A short clip of Rahul Gandhi speaking at an event is circulating on social media. In this clip, the Congress leader can be heard saying, “…जो काले किसान के खिलाफ कानून आए थे, 3 कानून.” [Translation: “…The three laws that were introduced against black farmers..”].

Sharing this clip on Twitter, Amit Malviya, the in-charge of BJP’s national information & technology department, wrote, “Black farmer? This is an insult to the farmers. From Rajasthan to Chhattisgarh, the Congress has brought farmers to the brink of destitution.”

BJP workers Arun Yadav and Priti Gandhi also shared the clip on Twitter.

Priti Gandhi wrote, “Listen carefully what Rahul ji is saying…. Not the law, the farmers are black!!”

Abhimanyu Singh, according to whose bio, he is the personal secretary to the chief minister of Haryana, also shared the clip and wrote, “Laws Against Black Farmers.”

Fact Check

We went through the YouTube channel of the Indian National Congress and came across a speech by Rahul Gandhi delivered in Himachal Pradesh on January 18. The tweets from BJP leaders and workers came on the same day as the speech was delivered.

Rahul Gandhi begins his speech at the event by praising the people of Himachal Pradesh for maintaining peace and then proceeds to talk about the erosion of democracy.

At the 3:58-minute mark, Rahul Gandhi says, “It is a democratic nation. Before the yatra, we tried a lot…whenever we try to bring up the issues faced by the people in the Parliament, we are not allowed to speak. The mics are turned off, and the camera that should be showing the proceedings of the parliament cuts to the face of the speaker of the house or to the face of some cabinet leaders. So, we cannot speak in the Parliament house, in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.”

He adds, “Tried speaking about demonetisation, tried speaking about wrong GST, tried speaking about Agniveer, but that path was closed. You are well aware of the press. In the last five years, have you seen the media raising the issue of unemployment? Did you ever see on TV that unemployment is spreading throughout the country? The shortcomings of Agniveer, you are all aware of that, did you ever see anything about it in the media?”

Just after this, at the 5:35-minute mark, Gandhi says, “The laws that were introduced against the black farmers, the three laws, which every single farmer understood, did you see anything about it in the media? Not at all. In the media, you will get to see the face of the Prime Minister, actors of Bollywood, and Cricketers, but the issues faced by the public are never discussed in the media. So, the path of the media is also closed.”

Followed by the above lines, Rahul Gandhi alleges that the judiciary is also under pressure through various government agencies so the only solution that was left was to start walking in the streets of India.

It is clearly understood from the full speech that Rahul Gandhi had a slip of the tongue in his speech. He was talking about the lack of coverage in news media about the shortcoming of various government policies one of which was the farm laws that sparked a year-long protest by the farmers in 2021 after which the government decided to repeal the three laws. The farm laws were also commonly referred to as “कृषि के तीन काले कानून” [Translation: “The three black farm laws”].

Any individual familiar with contemporary Indian politics would understand that Rahul Gandhi was not insulting the farmers. In fact, it is evident that the BJP leaders deliberately misinterpreted his speech. Priti Gandhi wrote in her caption, “Listen carefully what Rahul ji is saying…. Not the law, the farmers are black!!” This itself gives away the fact that the BJP leaders are aware that it was a slip of the tongue.

Previously, an analogy between the Congress and the BJP made by Rahul Ganshi at a press conference was taken out of context and a clipped video was shared by BJP leaders claiming that Rahul was speaking against Hindu priests.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc