Diwali or Deepawali, a festival of light and solidarity, is being used by some mischievous elements to spread hatred and separatism among religious sects in India with the help of different social media platforms. As we all know, this year Diwali is on 4th November, 2021. Exactly 5 days before the upcoming of Diwali i.e., on October 30, 2021, when people start visiting markets to buy new products for Diwali, a hashtag #हिन्दू_त्यौहार_हिन्दू_सामान was trending on Twitter with about 182 thousand tweets.
This hashtag when translated to English means “Hindu Festival, Hindu Products”. It was played to emphasize on the fact that Diwali is a Hindu festival, hence Diwali shopping should be done from those people, who celebrate Diwali. More than 10 posters were circulated to leave an impression on social media users mind to buy products from Hindus only.
Along with these posters some misleading content was also making rounds on social media.
Misleading Content viral using hashtag ##हिन्दू_त्यौहार_हिन्दू_सामान
Many twitterati had used a newspaper clipping image on which it is written “फ़तवा-ऐ-रमजान
मुस्लमान नहीं खरीदेंगे गुजराती – मारवाड़ी से सामान “ which when translated to English means “Fatwa-e-Ramadan, Muslims will not buy goods from Gujarati and Marwari”
This clipping was used to show that when Muslims can boycott products made by Hindus on Ramzan then products made by Muslims should also be boycotted on Hindu festival, Diwali.
On verifying the viral image, it was found that it is an old image of 2018. Since 2018, it comes every year on social media during the time of Hindu Festival named, Navratri and Diwali.
Hence, the above content is misleading and is just being used every year to spread indifference between religious sects in India.
While observing the tweets that went viral using the above hashtags. Some key points were observed:
- Copy Paste pattern was observed as twitterati were posting the same text along with the same poster.
- Most of the accounts that were tweeting the same content along with same posters has प्रशासक समिति written in their username.
- The posters that were being shared along with this hashtag has mentioned the name of social media sites of Prashasak Samiti.
Copy Paste Pattern
Content 1: Don’t give us knowledge on Hindu festivals. Dont hurt our sentiments. Vs #हिन्दू_त्यौहार_हिन्दू_सामान
Content 2: वो नाम पूछकर गोली मार दे तो कोई हो हल्ला नही
इसलिए इस दिवाली आप नाम पूछकर समान खरीदें
This content was copy-pasted 43 times.
Analysing what is Prashasak Samiti ?
Prashasak Samiti is the largest Hindu social media network as is described in the profile of its twitter account. It is present in almost all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and koo. On analyzing the twitter account of Prashasak Samiti, it was found to be created on January 2021 and has 12.8K followers. These followers also include the name of Santosh Ranjan Rai, Ex. National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). One puppet website is also mentioned on its twitter profile. On further researching, it was found that this Prashasak Samiti account has been in controversy previously also. Even Aaj Tak has prepared a report on the same. This account was suspended earlier for spreading hatred.
It has a full team of more than 1000 accounts who tweet the Hindutva content on social media. This team is very active in trending hashtag or specific content. Its clear example is hashtag #हिन्दू_त्यौहार_हिन्दू_सामान and the copy paste pattern as shown above.
Accounts which used the above hashtag maximum number of times
Below Graph shows the usernames of twitter account which used the #हिन्दू_त्यौहार_हिन्दू_सामान maximum number of times
On analyzing the top accounts, it was observed:
Bot accounts are being used to viral the hashtag
- Piyush Tripathi (@tripathi_boss) is a bot account as can be visible through its tweet activity using socialbearing.
- This account is replying and retweeting to its own tweets.
- Tweets over time shows, this account is very active. On analyzes it was found to be tweeting 5-10 tweets per minute.
All 3 tweets were tweeted at 4:18 PM on Oct 30, 2021.
- No domains shared i.e., no news articles shared and no retweets of any other account.
- Some media team of Prashasak Samiti is involved in the trending the hashtag maximum number of times. This is proved from the fact that in the top 23 accounts mentioned in the graph, 11 have mentioned प्रशासक समिति in their profile name.
Such hate-spreading factories are easily available on social media. We should be aware of them and not get hallucinated with the hate content that these accounts try to circulate before our eyes in the form of posters, emotional messages and misleading content.