Fact Check: Video of Tamil Nadu BJP chief Annamalai ‘criticising’ Savarkar is edited

The video of Annamalai ‘criticising’ Savarkar is edited and is being shared without context. The claim is misleading.

Misleading claim about BJP leader K Annamalai
Screenshot of post claiming TN BJP state president K Annamalai made disparaging remarks about Savarkar. (PC: X)

A viral video featuring Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai has sparked controversy with the claim that it shows Annamalai disparaging Hindu nationalist ideologue VD Savarkar.


In the video, Annamalai could be heard saying, “Savarkar, it is generally said about him that he licked the boots of the Englishman. (translated from Tamil)”

The Tamil text on the 11-second video clip read ‘The lamb revealing the truth. (translated from Tamil)’ The video clip also included a scene from the Malayalam movie ‘Kaalapaani’, where actor Mohanlal is seen licking a British officer’s boot, describing what Annamalai was saying in the video allegedly about Savarkar.

An X user shared the video claiming that Annamalai made the remarks about Savarkar before joining the BJP. The caption read, “I was looking for this video for two days. Aadu Annamalai before joining BJP! (Translated from Tamil)”

Another X user has shared the video with the caption “The lamb unveiled the truth about Savarkar … “


NewsMeter found that the claim is misleading as the video clip has been edited to remove the context.

By using relevant keywords, we found the extended version of the clip on the YouTube channel Inside Tamil titled Thiru. Annamalai I Press Meet | BJP | Savarkar Book Published.” It was published on October 2, 2021.

The video shows the launch of a book on Savarkar for which Annamalai was the chief guest. Prabha Khaitan Foundation, the book’s publisher, shared the details of the book launch on X.

At the 6:28-minute mark in the YouTube video, while responding to a media question about Savarkar, Annamalai said, “In Tamil Nadu, when people discuss Veer Savarkar, they often criticise him right away. They call him an apologist. I don’t want to use that word. In Tamil Nadu, they usually say British boot licker. People say that Veer Savarkar licked the boots of the Englishman. But does that comment really do justice to the man?”

The viral clip only featured Annamalai’s ‘boot lick’ statement while editing out the context making it look like he was criticising Savarkar. However, throughout the press conference, Annamalai could be seen stating that Savarkar was innocent and that his actions were not wrong.

Those sharing the clip claim that Annamalai made the ‘negative comments’ about Savarkar before joining the BJP. However, Annamalai joined the BJP on August 25, 2020, and the video is from 2021, a year after he joined the party.

Conclusion: The video of Annamalai ‘criticising’ Savarkar is edited and is being shared without context. The claim is misleading.

(The fact check article was originally published by newsmeter and has been republished by Lighthouse Journalism as a part of Shakti Collective.)