Narrative on social media
A Facebook page called Karma News had posted a news video on Facebook claiming that the Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy has appointed a Christian as the chairperson of the board of the world’s richest temple. The video claims that Jagan Mohan Reddy who is a Christian himself has appointed his Christian uncle Y.V. Subba Reddy as the chairperson of Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam board. This post has garnered almost 300 shares in a time span of 3 hours. The presenter in the video adds that most of the members of Jagan’s family are Christian, including his father, former CM, late Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy. The video claims that Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy had tried to usurp the administration of the Hindu temple and his son and current chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Jagan Mohan Reddy, are doing the same. The video leaves a trail of questions behind such as, “Has Andhra government appointed a Christian as the head of one of the most wealthiest Hindu temple?”, “Is Y.V. Subba Reddy a Christian?”, we will find answers to these question through investigation.
Our Fact Check
In order to know the truth behind the incident, we searched for more news articles related to this controversy on Google by using keywords such as Christian and TTD. We found a lot of news articles related to the incident in the search results. After examining the news articles, we came to know the following facts:
1.It has not yet been announced that Y.V. Subba Reddy will be the president of TTD. However, he is the front-runner in the race to be the next chairperson of the board.
2.After the news of Y.V. Subba Reddy to be the next TTD chairman appeared in the media, the controversy regarding his religion started to emerge on social media. A lot of people took to Twitter to protest against a Christian being appointed as the chief of a Hindu Temple. Some even said that despite the orders of Supreme court, a non-Hindu is being appointed as the chairman of a Hindu Temple. Some of these tweets are given below:
3.Also after the appearance of news related to Y.V. Subba Reddy being designated to be the chairman of TTD, his Wikipedia page which was just a three line ‘stub’ till Wednesday, was edited 95 times till Thursday evening. The Wikipedia page has no mention of his religion till Wednesday, but after learning that he is designated to be the next TTD chairman, some users edited it to include his religion as Christian.
4.One of the Twitter users had tagged BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy in one of the tweets claiming Y.V. Subba Reddy is a Christian. But in his response Dr. Swamy tweeted back saying “Subba Reddy is a Pucca Hindu.”
5.In an interview given by Y.V. Subba Reddy to TV9 Telugu, he has clarified that he is a Hindu. The video of the interview is given below:
In the interview, Y.V. Subba Reddy says that, “I am born a Hindu and I will die a Hindu. These allegations and smear campaign hurt me deeply. Every year I visit Sabarimala and in every few months, I visit Shirdi. Tell those who are spreading this to visit my residences in Hyderabad or Ongole. Let they see what kind of rituals we do. There is no merit to these baseless rumors.” After saying this he pulled out a locket of Shri Venkateshwara and showed it on camera.
6.He said further, “ Jagan put in a request asking if I could serve as TTD Chairman for some days and later go to the Rajya Sabha as the elections were still some time away. I take this responsibility as my fortune. I am very fortunate to serve Sri Venkateswara and to ensure that all devotees who visit the holy shrine are able to get their ‘darshan’ smoothly.”
|The Hindu||Archived Link|
|The News Minute||Archived Link|
Based on the facts we found out during our investigation, it could be concluded that the claim that a Christian has been appointed as the chairperson of TTD is mostly false. The front runner for the post of TTD president, maternal uncle of Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy, Y.V. Subba Reddy has denied the allegations and said that he is a devout Hindu.
Title:Fact Check: Is the newly appointed chairperson of TTD, a Christian…?Fact Check By: Harish Nair