A story with a video clip that has gone viral on social media after being shared by mainstream Indian news outlets like Zee TV and Times Now, claiming that Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi had chanted a Hindu prayer greeting at a ceremony organised by a Hindu group, is fake.
Gulf News calls the move ‘an obnoxious but carefully designed attempt by some groups to spread false propaganda and gain political mileage in India’.
The video, tweeted by leading Indian channels such as Times Now and Zee TV in the run up to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, claimed that Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed had chanted “Jai Siya Ram” (a common Hindu prayerful greeting addressing the deity Ram) while addressing a Hindu spiritual programme conducted by the guru Morari Bapu in Abu Dhabi in September 2016.
Gulf News says that the story is patently false. “Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed never attended any such event: the person in the video shown attending the ceremony is actually Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a UAE-based columnist and commentator on Arab affairs,” it says.
Times Now and Zee News used Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to revive a 2016 video where the guest speaker addressing the Indian diaspora begins his speech with ‘Jai Siya Ram’. While both media outlets clearly stated that the video was old, they misidentified the speaker.
The shared video is reportedly two years old.