Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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HomeFact CheckRahul Gandhi Did Not Refuse To Wear Turban Unless Cameras Were Present,...

Rahul Gandhi Did Not Refuse To Wear Turban Unless Cameras Were Present, Viral Claim Is False

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.

Ever since its beginning in September last year, the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has so far covered over 3,300 kms, has managed to attract a large amount of misinformation, becoming one of the most targeted trends of 2022 on social media. The trend continues well into 2023, as the Yatra passes through Punjab. This time, a video of the Congress leader, where he is allegedly refusing to don the ‘paghdi’ or the characteristic Sikh turban without cameras filming the act, is being widely shared online.

The video, showing Rahul Gandhi speaking to a professional turban artist, is being shared with captions that accuse Gandhi of taking advantage of the religious sentiments of people. Several verified handles shared the video on twitter, many of them senior functionaries of the BJP including the party IT in-charge Amit Malviya

You can see the archived versions of the tweets here, here and here.

Following the tweets, as on cue, news channels published reports on the same. Times Now was among the Indian English media channels that published the report attributing them to the leaders who tweeted out the video.

Archive link of the same report can be seen here.

Fact check/Verification

Newschecker began by closely analysing the audio of the viral footage and found that the audio quality was poor. We also noticed the watermark of ‘State News Punjab’ on the right top corner of the video.  

We found a longer, clearer version of the viral video uploaded on the FB page of ‘State News Punjab’, on analysing which, we found that Rahul Gandhi’s response was to a woman who wanted to click a picture with the Congress leader. 

The video begins with Rahul Gandhi interacting with the person tying the paghdi. Five seconds into the video, one can hear a woman off the camera requesting Gandhi to click a picture with her. To this, Rahul Gandhi is clearly heard responding “Abhi nahi madam”. He further says something that is indecipherable. 

We also found a video interview of Manjeet Singh Ferozpuriya, a professional turban artist, featured on the page of ‘State News Punjab’. The news item claimed that Ferozpuriya was the one who helped Gandhi with his ‘paghdi’. 

Screengrab of the Facebook post carrying the video interview of Ferozpuriya

Newschecker reached out to Manjeet Singh Ferozpuriya, who confirmed to us that he was indeed the one who helped Rahul Gandhi with his turban, and that he was the one whom Rahul was heard interacting with in the viral video. Speaking of the allegation that Rahul refused to wear the turban unless on-camera, Ferozpuriya confirmed “There was a woman who wanted to click a picture with Rahul Gandhi. She kept insisting, after which Rahul Gandhi said that he would not click the picture now, and that he would do it later. This is the sequence that was seen in the viral video.”

Conclusion 

Viral video claiming to show Rahul Gandhi allegedly refusing to wear a turban unless cameras are present, is false. Rahul Gandhi is heard refusing to click a picture with a woman, which has been misconstrued.

Result: False 

Our Sources

Video report published by State News Punjab on their Facebook page, dated 10/01/2023
Video interview published by State News Punjab on their Facebook page, dated 11/01/2023
Telephone conversation with Manjeet Singh Ferozpuriya, professional turban artist

(With reporting inputs by Shaminder Singh of Newschecker Punjabi)


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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.

Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
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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