media app Koo along with the video of the dancing duo. Several users even claimed that as Pakistan braved an unprecedented economic crisis, the politician was busy showing his "talent" and "doing what he does best."
A quick look at the video itself shows that the man dancing in it is not Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, but someone who appears to bear a faint resemblance to him.
Using a reverse image search, we found that footage of two people dancing to ‘Besharam Rang’, as seen in the viral clip, was also captured in another video uploaded on Instagram. The Instagram video, which has been taken from a different angle and is longer than the viral clip, was co-shared on the platform by users inayakhan0fficial (Inaya Khan) and mehrozbaigofficial (Mehroz Baig). The video was uploaded on January 13, 2023.
Logically reached out to Mehroz Baig who clarified that it was indeed him dancing in the video. He added that the clip showed his friend Inaya Khan, a social media influencer and actor, and him performing at Khan’s sister wedding in Karachi on January 8. Baig told Logically that he was currently pursuing a bachelors degree in media studies at Iqra University, Karachi. On his Instagram account, Baig had also shared reports published by Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, and other media organizations regarding the truth behind the viral video. All these news reports stated that the video showed Baig, and not Zardari dancing to the popular song. The song itself has been at the centre of controversy in India after right-wing outfits alleged that some of its visuals hurt their religious sentiments.
Zardari had made headlines in India in December for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "butcher of Gujarat," referring to the 2002 riots. The remarks had elicited a sharp response from India’s external affairs ministry which termed Zardari’s comments “nefarious, uncivilized and shameful.” The Hindu reported that Bhutto's remarks came after India's foreign minster S. Jaishankar called Pakistan the "epicenter of terrorism."
A clip of Mehroz Baig, a student from Karachi, dancing to 'Besharam Rang’ at a wedding has been maliciously shared as a video of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Therefore, we mark this claim false.