A video clip of former prime minister and Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) speaking at an event on March 12 is making the rounds on social media over the past few days.
Even though the creator’s name has been blurred in many videos, the video, which started to go viral on TikTok, was made by TikTok user @paudelaryan.
In the 21-second clip, Dahal is heard criticising the citizens of the country.
“The leaders are bad because the people are bad,” Dahal is heard saying in the video. “If you all become good, the leaders will have no option but to be good. You are lazy, idle, 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 reactions’ 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 the Facebook group called ‘Sasto Ghar Jagga Nepal Kathmandu’ has been shared 98 times. The Facebook page ‘Nepali man Nepali pan’ has shared the same clip, which has been re-shared 26 times.
The TikTok clip has also been shared on Twitter by user @kiranjoshi235, who has changed the caption and removed the TikTok user’s name. That post 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) found 26 minutes and 32 seconds (full-length) video of the speech, from which the clip was extracted.
South Asia Check found that Dahal 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, Dahal 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. South Asia Check could not verify whether these were indeed Lu Xun’s words.
If the audience watches the entire video, they will get a better context. At the function, Dahal said, “All of you have heard of Lu Xun, the great poet. At that time, some people had developed a habit of criticising 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, the leaders will have no option but to be good. You are lazy, idle, 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.
The article first appeared on South Asia Check.