Every day, Alt News comes across quotes and statements which are attributed to celebrities that turn out to be fake. On a daily basis, these quotes are shared on multiple pages and groups across social media platforms. These fake quotes hardly take time to circulate widely and by the time they come to our notice, they are already viral. The menace of fake quotes is like a fire which cannot be doused and spawns with renewed vigour each day. Alt News will chronicle them on a daily basis from now on. Here are the latest victims.

1. Rahul Gandhi

“Keeping the sentiments of Muslims in mind, we too should stay away from Vande Mataram and the national anthem” (translated). According to a post viral on social media, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has supposedly made such a statement. This incendiary statement attributed to Gandhi has been posted on a Facebook page Bharatiya Janata Party with the handle @BJYMMPTM which has over 200,000 followers. It was posted on March 18 and has been shared more than 5000 times at the time of writing.

इसके लिए दो शब्द कमेंट करें मित्रों

Posted by भारतीय जनता पार्टी BJP on Sunday, March 18, 2018

Another Facebook page BJP All India (@Bjpalindia) which is followed by more than 12 lakh people too has posted this quote which has been shared over 2000 times.

Posted by Bjp All India on Sunday, March 18, 2018

The above quote attributed to Rahul Gandhi is fake. Alt News spoke to Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala who confirmed that the Congress President has not made any such statement. “Rahul Gandhi has not said any such thing. This is a fake quote. His views on religion were made clear at the speech he gave yesterday at the plenary session of the Congress party”.

2. APJ Abdul Kalam

“Pakistan tried to woo me often. They even cited the Quran and Islam, but I refused because nation is above Quran and Islam and it would be wrong to betray the country (translated)”. This quote attributed to former President APJ Abdul Kalam is being shared widely on Facebook. The page Kattar Hindu Bhagwa Raj has almost 35 lakh followers. The quote which was uploaded on March 17 has been shared more than 10,000 times at the time of writing.

Posted by कट्टर हिन्दू भगवा राज on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Alt News looked up the speeches and quotes given by APJ Abdul Kalam on his official website which has archived them, and we found that there is not a single reference to this quote, or any quote relating to Pakistan, Islam and Quran anywhere. The two PDF files that the search threw up did not contain any reference to these words.

3. Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag is known to be social media savvy. The former India cricketer has a huge following on Twitter and tweets regularly on a gamut of issues, some of which have courted controversy. Serial fake news peddler PostCard News has attributed a quote to Sehwag in which he ridicules Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Atal Bihari Vajyapee Fans is a Facebook page which has more than 1.2 million followers. It posted this quote of PostCard News which was shared over a thousand times. Another Facebook page Narendra Modi- True Indian which is followed by nearly 800,000 people also posted it, and it was shared more than 600 times.

Needless to say that the quote is absolutely fake. A look at Sehwag’s Twitter timeline reveals Sehwag has not made any such statement or tweet. That however seems to matter little to those who are actively sharing it on social media. Both the pages mentioned above which posted this quote have now deleted the post.

4. Ravish Kumar

Journalist Ravish Kumar is the bete noire of many right-wing supporters and sympathisers on social media. At the same time, he is highly revered in other sections of the political spectrum, sometimes to the point of attributing words to the journalist that he has not uttered. “Kejriwal who built a flyover worth 300 crore in 200 crore is a thief, whereas those who bought a 300 crore Rafale for 1500 crore are honest (translated)” are the words attributed to him by the function of putting the above quote next to a picture of his.

कमेंट कीजिए!!!शेयर करें । पेज लाइक करें ।

Posted by I Support Ravish Kumar on Sunday, March 18, 2018

I support Ravish Kumar is a Facebook page with more than 500,000 followers. It posted the above quote on March 18 which has been shared more than 5000 times despite being fake.

5. Dharmendra

Actor Dharmendra who is a former BJP MP too has not been spared by this scourge of fake quotes. We support BJP is a Facebook page which has more than 350,000 followers. On March 16, it posted a quote attributed to the veteran actor wherein he is reportedly saying, “If all Indian muslims are united for settling Rohingyas in India, then all Hindus must unite to throw them out (translated)”.

अगर आप धर्मेंद्र कुमार से सहमत है तक इस पोस्ट को ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करें।।।।।।।

Posted by We Support BJP on Friday, March 16, 2018

The above fake quote has been shared almost 1700 times and continues to circulate.

6. BR Ambedkar

“Muslims can never live with non-muslims peacefully. It is necessary to send all muslims to Pakistan during partition, otherwise the problem will continue to fester after partition and muslims will destroy India from within” (translated). These are the words attributed to Bhim Rao Ambedkar, according to a post by the page We trust Narendra Modi. This page has more than 850,000 followers and the post has been shared over 1800 times.

बाबा साहिब ने जो कहा था आज वो सच होते दिख रहा है ।इस पोस्ट को ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर एवं इस पेज को लाइक करें..

Posted by We Trust Narendra Modi on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ambedkar’s views on Islam and Indian muslims have often been the subject of controversy and debate among historians. They can be found in Pakistan or the partition of India which is a collection of his speeches and writings, and was first published in 1940. His views and remarks on Islam and muslims in India may even be considered caustic by some. “Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria [Where it is well with me, there is my country] is unthinkable”, he wrote. The text in the above quote however is a gross misrepresentation.

7. Akshay Kumar and Rahul Gandhi

There is a post on Facebook which contains fake quotes of both Congress President Rahul Gandhi and actor Akshay Kumar. It has been shared by the page We trust BJP (@wetrustbjp1) on March 19 and has been shared close to 200 times. The page has more than 150,000 followers. According to this post, Rahul Gandhi allegedly says that he will become the next PM with the votes of 25 crore muslims, to which Akshay Kumar allegedly replies, “Abey Pappu, 100 crore Hindus too live in this country and we Hindus will vote only for BJP (Modi) (translated)”.

मोदी के समर्थक ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करे

Posted by WE TRUST BJP on Monday, March 19, 2018

The following instances in 8, 9 and 10 are tweets from parody accounts of celebrities. Screenshots of these messages are often circulated on Facebook with a malafide intent and are regarded as true and forwarded further. Official Twitter accounts of these public figures have a blue tick which distinguishes them from fake or parody accounts. More often than not, messages which are posted from such parody accounts are communal in nature and are misused for propaganda.

8. Hardik Pandya

A blatantly communal statement has been attributed to the cricketer. “You will make these Mughals win in 2019 and in 20 years they will turn India into Pakistan. Your daughter who is 3 years old today will have turned 23 and will suddenly disappear. You will realise then, but it will be too late (translated)”, is what he has allegedly said according to a post on Facebook by the page RSS: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Fans which has more than 770,000 followers.

Posted by RSS – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Fans on Friday, March 16, 2018

The post was put up on March 16 and was shared more than 6000 times. Another page We Support Rohit Sardana which has more than 200,000 followers also posted it. It has been shared more than 1800 times already. The above post is from a parody account, but is being circulated widely as a real message from the cricketer.

Posted by We Support Rohit Sardana on Friday, March 16, 2018

9. Ajay Devgn

The actor has allegedly asked the people of the country to give Prime Minister Narendra Modi at least 15 years at the helm, according to a quote ascribed to him. Modi ki diwani is a Facebook page with more than 500,000 followers.
“60 years of filth cannot be cleaned up in 5 years. Modi ji needs at least 15 years to clean this filth, which we should give him and which we will (translated)”

हर मोदी समर्थक SHARE करे!

Posted by Diwani Modi Ki on Monday, March 19, 2018

The post has been put up today i.e. March 19 and more than 350 people have already shared it on Facebook. This too is a parody account.

10. Paresh Rawal

The actor turned BJP MP’s name has been used on social media to spread fake messages. According to the quote attributed to him, the actor in the aftermath of the by-poll verdict in U.P and Bihar has said that Muslims of Araria voted for those who ate fodder, whereas Hindus of Gorakhpur did not vote for he who imprisoned criminals and subdued Naxals. This was shared on the Facebook page We Support Rohit Sardana and it has been shared over 1800 times.

Posted by We Support Rohit Sardana on Sunday, March 18, 2018

Apart from fake quotes, parody accounts are also a huge menace that are used to spread fake messages. It often happens that a screenshot of a tweet or a post from a parody account is shared on another platform whose users may not know that the account is fake, and share the message believing it to be real.

The magnitude of the problem of fake quotes is simply staggering and spares no one from cricketers to movie stars to politicians. It is a challenge to keep up with the pace at which these quotes are generated on a real-time basis and shared by pages and groups that have lakhs of members. Alt News will keep a close eye on this daily mischief and keep busting such falsehood.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.