New Delhi: Temple politics of a different kind has emerged on social media with viral claims surfacing that Abu Dhabi crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has built a ‘Hindu temple’ in his city — only it doesn’t exist.
The claims come over three years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, when Mohammed bin Zayed promised land for a temple in UAE’s second most populous city for the Indian community living there.
In the last few days, a video has been shared by multiple people on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp about the said ‘temple’. The accompanying caption reads, “Sultan Sheikh Mohammed in Abu Dhabi fulfilled his promise to Narendra Modi and made first Hindu temple. Sultan’s wife is carrying the Ramayana on her head towards the temple. Accompanying her is Sheikh Mohammed and Ram Katha vachak Moraji Bapu ji.”
सुल्तान शेख मोहम्मद ने अबू धाबी में,प्रधान मंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी से अपने वादे के अनुसार पहला हिंदू मंदिर बनवाया।
सुल्तान की पत्नी बेगम सिर पर पवित्र रामायण की प्रति लेकर मंदिर की ओर जा रही हैं और साथ में सुल्तान शेख मोहम्मद, राम कथा वाचक एच पी मोरारी बापू भी दिखाई दे रहे हैं। pic.twitter.com/ZoQR78s5pG
— Satyendra Tiwari (@Satyend71267811) May 15, 2019
Although the land was promised to build a temple in Abu Dhabi, the project is far from complete. Its foundation stone was laid just last month.
But that’s not all.
The viral video is not even of the foundation stone laying ceremony and doesn’t feature the crown prince or his wife.
The original video features Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a UAE-based columnist, attending a Ram Katha programme hosted by spiritual leader Morari Bapu in Abu Dhabi in September 2016.
This isn’t the first instance of this particular video going viral.
Last year, the video surfaced in February with claims that it was Mohammed bin Zayed chanting ‘Jai Siya Ram’. The video was played up by a number of mainstream Indian media outlets, like Times Now and Zee News, calling it a result of Modi’s diplomacy. The channels misidentified Al Qassemi with the crown prince.
Even the claim that the temple has been completed is oft-repeated and busted. In February 2018, fake pictures from a different temple and an opera house went viral, claiming it’s of Modi inaugurating the temple in Abu Dhabi.
In collaboration with SM HoaxSlayer.