The viral image shows Actor Prakash Raj visiting a Christian church. A social media user has posted the photo on X page saying that he is not an atheist. The same picture is being circulated on social media by the BJP and its supporters. You can view a similar post here.
— V. M. Ram (@VMR_BJP) February 6, 2024
What’s the truth?
A Google reverse image search for the viral photo revealed that Prakash Raj had posted the same image on his X page in February 2019. Along with the image, he has also posted pictures of his visits to Hindu temples, mosques, churches, and Sikh places of worship.
As i reach out to CITIZENS ..respecting all religions.. to be respected and blessed by all is the spirit of our NATION. ಎಲ್ಲ ಧರ್ಮಗಳನ್ನು ಗೌರವಿಸುವ .. ಎಲ್ಲರಿಂದಲು ಗೌರವಿಸಲ್ಪಡುವುದೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಅದ್ಭುತ ಸಂಸ್ಕ್ರತಿಯ ಆಶಯ.. come let’s celebrate and ensure INCLUSIVE INDIA let’s ensure #citizensvoice pic.twitter.com/v53sGmHYrr
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) February 5, 2019
In the post he says, “As I reach out to CITIZENS ..respecting all religions.. to be respected and blessed by all is the spirit of our NATION. Our wonderful culture hopes to respect all religions… to be respected by all. Come let’s celebrate and ensure INCLUSIVE INDIA let’s ensure.”
Following the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh by Hindutva gangs in 2017, her friend and actor Prakash Raj started active politics. Subsequently, he contested as an independent candidate in the Central Bengaluru constituency of Karnataka during the 2019 general election.
Before that, while visiting people, he also visited various religious places of worship. He posted the picture taken at that time to promote religious harmony. But only the image of the church in it is being spread with the wrong intention of inciting religious division.
After the murder of Gauri Lankesh, Prakash Raj has been speaking on several platforms criticizing Hindutva and the BJP. Because of this, there is misinformation being spread that he only goes to the Christian church.
Thus we conclude, that the image showing actor Prakash Raj in a church is shared with false narratives.
In reality, the image was taken before contesting the 2019 parliamentary elections. At the time, he visited Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh places of worship based on religious harmony.