The Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra has managed to gain much traction online since its commencement from Kanyakumari in early September. Visuals from the padyatra continue to flood social media platforms, showcasing the popularity of the movement. The yatra has also been a target of much misinformation. Recently, a video showing Rahul Gandhi delivering a public address in front of a switched off mic is being widely shared online.
Several social media users shared the video mocking Gandhi for speaking incessantly without realising that the mic in front of him was switched off.
The 30-second-long-video is being widely circulated on Twitter with the caption, “Mic is off but comedy is ON.”
Facebook users also shared the viral video terming Rahul Gandhi as “the KING of comedy in this era”
A keyword search for “Rahul Gandhi,” & “mic off” on Google led us to a report by Hindustan Times, dated November 10, 2022, titled ‘Rahul Gandhi says, ‘See, this happens in Parliament’. Then switches off his mic.’ Displaying an image of Gandhi from a public address in Maharashtra’s Nanded, the report stated that the Congress leader switched his microphone off twice to demonstrate what happens to opposition leaders in Parliament.
The search also yielded a tweet by Rahul Gandhi, dated November 10, 2022. The post carried a video in which Gandhi can be seen switching off his mic for a few seconds to demonstrate “what happens in the Parliament.” Following this, he can be heard saying “Here, I have the controls. But in Parliament House the mic is switched off just like that… in 2 minutes. Speak on note ban, mic off….”
However, a keyframe comparison between the viral footage and video tweeted by Gandhi did not show any similarities. This led us to conclude that the viral clip likely depicts Gandhi illustrating the condition of opposition in the Parliament at another event, and not in Nanded.
Following this, we skimmed through the videos of Gandhi’s recent public addresses uploaded on his official YouTube channel. The Congress leader can be seen switching off the mic mid-speech in another video from Indore, dated November 27, 2022.
Around 6:17 minutes into the video, Gandhi can be heard saying in Hindi, “…. (Congress) tried to raise issues. Whether it’s farmers’ issues….demonetisation, wrong GST. We tried to raise our voices on all these issues in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.. And whenever we tried to raise (our voice)… then magically our mic was switched off.” Following this, Gandhi switches off his mic and continues speaking, his hand movement similar to the one seen in the viral footage – in an attempt to demonstrate what happens in the Parliament when the Congress leader objects to any issue.
Seven minutes and 29 seconds into the video, he resumes speaking on the mic and is heard saying, “So… whatever we want to speak,… as you just saw, we keep on speaking and speaking … and the mic is switched off… so we tried there (in Parliament)… there the mic gets switched off…”
A slightly shorter version of Gandhi’s speech was also uploaded on the official YouTube channel of the Indian National Congress on November 27, 2022.
On comparing the keyframes of the viral footage with the YouTube video, we could conclude that both the visuals show Gandhi’s address at the same event. The viral video was shot from a different angle.
We could thus conclude that the viral video showing Gandhi delivering his address, despite the mic being off, was intentional.
Video of Rahul Gandhi speaking at a public rally during the Bharat Jodi Yatra in Indore, even as the mic is switched off, are being shared out of context.
Result: Missing Context
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