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Fact Check: Artistes Performing At Ramleela Event At Deepotav 2022 Were Not Russians


India celebrated the festival of Diwali in October. A grand event named Deepotsav was celebrated in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama. Against this backdrop, a viral image showing two men and a woman supposedly dressed up as Ram, Laxman, and Sita, is doing the rounds on social media. 

Users are sharing this image claiming that the Russian actors have performed in Ramleela in Ayodhya during Deepotsav 2022. Many users have also criticised the Bollywood actors, who, according to them, tend to stay away from such roles. 

A Facebook user posted the viral photo with a caption: These are Russian actors who performed in Ramlila in Ayodhya. 

And then, there are self-proclaimed stars from Bollywood who don’t even know a ting about our culture and end up insulting Hindu gods & goddesses in their 2rupees movie.

You can check the photo here.


NewsMobile fact-checked the viral photo, and found it to be misleading.

Running a Reverse Image Search of the viral picture, we traced a Facebook post by Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh. The post, dated October 27, 2022, informs that one of their alumni of the 2009 batch, Shivya Pathania, took part in the Deepotsav as Sita and was welcomed by Modi as well as Yogi Adityanath at the event. 

One of the images in the post by Chitkara University matches exactly with the viral image. The only visible difference is that the viral image is cropped and does not show Yogi Adityanath in the frame.

While looking up for Shivya Pathania to confirm her participation in the event, we found her official Instagram account showing a couple of posts around Deepotsav. In one of the posts, dated October 29, 2022, there was a collage of pictures in a similar dress and crown as the viral image. In the caption of the post, she has mentioned that she got the opportunity to play the part of Sita during Deepotsav.

In three of the four pictures of the collage, we can see Ram, Laxman, and Sita altogether, and their attire matches exactly with the viral image. We could not find any Russian connection to Shivya. She is an actor born in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and has worked in the Indian TV industry.

Conducting a Google Keyword Search to check whether any Russian actors participated in the Ramleela event or not, we found a news article in The Times of India, dated October 23, 2022, with a title: Deepotsav: Russian artistes to perform Ramlila

The article informs that international performers, too, got the chance to perform at Deepotsav. A Russian troop of 12 artists, including Alexei Fleyjanikav as Laxman; Ildar Khushnilin as Lord Ram; and Milana Bychonek as Sita. The faces of these Russian artists are way different from the viral picture, thereby proving that the people in the viral picture are not Russians. 

Therefore, we can conclusively say that the viral image is misleading. 

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