Video of enraged bodybuilder shared with false 'caste discrimination' claim

A video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times in social media posts that falsely claim it shows a bodybuilder reacting angrily after facing discrimination because of his caste. The video in fact shows a bodybuilder in Bangladesh protesting over the outcome of a competition, not because he was insulted about his caste.

"No matter how talented you are, you will be only recognised by your caste," reads in part the Hindi-language caption of a video shared on Facebook here on January 4, 2023.

In India, "caste" refers to the strictly regulated social community into which a person is born. The often oppressive and inescapable system of Hindu caste hierarchy continues to apply in much of the country.

The Facebook caption continues: "This young man did not compromise his dignity. You will see for yourself what he did."

The 27-second video shows a bodybuilder on a stage with a medal around his neck and carrying a box. He appears to be told to leave the stage, before he removes his medal and then throws and kicks the box as he walks away.

A Hindi-language song is played over the video.

Screenshot of the false Facebook post, taken on January 11, 2023

The video was shared alongside similar claims on Facebook here and here.

It has also been viewed more than 624,000 times since it was posted here on Twitter on January 4, 2023.

The claim, however, is false.

Protest over 'fixed' result

A keyword search on Google found a longer version of the video embedded in a report by the Dhaka Tribune, an English-language daily based in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, on December 26, 2022.

The Hindi-language song used in the false post cannot be heard in this version of the video.

The report identifies the bodybuilder as Jahid Hasan Shuvo, and says the incident happened at the National Bodybuilding Championships, organised by the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation.

"Jahid said to the media that he deserved to be first instead of second at the BABF National Bodybuilding Championships 2022, and also complained that the result was fixed earlier," the report states.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false post (left) and the video embedded in the Dhaka Tribune report (right):

A screenshot comparison of the video in the false post (left) and the video embedded in the Dhaka Tribune report (right)

A report in the Bangladeshi New Age newspaper on December 26, 2022 says the bodybuilder had won silver in the men's physique 170-centimetre plus category.

But he told the newspaper: "I deserved to be the first, but I was deprived. The judges are corrupt and were involved in fixing the game. As I could not control my temperament at that moment, I behaved like this in protest."

The bodybuilder posted a longer version of the video on his Facebook page on December 23, 2022, with the Bengali-language caption: "How was the kick in the face of the Thieves Federation?"

The incident was also reported by other local Bangladeshi media outlets here and here.

The reports made no mention of caste or any caste discrimination.

The executive committee of the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation decided to issue a lifetime ban to the bodybuilder for his "non-sporting and disorderly behaviour".