By: Soumadip Dey
Claim: A picture has been shared on social media with the claim that Rahul Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi offered Namaz at Indira Gandhi’s funeral.
Sources: Facebook and Twitter.
What Happened: A post has been doing the rounds on social media, with the claim that Rahul Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi offered Namaz during Indira Gandhi’s funeral. The old black and white picture has been shared with the following caption in Hindi: इन्दिरा की लाश के सामने राहुल और राजीव गांधी कलमा पढ रहे हैं फिर भी हमारे देश के लोगों को लगता है कि ये लोग ब्राह्मण हैं।
This translates to: ‘Rahul Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi offered Islamic prayers in front of Indira Gandhi’s dead body, yet the people of our country still think they are Brahmins.’
Facts: This image has been shared with a completely false narrative. A simple reverse search of the image leads to a forum where the same picture has been posted on 2016 as Bacha Khan’s funeral in Peshawar and has been classified as a rare picture from after independence.
The image is actually from the funeral of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a well-known Pashtun independence activist who was often called the ‘Frontier Gandhi’. Some news reports from that time mention the fact that Rajiv Gandhi had attended the funeral. The image was also posted on Twitter with this description in 2016.
Moreover, a search regarding Indira Gandhi’s funeral reveals that she was cremated as per Hindu funerary rites. A report by the Washington Post clearly states that Indira Gandhi was cremated following Hindu rituals, and pictures from the day prove it. There are no pictures indicating Islamic prayers were offered during Indira Gandhi’s funeral by Rahul Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, or anyone else.
Conclusion: With the general elections around the corner, Rahul Gandhi has been at the receiving end of numerous fake news stories and false claims, and most likely will continue to be. Earlier a photoshopped image of the Congress president was circulated on social media claiming that he was watching pornography on his phone. A video was was also circulated claiming he had converted to Islam. Social media users are advised not to believe posts which indulge in character assassination, as they are almost always propaganda, particularly when forwarded through Whatsapp. Despite the fact that the picture has now been debunked, it continues to receive shares and forwards.