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Video: ‘Two Malayali Taliban’ tweet from Shashi Tharoor creates controversy

Ayupp Fact Check

Image source: Twitter

New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor courted controversy on Tuesday (August 17) with his tweet over Malayali connection to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Tharoor, who represents Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, shared a clip of a Taliban fighter weeping in joy in Kabul. The 13-second video was shared on August 15 by a journalist bearing the Twitter handle @RamizReports.

He had captioned it, “#Taliban fighter weeping in Joy as they reached outside #Kabul knowing there victory is eminent #Afganistan (sic).”

To the above tweet, Tharoor replied, “It sounds as if there are at least two Malayali Taliban here — one who says “samsarikkette” around the 8-second mark & another who understands him!” Samsarikkette in Malayalam means “shall I speak”.

Later, the journalist shared another tweet where he claimed that there are no Keralites in the Taliban and the language spoken in the clip was Brahvi, a Dravidian language.

“There are no #kerala origin fighters in rank and file of #taliban they are #baloch from #zabul province who speak brahvi and bravhi language is widely spoken among them,its a darvidian language very similar to telgu tamil malyalam etc (sic),” he tweeted.

To this, Tharoor wrote, “Interesting explanation. WIll leave it to the linguists to figure this one out. But there have indeed been misguided Malayalis who joined the Taliban, so that possibility cannot be ruled out entirely (sic).”

Thaoor’s defence and his initial tweet did not go done well with the Twitterati. He was criticised by many. A user commented, “If I was a Malayali, I would condemn this TaIibani for bringing bad name to my language. Or at worst, ignore and keep quiet. But here you are, sounding all proud, as if this group has won a soccer world cup or saved the world from alien invasion.”

Another user wrote, “This is highly problematic. Making statements like this especially when the Right Wing eco system is going on a hate campaign against Kerala regarding people joining jihadist groups. And you being an MP from Kerala's capital should be knowing better.”


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