TikTok user trimmed video to show Dahal in a bad light
Sanjog Shiwakoti / March 20, 2021
A video clip extracted from a March 12 speech of Maoist politician and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) is being widely circulated on social media over the past few days. At the bottom right of the clip, one can see a TikTok logo and the username @paudelaryan, the clip creator, whereas some social media users have made the TikTok logo and the clip creator’s name invisible and shared it on several social media platforms. TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create and share short videos. TikTok allows users to create videos by singing, acting or lip-syncing to background tracks, or even assemble videos from existing photos and clips. TikTok videos can be shared on other social media platforms including Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
The 21-second clip includes the following caption: “Look how shameless he is! Ultimately he is labelling the general people as bad, and these are Prachanda’s words. He is accusing the citizenry of being lazy, greedy and sinful”.
In the video clip, Prachanda is heard saying: “The leaders are bad because the people are bad. If you all become good, then the leaders will have no option but to be good. You are lazy, idlers, somewhat greedy and more sinful. And your leaders became like you.”
The 21-second video clip — uploaded by TikTok user Paudel Aryan (@paudelaryan) — has already been shared 2,130 times and viewed more than 341,000 times. The video clip has received 17,300 ‘love reacts’ and more than 1,800 comments. The same video clip has also been shared by many people on Facebook. A March 16 Facebook post including the video posted by Bhanu Cpn has been shared 3,700 times and viewed more than 128,000 times. The clip shared by Facebook user Rudra Thapa Saru on Facebook Group called ‘Sasto Ghar Jagga Nepal Kathmandu’ has been shared 98 times. Facebook page ‘Nepali man Nepali pan’ has shared the same clip, which has been re-shared 26 times.
The same TikTok clip shared on Twitter by user @kiranjoshi235, who has slightly changed the caption and removed the TikTok logo of Paudel Aryan (@paudelaryan), has been retweeted 17 times.
Since the clip also has a Sutra TV logo, a search on the YouTube channel of Sutra TV (SUTRA TV HD) produced a 26 minutes and 32 seconds (full-length) video of the speech, from which the clip was extracted. We found that Prachanda had delivered the speech at a book launch function in Kathmandu on March 12. He had launched a book titled ‘Sambriddhi Ko Roadmap’ (A roadmap to prosperity) by Prakash Bikalpa.
As claimed in the viral video clip, Prachanda had made the following statement: “The leaders are bad because the people are bad …..” But according to Dahal this was not his own statement and that he was simply quoting the famous Chinese writer, essayist and poet Lu Xun. We could not verify whether these were indeed Lu Xun’s words.
Prachanda had made the following statement at the function: “All of you have heard of Lu Xun, the great poet. At that time, some people had developed a habit of criticizing politicians all the time. After hearing the criticisms, Lu Xun said: ‘The leaders are bad because the people are bad. If you all become good, then the leaders will have no option but to be good. You are lazy, idlers, somewhat greedy and more sinful. And your leaders became like you.’” So this shows Dahal’s statement was carefully trimmed to show him in a bad light.
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