Pictures of New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern, visiting Hindu temple after declaring her country free of Coronavirus gets viral on social media. It was shown in the news recently for visiting a Radha Krishna temple in Auckland and enjoying a simple traditional Indian meal comprising chhole, puri and dal, videos of her visit to the temple have gone viral on social media.
Many users on social media have shared a 2- minute 54 second clip where Arden is seen opening her shoes before entering temple and then performing aarti. The claim says, “New Zealand PM went to a Hindu temple right after declaring her country free from Covid- 19.”
The India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) investigated the claim and finds the claim to be misleading and false. Ardern visited the temple on August 6 ahead of national elections next month. The visit had no relation to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, cases have already gone down in New Zealand after it was declared Covid- free on June 8, 2020.
Several news channels, including “Zee News” have covered Ardern’s visit to the temple, and the India Today have got images.
(Picture taken from indiatoday.in)
The Indian envoy to New Zealand, Muktesh Pardeshi, who was also present on the occasion, tweeted on August 8, saying “Some precious moments with Honourable PM of New Zealand @jacinardern at @indiannewslink event on August 6, 2020. She paid a short visit to Radha Krishna Mandir and relished a simple traditional Indian vegetarian meal- chhole, puri and dal.”
The visit is done due to the election that is to be held in September 19, 2020. According to the 2018 census, Indians have emerged as the fourth largest community in New Zealand with a population of 2.44 lakh; the Hindu population has gone up from 89,000 to 1.23 lakh.
The announcement on Coronavirus-free was declared by PM Ardern in the month of June and thus lifted all restrictions. However, Auckland recently reported four cases of Covid- 19, following which restrictions have been imposed again.
Thus the pictures of New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern, visiting Hindu temple after declaring her country free of Coronavirus which got viral on social media is misleading and false .