Video shows Indian PM Modi greeting former president before turning to cameras -- not ignoring him

·2 min read

A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in social media posts that purport it shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignoring former president Ramnath Kovind during his farewell function and instead posing for the cameras. However, the video has been shared in a misleading context. A longer video shows Modi greeting Kovind before turning toward the cameras.

The six-second clip was shared here on Facebook by Lalan Kumar, a politician from India's opposition Congress party, on July 24, 2022.

The clip, which has been viewed more than 129,000 times, shows former Indian president Ram Nath Kovind approaching and greeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it appears that Modi looks at the photojournalists and cameramen instead.

The post's Hindi-language caption reads: "Look at this camera-obsessed person who has no respect for Dalits, he does not even do a proper greeting."

Kovind, who stepped down from office on July 24, 2022, was the second Indian president from the Dalit caste -- the lowest in India's social hierarchy -- who frequently face discrimination and violence.

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on July 28, 2022.

The video circulated a day after the Indian parliament hosted a farewell ceremony for Kovind, which was also attended by Modi and the country's other top-ranking officials, as reported by local media here and here.

Kovind was succeeded by Draupadi Murmu, who became the second woman and the first person from one of the country's marginalised tribal communities to serve as head of state.

The video, alongside a similar claim, was also tweeted by opposition politician Sanjay Singh, of  Aam Aadmi Party, here, where it garnered more than 316,000 views.

It was shared in Hindi on Facebook here and here, and in English on Twitter here and here.

The video, however, has been shared in a misleading context.

A keyword search found that Indian state media Sansad TV posted a longer video on its official YouTube channel on July 23, 2022.

The footage, which is nearly nine minutes long, is titled: "President Kovind's departure from the Central Hall of Parliament I Farewell function".

The misleading posts share the scenes from the one-minute one-second mark of the genuine video, but prior to that -- at the 59-second mark -- Kovind and Modi can be seen greeting each other.

Below is a screenshot of the genuine video from Sansad TV:

Screenshot of the genuine video from Sansad TV

The same moment of two politicians exchanging greeting can be seen in this video, posted on Modi's official YouTube channel, on July 23, 2022.

The title of the footage reads: "PM Modi attends farewell in honour of President Kovind at Central Hall of Parliament."

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has called opposition politicians who share the misleading claim "fake-news peddlers".

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