A video clip of Rahul Gandhi’s speech during his Dubai visit in 2019 is viral on social media. In the 10-second clip, Gandhi can be heard saying, “Mahatma Gandhi picked up the idea of non-violence from ancient Indian philosophy, from Islam”. The mention of Islam as a source of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence has led to outrage, especially among right-wing social media users.
— राष्ट्र न्यूज़ (@Rastranews1) March 10, 2021
Several people have shared the video on both Twitter and Facebook.
महात्मा गांधी ने इस्लाम से अहिंसा सिखी -राहुल गांधी
मित्रो.. क्या ये सच है?
Ridiculous Gyaan from Rahul Gandhi : Mahatma Gandhi picked up IDEA of “NON VIOLENCE” from “IsIam” 🙄
Posted by Sandeep Naik on Tuesday, 9 March 2021
Viral since 2019
Founder of fake news website, Postcard News, who is followed by Prime Minister Modi was among those who shared this video two years ago.
Mahatma Gandhi learned non-violence from Islam
— Shri Rahul Gandhi.
I requeste Dubai authorities please Give him best mental treatment in
We Will pay the bills with interest.
— Mahesh Vikram Hegde ಮಹೇಶ್ ವಿಕ್ರಮ್ ಹೆಗ್ಡೆ (@mvmeet) January 13, 2019
The video was also shared by Pakistani Canadian author Tarek Fatah.
India’s Rahul Gandhi claims Gandhi Ji picked up the idea of ‘non-violence’ not just from ancient Indian philosophy, but also Islam. He takes Vote-bank politics to a new low. pic.twitter.com/rn9Vcp4eKC
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) January 13, 2019
What is the truth?
The clip that is circulating on social media is a truncated version of a longer video. Alt News accessed the full video to get the complete context of what Rahul Gandhi said:
“In an environment of violence, of anger, and you see it everywhere, you see it in the United States, you see it in Europe, you see it in the Middle East. In an environment of anger, India has the answer. India has the blueprint to provide an answer, not just to India but to the entire planet. Non-violence is embedded inside our DNA. And it has been embedded not for 50 years. Mahatma Gandhi was a great exponent of non-violence. But Mahatma Gandhiji picked up the idea of non-violence from our great religions, from our great teachers. Mahatma Gandhi picked up the idea of non-violence from ancient Indian philosophy, from Islam, from Christianity, from Judaism, from every great religion where it is clearly written that violence will not help anyone achieve anything.”
The relevant part of Rahul Gandhi’s speech can be seen in the video below starting at 24:37.
It is clear that Rahul Gandhi was praising India when he said that the Indian philosophy of non-violence has a solution for the violence and anger plaguing the world. He said that non-violence was inspired by every great religion of the world. At no point did he single out any one religion as suggested using the clipped video and the accompanying commentary on social media.
Alt News has reported multiple instances of misinformation where there is an attempt to portray political parties/individuals who are in opposition to BJP as favouring Islam as a religion, and thereby anti-Hindu. A misleading video claimed that Rahul Gandhi had converted to Islam. Another clipped video was circulated to claim that Kanhaiya Kumar had asked people to convert to Islam. Tarek Fatah had circulated a photoshopped image claiming to show a Madrasa teacher portraying Islam as superior to Hinduism. Fatah had also circulated a fake story claiming Muslims waved Pakistani flags to celebrate the victory of Congress.
Others who shared Rahul Gandhi’s clipped video on social media
Several other tweets from right-wing handles conveyed that Rahul Gandhi had singled out Islam as the inspiration behind Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence.
Several right-wing pages shared the video with the same claim.