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Manish Kashyap, who refers to himself as the ‘Son of Bihar,’ is a journalist from Champaran in Bihar state. He runs a YouTube channel named ‘SACH TAK NEWS’ with over six million subscribers. His theatrics and vulgar sensationalist ‘reporting,’ often with the help of fake news and Hindu nationalist propaganda has made him quite popular among the Hindi-speaking populace of northern India. His popularity can be gauged from the fact that he has 4 million Facebook followers and more than 72 thousand followers on Twitter. However, his Twitter account was recently suspended.
His affiliation with the Hindu extremist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), is quite evident as he often posts pictures wearing their uniforms and performing drills at their training centers. His demeanor and selection of topics for ‘news coverage’ on his youtube channel obviate the need to mention his ideological commitment to the Hindu far-right political party, Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP).
His channel masquerading as a digital news channel is a Hindu nationalist mouthpiece that regularly spreads hatred and Islamophobia. His social media posts are blatantly anti-Muslim and Islamophobic. He never skips any chance to refer to Muslims as ‘Jihadis,’ ‘traitors,’ ‘outsiders,’ and ‘terrorists.’ As a sympathizer of the Hindu extremist organization, the RSS, he believes that India is a country of Hindus.
Kashap is a history sheeter who has been indicted on multiple counts for spreading fake news and promoting hatred, fear, and public nuisance. In 2019, he asked people through a social media post to vandalize the antique marble statue of King Edward-VII for the sake of nationalism. Following his appeal, the statue located in a hospital complex in West Champaran, Bihar was damaged, and Kashyap was taken into police custody.
In the same year, he along with his men thrashed Kashmiri shopkeepers in Bihar’s capital Patna at Lhasa market in reaction to the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, 2019. He threatened them to return to Kashmir. Complaints were filed against him, and he was arrested in the matter.
He has demeaned Shahrukh Khan for his Muslim name and mocked his accent by calling him ‘hakla’ ( stammerer). He ran a sustained campaign in line with other Hindu extremists to boycott his recent film ‘Pathan.’
Kashyap has also been accused of misappropriating funds collected for charitable purposes. In 2019 Kashyap posted multiple videos asking for donations for the treatment of a child named Ayansh. Reportedly, more than 80 million rupees were collected into Kashyap’s account in response to his donation request. Allegedly the money did not reach the needy family in full, and was embezzled in the middle by Kashyap. An FIR ( First Information Report) was also registered in Bettiah Nagar Police Station, Bihar, for cheating and forgery. Also, he has more than a dozen criminal cases pending against him at different places, including charges of rioting, attempt-to-murder, blackmailing, criminal conspiracy, and so on.
In addition to spreading fake news and propaganda, he regularly employs the anti-Muslim conspiracy theory of ‘Love Jihad’ and other kinds of anti-Muslim postulations. Kashyap believes that a Hindu girl cannot marry a Muslim ‘at any cost’. To gain popularity through political grandstanding, Kashyap even contested the Bihar Legislative Assembly Election in 2020 from the Chanpattia assembly constituency and lost.
In March 2023, the Bihar police arrested Kashyap for spreading fake news regarding the assault on migrant workers from Bihar in Tamil Nadu state. He had shared many videos purportedly showing Hindi-speaking men being assaulted in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. His ‘aggressive’ reporting on the matter caused panic among other migrant workers, forcing them to flee the southern state. The videos, shared by Kashyap and a few others on social media platforms, were found to be scripted and fake, and complaints were filed against him and others. Kashyap dodged the police until his properties were confiscated, prompting him to surrender to law enforcement.