The state chief of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Yogi Adityanath, on Monday provided a video snippet to the Indian media in which he spoke about the ongoing efforts to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
While the official video clip of the Hindu monk tweeted by Indian news agency ANI is full of heartening motivation for people to get inoculated, a snippet of Adityanath using an obscene Hindi word – probably unsure of whether the camera was on or off – has gone viral on social media.
In the video, whose authenticity is yet to be verified, Adityanath can be heard saying the word "Ch**iya" that in Hindi means "idiot" or "f***er", ostensibly to somebody behind the camera.
Captioning the eight-second video, which has been viewed over 7,000 times on Twitter since it was posted an hour ago, journalist Anurag Dwary wrote, "It is shameful".
इसलिये मैंने कभी अजय बिष्ट या प्रज्ञा ठाकुर जैसे लोगों के नाम के आगे योगी, साध्वी टाइप नहीं लिखा ... ये कहां से योगी, साधू होंगे ... शर्मनाक है ... pic.twitter.com/Af0hlEz2fz— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) April 5, 2021
Netizens coming across the video have reacted to it with astonishment, saying it was not right for the serving chief minister of a state to use foul language.
And he's abusing the camera person?!! So bad— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) April 5, 2021
Absolutely Disgraceful for a CM to use such expletives. https://t.co/tdjsTlAcu5— Palace Intrigue (@palaceintrigue_) April 5, 2021
Vaccine ke language side effects!😂— Kallol Bhattacherjee (@janusmyth) April 5, 2021
On the other hand, some supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who jumped to Adityanath's rescue, argued that the video is fake and have tagged UP Police to investigate the authenticity of the snippet.
This is a edited video...— Pritam🇮🇳 (@Lol23260536) April 5, 2021
Hope up police will take action against these people soon..
Meanwhile, ANI has posted the official video of Adityanath's cli[ with an editor's note at the end saying: "The earlier issued 'Live Sound' byte [sic] is retracted" – paving the way for more confusion around whether the UP state chief actually used the obscenity.
Video byte of UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Covid vaccination— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 5, 2021
(Editors note: Earlier issued Live Sound byte is retracted) pic.twitter.com/td9qQHSnrX
So far, Adityanath's office has not released an official statement addressing the subject and hence it remains unclear if the video is real or doctored.