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Fact Check: Allegations Of Shop Boards In Karnataka Being Vandalised For Saffron Colour Are Baseless

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In May 2023, the Congress party secured victory in Karnataka state. A video showing several individuals damaging a shop’s signboard, purportedly in Karnataka, surfaced on social media, claiming that the shop’s signage was attacked due to the presence of saffron flags and saffron-coloured boards.

A Facebook user posted with a caption: “*🔥कांग्रेस को वोट देकर आप अपनी दूकान घर मोहल्ला मन्दिर इत्यादी जगह पर भगवा रंग का उपयोग नही कर सकते –कर्नाटक* 👆🏻” (English translation: *🔥By voting for Congress, you cannot use saffron colour in your shop, home, locality, temple etc. – Karnataka* 👆🏻)

The above post can be seen here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above post, and found it to be misleading.

Running the video keyframes through Reverse Image Search, our team discovered a clip posted on the verified YouTube channel of news outlet India Today carrying the same visuals, dated February 23, 2024. The title of the clip is: “Bengaluru’s Language War: BBMP Cracks Down on English Signboards Ahead of Deadline”.

As per the report, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city council of Bengaluru, took action against businesses with English signboards before the February 28 deadline. The BBMP ordered that 60 per cent of businesses’ signs must be in Kannada.

The daily newspaper Mint carries an article, dated December 27, 2023, with a headline: “Bengaluru: Protests over Kannada language rule intensify; activists create ruckus. Watch.”

It reported that numerous local groups in Bengaluru organised demonstrations in December 2023, urging for immediate enforcement of the BBMP order. “Tushar Giri Nath, chief commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said strict action will be taken against those who do not put up Kannada nameplates at shop fronts.”

However, according to a recent Deccan Herald report, the BBMP suspended one of its health officers who instructed staff members to vandalise English nameboards. The decision came after several videos circulated on social media, depicting BBMP personnel removing English letters from signboards.

Hence, the viral video indicates a deliberate attempt to spread misinformation with a false communal narrative.


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