Fact Check: Did PM Modi Enter Guruvayoor Temple Wearing Footwear…?

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Representative image, courtesy Google

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Guruvayoorappan Temple on 8th June 2019 in Thrissur’s Guruvayoor and also addressed a rally of BJP workers after seeking blessings from Lord Guruvayoorappan. However, during his visit to the famous shrine, posts claiming Modi had violated the customs of the temple by entering the temple wearing footwear started to appear on social media. Let’s check the various narratives that are being spread on social media regarding PM Modi’s Guruvayoor visit.

Narrative on Social Media

A Malayalam Facebook page called Che Guevara Army had posted an image of PM Modi walking in the temple premises wearing footwear while his entourage comprising of Union minister V. Muralidharan, Kerala Governor P. Sadashivan, and State Minister Kadakampally Surendran among others are seen walking bare foot. The post alleges that PM Modi violated the temple customs by entering the shrine wearing footwear. Here is a screenshot of the post, which garnered over 1300 shares in a time span of 48 hours.

The caption of the above post in Malayalam reads as follows: Customs are just an excuse for votes. Once someone gets power, he can do anything. In recent times, BJP have been in the forefront of the protests against the entry of women in Sabarimala. BJP Kerala have always cleared their stance by declaring that they will go to any extent to protect the customs and rituals of Hinduism. BJP had even included the issue of Sabarimala in its manifesto. The supreme leader of a party like BJP that has its politics constantly revolving around temples and Hindu traditions and customs, violating the customs of a temple would be a great irony. So the question arises, are the allegations that have been leveled by this post true? Did PM Modi enter the shrine of Lord Guruvayoorappan wearing footwear? Let’s find out the truth!

Our Fact Check

In order to understand the entire sequence of events, we decided to gather videos and photos of the whole episode of PM Modi’s Guruvayoor visit. We came across two such videos, when we searched on YouTube. One of them was published by a leading Malayalam media house Mathrubhumi. The video is given below for the reference of our readers:

We inspected each frame of the video by using a website called Watchframebyframe, which allows us to watch every frame of any YouTube video.

At 1:57 duration in the above video, the feet of the Prime minister can be seen as he walks around the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. It can clearly seen in the above screenshot that he hasn’t worn any footwear as claimed by the post.

Moving forward, at 3:09 duration of the above video, PM Modi can be seen joining his hands and praying to Lord Guruvayoorappan. The feet of PM Modi are clearly visible in the above screen shot and he is not wearing any sort of footwear. The other video which we found in our search on YouTube was the coverage of the whole event of PM Modi visiting the temple and offering prayers and then returning back to Srivalsam guest house, which is at walking distance from the temple. The footage was uploaded by DD News on their YouTube channel, the video is embedded below for the reference of our readers:

We again, inspected this video, by using watchframebyframe website. In the video, it can be seen that PM Modi, accompanied by Union minister V. Muralidharan, Kerala governor P. Sadashivan, State Minister Kadakampally Surendran and Kerala DGP Loknath Behera, walking towards Guruvayoor temple from Srivalsam guest house. Crowd raising slogans in favour of Modi and the temple deity Sri Guruvayoorappan greets him. Modi waves back to them. At 3:49 second duration in the above video, PM Modi can be seen removing his footwear outside the temple. The screenshot of the frame is given below for the reference of our readers:

Inside the temple premises, PM Modi performed the Thulabhaaram ritual in which a devotee has to offer something to the deity in a quantity which is equivalent to devotee’s body weight. PM Modi performed Thulabharam by offering Lotuses equivalent to his body weight. At 18:44 duration in the above video, PM Modi can be seen sitting on a weighing scale where his foot is clearly visible and it can be noted that he is not wearing any sort of footwear. This can be seen in the screenshot given below:

After praying to Lord Guruvayoorappan, PM Modi can be seen walking out of the temple and again addressing the crowd gathered to see him and then walk out of the temple. After he walks out of the temple, he again wears his footwear back. This can be seen in the Mathrubhumi video, at 6:34 duration. The screenshot of the frame is given below for the reference of our readers:

The image used in the post was taken after PM Modi finished his Darshan and was heading back to Srivalsam guest house. To read this story in other languages, please visit the following links: Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi

Conclusion

The claim made in the post is factually incorrect. PM Modi did not enter Guruvayoor temple wearing footwear. The video evidences clearly show that he removed his footwear outside the temple and then entered the temple and after completing the Darshan, he can be seen wearing back his footwear and head back to Srivalsam guest house, where he stayed. The image used in the post was taken when he was returning back to Srivalsam guest house after praying to Lord Guruvayoorappan.

Video courtesy: DD News, Mathrubhumi

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Title:Fact Check: Did PM Modi Enter Guruvayoor Temple Wearing Footwear…?

Fact Check By: Harish Nair 

Result: False