New Delhi: The number of shares on a post claiming RSS workers engaged in relief work in Odisha when cyclone Fani hit the state on Friday, is steadily increasing by the minute. Men — some in white shirts and khaki shorts — can be seen drenched in the rain, helping clear trees that collapsed and were blocking roads.
Till the time this report was filed, the post, first seen on a Facebook page called ‘RSS’ (not the official page of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) was shared 3,800 times. It was shared with the caption, “After the storm in Odisha, it was none other than the RSS workers who came to help. I’m proud to be associated to the RSS and its ideology”.
The pictures are also gaining traction on Twitter, where they have been shared extensively, with the same caption.
In reality, these photographs are not from cyclone Fani, nor were they taken when it hit Odisha.
The first set of photographs, with men in khaki shorts and coloured T-shirts, is from relief operations during cyclone Ockchi in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu in November 2017.
The second set, featuring men in khaki shorts and white shirts who are also RSS workers, is from October 2018 after cyclone Tithli, which affected parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
" धन्य हे युग पुरष केशव ,धन्य तेरी साधना
कोटि कंठो में समाहित ,राष्ट्र की आराधना”
#ओडिशा का "#तितली #तुफान " और सेवा मे जुटे #संघ के कार्यकर्ता
राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ की स्थापना के मूल में प्रखर राष्ट्रवाद के साथ-साथ सेवा कार्य भी रहा है।@RSSorg
— चौकीदार स्वामी (@Swami_path) October 13, 2018
None of the photographs are from cyclone Fani, contrary to the claims of the viral post.
The viral post comes at a time when the Election Commission suspended the Model Code of Conduct in Odisha to facilitate relief operations.
Though voting is over in Odisha, political organisations and parties can still exploit such opportunities for votes by carrying out, or claiming to carry out, relief operations in their name.
The RSS is considered the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer.
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