A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media posts falsely claiming it shows a bodybuilder reacting angrily after facing discrimination based on his caste. In fact, the video shows a bodybuilder in Bangladesh protesting the result of a competition, not because he was caste insulted by him.
“No matter how talented you are, you will only be recognized by your caste,” reads in part the Hindi caption of a video shared on Facebook here on January 4, 2023.
In India, “caste” refers to the strictly regulated social community into which a person is born. The often oppressive and inescapable system of the Hindu caste hierarchy continues to apply in much of the country.
The Facebook caption continues: “This young man did not compromise his dignity. You will see for yourself what he did.”
The 27-second video shows a bodybuilder on stage with a medal around his neck and carrying a box. He appears to be told to leave the stage, before removing his medal and then throwing and kicking the box as he walks away.
A Hindi song plays over the video.
Screenshot of the fake Facebook post, taken on January 11, 2023
The video was shared along with similar claims on Facebook here and here.
It has also been viewed more than 624,000 times since it was posted here on Twitter on January 4, 2023.
The claim, however, is false.
Protest over ‘fixed’ result
A keyword search on Google found a longer version of the video embedded in a report by the Dhaka Tribune, an English-language daily based in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, on December 26, 2022.
The Hindi song used in the fake post cannot be heard in this version of the video.
The report identifies the bodybuilder as Jahid Hasan Shuvo and says the incident occurred at the National Bodybuilding Championships, organized by the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation.
“Jahid told the media that he deserved to be first instead of second in the 2022 BABF National Bodybuilding Championships, also complaining that the result was set earlier,” the report says.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the fake post (left) and the video embedded in the Dhaka Tribune report (right):
A screenshot comparison of the video in the fake post (left) and the video embedded in the Dhaka Tribune report (right)
A report in the Bangladeshi New Age newspaper on December 26, 2022 says that the bodybuilder had won silver in the category of male physique over 170 centimeters.
But he told the newspaper: “I deserved to be first, but they deprived me. The judges are corrupt and they got involved in fixing the game. Since I couldn’t control my temper at the time, I behaved like that in protest.”
The bodybuilder posted a longer version of the video on his Facebook page on December 23, 2022, with the caption in Bengali: “How was the kick to the face of the Federation of Thieves?”
The incident was also reported by other local Bangladeshi media outlets here and here.
The reports did not mention caste or any caste discrimination.
The executive committee of the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation decided to ban the bodybuilder for life for his “unsportsmanlike and disorderly behaviour”.