Fact Check: Freedom fighter’s pic shared as fictitious Assamese revolutionary along with an unverifiable anecdote - Fix Bdsthanhhoavn

Fact Check: Freedom fighter’s pic shared as fictitious Assamese revolutionary along with an unverifiable anecdote

On social media, people have been sharing the photo of an elderly woman claiming she is Kamaladevi Hazarika, a revolutionary from Assam who gave a befitting reply to a pastor who tried to proselytise her and her family to Christianity.

In a nutshell, the story people shared alongside the photo was as follows: A pastor named Cruz was sent to Assam to promote Christianity. There, he was employed by a prestigious family to teach English to a boy. Soon, the pastor realised that the boy’s grandmother was the most influential person in the family, and if he was able to convert her to Christianity, the whole family would follow suit.

The pastor then began telling the grandmother stories of how Jesus Christ cured leprosy, gave sight to the blind, etc. The grandmother, however, said that this was nothing compared to the miracles of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. Despite this, the pastor did not lose hope.

One day, he brought a cake from the church and offered it to the old lady. As soon as she consumed it, the pastor exclaimed that because she had eaten a church offering, she was now Christian. The grandmother boxed the pastor’s ear and told him that, by his logic, him eating at her place every day, breathing the air and drinking the water in the land of Hinduism meant he was now Hindu.

Many shared this story. Similar posts can be seen here, here, and here.

The India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) found that the woman seen in the photo was Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, a well-known freedom fighter and social reformer from Mangalore, Karnataka. At the same time, there are no historical records of any revolutionary named Kamaladevi Hazarika hailing from Assam.

AFWA Probe

We could not find any evidence about a popular revolutionary from Assam called Kamaladevi Hazarika. Even searches in multiple languages did not yield any results.

However, we did find that the same story has been circulating online since at least 2017.

What’s noteworthy is that according to CrowdTangle, a social media analysis tool, this story was posted more than 100 times on Facebook in the past week and garnered nearly 31,000 interactions at the time of writing this story.

Who is the lady in the photo?

A reverse search of the viral photo led us to the website of the Centre For Cultural Resources And Training, an autonomous Indian organisation under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. The site stated that this was the photo of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, a notable social reformer, freedom fighter, and art enthusiast. It also stated that CCRT was also pioneered by Chattopadhyay.

Chattopadhyay received multiple awards in recognition of her public service, like the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the UNESCO Award. She died in Mumbai on October 29, 1988, at the age of 85.

Chattopadhyay’s biography, “Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Portrait of a rebel”, written by Jamila Brijbhushan, is available on the Wayback Machine. Using keyword search, we tried finding if there was any mention of a pastor named Cruz in it. The search did not yield any results.

Her biographer speaks

We sent the viral claim to Sakuntala Narasimhan, the author of another Chattopadhyay biography called “Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: The Romantic Rebel”. Narasimhan told India Today that Chattopadhyay did not have any such encounter in her lifetime. “I have met Kamaladevi, and spent a lot of time with her before writing my book on her. I have never heard of this story about the Christian pastor Cruz,” she said.

We also asked Narasimhan if Chattopadhyay had any Assamese link, to which she said, “As far as I know, she had no Assamese connection. I have also spoken to some of her former co-workers and freedom fighters but have never heard of any of her connections to Assam.”

To sum it up, freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay’s photo was shared by many on social media with the claim that she was Kamaladevi Hazarika, a supposed Assamese revolutionary. We found no records of Hazarika. We were also unable to ascertain the veracity of the story that has been online since at least 2017.

ClaimThis old woman is Kamaladevi Hazarika, a revolutionary hailing from Assam who gave a befitting reply to a pastor who attempted to convert her to Christianity. ConclusionThe viral image shows renowned Karnataka-born freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay. We found no records of Hazarika. We were also unable to ascertain the veracity of the story that has been online since at least 2017.

JHOOTH BOLE KAUVA KAATE

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

  • 1 Crow: Half True
  • 2 Crows: Mostly lies
  • 3 Crows: Absolutely false

Tags: #Fact #Check #Freedom #fighters #pic #shared #fictitious #Assamese #revolutionary #unverifiable #anecdote

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