At his rally in West Bengal’s Malda, BJP president Amit Shah claimed that no slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ were raised during the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan rally. “जिस गठबंधन की रैली में भारत माता की जय का जयकारा ना लगता हो, वन्दे मातरम् के नारे नहीं लगते हो, वो देश का क्या भला करेंगे? श्री अमित शाह (An alliance where Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram slogans were not raised, how can it do good for the country? Shri Amit Shah),” tweeted the Bharatiya Janata Party from its official handle.
In the live video of Shah’s address uploaded by BJP, at 13:50, he can be heard claiming that no slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ were raised at the rally.
— BJP (@BJP4India) January 22, 2019
What is the truth?
The United India Rally, where opposition parties came together to rally for a change in central government, took place on January 19 at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground. The over 5-hour video of the event does not validate Amit Shah’s statements. At around 3:04:35 in the full video, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee can be heard chanting ‘Vande Mataram’, which is preceded with the chants of ‘Jai Hind’.
Here’s what Banerjee says – “Badal do badal do, dilli ki sarkar badal do! Jai Hind! Vande Mataram.”
The chants she made at the end of her speech were also reported on mainstream media.
Gujarat youth leader Hardik Patel also made a speech at TMC’s Mega Rally. In the video posted below, he can be heard saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ at 4:50.
In fact, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda also said something similar – ‘Jai Bharat’.
It is, thus, clear that Amit Shah made a false claim accusing Opposition parties of not raising the slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Alt News, however, found that the fallacy wasn’t limited to Shah, but was widespread on social media with the help of a fake quote attributed to Aaj Tak’s Sweta Singh.
Sweta Singh calls out the fake quote
The journalist tweeted on January 22 that a statement not made by her was printed in some newspaper – “इतनी बड़ी रैली हुई देश के सभी बड़े बड़े नेता थे किन्तु कान तरस गए भारत माता की जय और वंदे मातरम् सुनने के लिये। फिर ये बेशर्म लोग किस मुँह से देशहित मे एक होने का दावा कर रहे है। Such a big rally was organised where the country’s biggest politicians came, but ears were longing to hear the chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram. How can these shameless people claim to work in the country’s favour?” She posted a newspaper clipping, asking people to identify the outlet.
अगर किसी को मालूम है ये कौन सा अख़बार है, तो कृपया बताएँ। ना तो मैंने ऐसा कुछ कहा है। ना लिखा है। ना ये तथ्यात्मक तौर पर सही है। क्योंकि उस रैली के अंत में जय हिंद का नारा लगा था। ग़ज़ब है, अब पैरोडी अकाउंट भी छापे जाएँगे! pic.twitter.com/h0PYfwKd9T
— Sweta Singh (@SwetaSinghAT) January 22, 2019
Singh wrote that the newspaper printed the quote from a parody account run under her name. We found that a handle @SwetaSinghHere had tweeted a similar statement, which has now been deleted.
The quote had also picked up the pace on social media. From a Sweta Singh parody account on Facebook, it drew 11,000 shares at the time of writing this article.
The claims circulating on social media and the ones made by BJP chief Amit Shah accusing opposition parties of not raising the slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ are completely false.