Analysis of fake and misleading information spread on social media regarding Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi is taking out Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. The yatra started from Kanyakumari on 7th September. The Yatra will pass through 12 states and 2 union territories. A total distance of 3500 km will be covered in this journey lasting 5 months i.e., 150 days. The journey is taking place in two shifts, the first shift from 10.30 am and the second shift from 3.30 pm.
With the beginning of Rahul Gandhi’s journey, many pictures of him are getting viral on social media. Which includes workers drenched in rain, meeting local Congress workers, common people and women, tying the shoelaces of his mother and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and meeting religious leaders and heads of sects of different religions.
On the other hand, ever since Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra has started, all kinds of misleading, fake and factless claims are being made on social media about Rahul Gandhi. Sometimes by sharing an incomplete video of Rahul Gandhi, he is being told as anti-Hindu, then in some video he has been shown not to perform aarti of Goddess Durga. Apart from this, many claims have been made describing Rahul Gandhi as a supporter of Muslim and Christian religion and anti-Hindu.
In this DFRAC analysis, we are looking into the many misleading, fake and unsubstantiated claims made so far on social media regarding Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.
1- Controversy regarding branded T-shirt of Rahul Gandhi:
The first controversy on the Bharat Jodo Yatra started over a T-shirt worn by Rahul Gandhi. Some people told the price of this T-shirt to be 41 thousand rupees and some people told 35 thousand rupees. In fact, in a tweet from the official account of BJP, Rahul Gandhi’s T-shirt was told of Burberry Company. Along with this, the price of this T-shirt was also posted. However, the situation has not been clear about the exact price of the T-shirt that Rahul Gandhi is wearing.
2- Wrong claim of slogans of Narendra Modi Zindabad and Rahul Gandhi Murdabad:
When Rahul Gandhi’s visited Tamil Nadu, a claim was made on social media that Congress workers involved in Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodi Yatra raised slogans of Narendra Modi Zindabad and Rahul Gandhi Murdabad.
When DFRAC fact-checked this video, it found this claim to be misleading. Actually, this video was during Congress’s nationwide demonstration on inflation and unemployment in 2018, where Congress workers accidentally raised slogans. You can read the detailed fact check on the link given below.
3-Wrong claim of Union Minister Smriti Irani:
Union Minister Smriti Irani made a false claim about Rahul Gandhi. Addressing a program organized in Doddaballapura, Karnataka on September 10, Smriti Irani claimed that Kanyakumari, from where Rahul Gandhi started the India Jodo Yatra, did not pay obeisance to Vivekananda by visiting Swami Vivekananda’s memorial located there.
When the team of DFRAC fact-checked it, it was found that Smriti Irani’s claim was false. Rahul Gandhi had paid homage to Swami Vivekananda by visiting the memorial.
4- Claiming to ouset the Hindus and Hindutva’s:
A 9 second video of Rahul Gandhi is going viral on social media. In this video, Rahul Gandhi can be heard saying that we have to throw out Hindus and Hindutvawadis from power. Social media users are terming Rahul Gandhi as anti-Hindu by sharing this video.
When DFRAC fact-checked this video, it was found that the claim of social media users is false. In his speech, Rahul Gandhi explains the difference between Hindutva and Hindutvawadi, citing the example of Mahatma Gandhi and his assassin Nathuram Godse. Describing Gandhiji as a true Hindu and Godse as a Hindutvawadi, he says that we have to establish the power of true Hindus by throwing out the Hindutvawadis.
5-Pakistani flag and Islamic flag in India Jodi Yatra:
A video is being shared on social media with the claim that Pakistan flag and Islamic flag were hoisted during Rahul Gandhi’s India Jodo Yatra. Several verified users, including Sudarshan News journalist Suresh Chavhanke, shared this video.
When DFRAC fact-checked this video, it was found that the flag shown in the video is neither Pakistan nor Islamic flag, but the flag of a political party Indian Union Muslim League. The Congress also has an alliance with the Muslim League in Kerala. Therefore, the claim of other social media users including Chavhanke is false.
6-Shankaracharya refuses to bless Rahul Gandhi, calling him anti-Hindu:
A photo of Rahul Gandhi went viral on social media. Users who shared this photo claimed that the Shankaracharya of Sringeri Math in Karnataka refused to bless Rahul Gandhi, calling him anti-Hindu.
When DFRAC fact-checked this viral photo, it has come to the fore that the claim of social media users is false. Actually, this photo is from 2018, when Rahul Gandhi was taking out Jan Ashirwad Yatra. During this he met Shankaracharya Bharathi Tirtha Swami of Sringeri Math in Chikmagalur. The photo of Rahul Gandhi meeting Shankaracharya was posted by news agency ANI and the official Twitter account of Congress.
7-Meet the worker who raised the slogan of Pakistan Zindabad
A photo of Rahul Gandhi was fiercely viral on social media. In this photo, Rahul Gandhi can be seen with a woman worker. Users who shared this photo were claiming that this is the same woman activist who raised slogans of Pakistan Zindabad at the rally of AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
When DFRAC fact-checked this photo, the fact came to the fore that the claim of social media users is false. Actually, the woman activist seen with Rahul Gandhi is Mia Enrelio, who is the leader of Congress Seva Dal (KSU). At the same time, the girl who raised the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad, her name is Amulya Leona Noronha.
8- Claim of Rahul Gandhi and Congress workers drinking alcohol:
A video was shared by users on social media claiming that Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders were under the influence of alcohol during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal and other Congress leaders can be seen in this video.
When DFRAC fact-checked this video, it was found that social media users have made a false claim. DFRAC found a Malayalam video of Congress leader Dr. Shama. In the video we can see the name of the restaurant – Hotel Malabar at Ochira in Kollam district of Kerala. Where Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders from Kerala had breakfast at a restaurant in Ochira in Kollam district of Kerala.
The DFRAC team called the restaurant owner Ansar and he told us that the viral claim that Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders are drunk is false as the restaurant does not serve alcohol.
9-Rahul Gandhi has not visited a single temple:
It was claimed on social media that Rahul Gandhi did not visit a single temple during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Users alleged that Rahul Gandhi went to religious places of other religions including mosques and churches, but he did not go to any temple.
The DFRAC fact-checked the claim and the fact came to light that Rahul Gandhi had visited the Sivagiri Math in Kollam. According to the report of onmanorama.com, Rahul Gandhi has an old relationship with Sivagiri Math. Before Rahul, the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have also visited Sivagiri Math.
10- Tamil Nadu BJP IT cell president shared misleading picture of Rahul Gandhi:
Tamil Nadu BJP IT and Social Media Cell President Nirmal Kumar shared a picture of Rahul Gandhi. He tweeted in Tamil and wrote – Sin is to think of 10 people who are going on pilgrimage with this #Pappu and playing henna with kids.
To know the reality of the viral picture, the DFRAC team did the reverse image. The team found this photo on getty images. It was mentioned in the caption of this picture that, this picture is of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and his niece Miraya Vadra. Which was taken during a remembrance ceremony on the 71st birth anniversary of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Veer Bhoomi on August 20, 2015. Our factcheck revealed that the claim of the President of BJP IT Cell is false.
11-Luxury arrangements for Rahul Gandhi in Bharat Jodo Yatra:
Rahul Gandhi’s caravan was claimed to be a luxury on social media. While sharing many pictures of it, users are making fun of Rahul Gandhi that he is enjoying luxury arrangements during the journey. The container is also claimed to have satellite phone, satellite TV with modern music system, double bed, library, sofa set, bar, smoking zone, kitchen and modern toilet.
Through the fact check, it was found that the viral pictures are not of Rahul Gandhi’s India Jodo Yatra container. On reverse image search, DFRAC found the first three images in the 2013 Indiatimes report. As per this report, the images were of the interiors of a premium motorhome that was introduced in 2013.