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No, Viral Video Does Not Show Sonia Gandhi Hoisting National Flag, Old Video Viral With False Claim

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim: Sonia Gandhi hoisting national flag with the charkha instead of the Ashok Chakra in the centre.

Fact: The viral video is from the 137th Foundation Day celebration of the Congress party, held on December 27, 2021, in New Delhi. On the party’s Foundation Day, the flag of the Congress party was hoisted by Sonia Gandhi, Sr. Congress Leader, not India’s national flag.

A video showing Congress leader Sonia Gandhi hoisting national flag with the Charkha instead of the Ashok Chakra in the middle, has gone viral on social media in recent days in context of the Independence Day. Users sharing the video claimed that the flag was national flag and was defaced with the symbol of the charkha.

Those sharing the video further pointed out that the flag housed by the congress leader has a spinning wheel imprinted, instead of Ashok Chakra, and in the caption, wrote, ‘कांग्रेसियों के ध्वजारोहण वाले ध्वज में चरखा छपा हुआ है….।’ (flags hoisted by these Congress members bear the imprint of a spinning wheel….”)

Twitter user Harsh Vyas was among the users who shared the post in Hindi on August 15, 2023, writing,

“अशुभ संकेत… राष्ट्रध्वज पर मध्य पट्टिका में अशोक चक्र रहता है… लेकिन इन कांग्रेसियों के ध्वजारोहण वाले ध्वज में चरखा छपा हुआ है….।” (“Ominous sign… The Ashoka Chakra resides in the middle stripe of the national flag… but the flags hoisted by these Congress members bear the imprint of a spinning wheel….”)

This claim has also been shared by several other users on Twitter along with the video.

No, Viral Video Does Not Show Sonia Gandhi Hoisting National Flag, Old Video Viral With False Claim

Fact check/Verification

In order to ascertain the fact behind viral video claiming to show Sonia Gandhi hoisting national flag, we conducted a Google reverse image and keyword search. During this process, we came across several media reports that were shared on December 27 and 28, 2021 which indicated that the flag (bearing the imprint of a charkha/spinning wheel) seen in the video fell as senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was hoisting the party’s flag on Congress’ Foundation Day celebration in New Delhi.

After this incident, the screen grab of this video was shared on Twitter, and several satirical posts were made. Below is a screenshot displayed:

NDTV also shared this video on their official YouTube page on December 27, 2021.

Truth Behind Claim Of Sonia Gandhi Hoisting National Flag

A google keyword search using certain keywords – “Sonia Gandhi hoists flag”, “Congress Foundation Day”, “Congress Flag”, “Congress Tricolour fell from flag pole” took us to a report from Navbharat Times, dated December 28, 2021, which read, “Congress’ 137th Foundation Day was being celebrated in Delhi on Tuesday. During this time, when Sonia Gandhi arrived to hoist the party flag, the flag slipped from the rope and fell from Sonia Gandhi’s hand. Perhaps the flag was not properly tied. After this, Sonia, with the help of Congress workers, hoisted the flag using her lower hand.”

ANI shared this video on Twitter with the caption – “Congress party flag falls down as Sonia Gandhi attempts to unfurl it during foundation day event.”

The Indian Express also published a similar report on the same day, carrying the same footage.

Conclusion

Thus, we find that Sonia Gandhi was attempting to hoist the party flag during the party’s 137th Foundation Day celebration in New Delhi. The claim that the party leader unfurled a defaced national flag is not true.

Result: False

Sources:
1. Report by The Indian Express, dated August 28, 2021
2. Report by Navbharat Times, dated August 28, 2021
3. Report by ANI, dated August 28, 2021
4. Report by NDTV, dated August 27, 2021


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Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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