False claim circulates online that Rahul Gandhi called himself India’s ‘biggest fool’ during speech
A video has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and Youtube alongside a claim it shows former Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi calling himself “the biggest fool” in the country. The claim is false; the video has been edited in a misleading way; a longer version of the video, filmed in 2018, shows Gandhi quoting other parliamentarians talking about their decision to support Narendra Modi's selection as Indian prime minister.
The 21-second clip was published here on Facebook on July 11, 2020.
Gandhi can be seen speaking at a lectern. His comments in Hindi translate to English as: “No one is a bigger fool than me in this country. I made Narendra Modi the prime minister of the country, and today, while I am a parliamentarian in this country, I cannot say a word in front of Modi. He doesn’t allow me to speak.”
The post’s Hindi caption reads: “Rahul Gandhi is great, at least he accepted it honestly that no one is a bigger fool in the country than him.”
The claim, however, is false.
A combined reverse image and keyword search on Google found a longer version of the video published here on Gandhi’s official YouTube channel on June 11, 2018.
The video is titled: “Congress President Rahul Gandhi's speech at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.”
In the YouTube video’s 15-minute 10-second mark, Gandhi relays a conversation he had with a fellow Indian politician. He says: “A Member of Parliament met me outside the bathroom in the parliament building. He stopped me. I cannot disclose his name, if I disclose his name, Modi will throw him out. There were four-five of them. So, I asked him jokingly, what’s happening, and one of them held my hand and said: ‘No one is a bigger fool than me in this country. I made Narendra Modi Prime Minister of this country, and today, while I am a parliamentarian of this country, I cannot say a word in front of Modi, he doesn’t allow me to speak. And I am not saying this alone, all the other parliamentarians are scared as well. Nobody listens to us’."
Below is a screenshot comparison between the misleading video (L) and YouTube video (R):
Gandhi’s full speech was also published here on the Indian National Congress Party’s website in June 2018. This video also shows Gandhi quoting a fellow politician.