On May 3, a Facebook page Wise Indian Tongue – WIT shared a post claiming that Shabana Azmi said the following words, इस बार भी अगर नरेंद्र मोदी जीत कर प्रधानमंत्री बन गए तो मैं देश छोड़ दूंगी !!! -शबाना आजमी !! (I will leave the country if Narendra Modi wins and again become the Prime Minister!!! – Shabana Azmi!!)The post drew over 2,000 likes and 800 shares.

इस बार भी अगर नरेंद्र मोदी जीत कर प्रधानमंत्री बन गए तो मैं देश छोड़ दूंगी !!!
-शबाना आजमी !!

Posted by Wise Indian Tongue – WIT on Friday, 3 May 2019

Apart from Facebook groups and pages, this post was also shared by multiple individual users. The alleged statement made by Azmi was posted by one Shashank Gupta on the group DR. SAMBIT PATRA FANS CLUB on May 4.

Since May 10, the purported quote was being shared in the form of a meme with the images of Azmi and Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan. Bharat Vikas – भारत विकास , a page that made over 2 lakh followers, was among the page that shared the post. I Support PM shared the statement with this caption – “शबाना आझमी की तरह शाहरुख भी 23 मई के बाद शायद देश छोड़ चले जाएंगे! (Like Shabana Azmi, Shahrukh Khan will also leave the country on May 23.)” This page has more than 16 lakh followers and the post was shared over 5,000 times and had more than 7,000 likes. The comments on the post make it evident that the claim was believed to be true by social media users.

Fake quote

As claimed by I Support PM, Khan had made a statement similar to Azmi five years ago. Alt News had earlier fact-checked the quote ascribed to Khan and found that it was false and manufactured by a parody account @jamsrk. The post now stands deleted. Khan’s Twitter handle is @imsrk. After the fake statement was viral, the actor took to Twitter and clarified that he never made any such statement. Khan had posted the clarification on May 19, 2014.

The same quote ascribed to Azmi could not be located on any news reports. Alt News contacted the actor who said, “This is pure fabrication. I have no intentions of leaving the country. This is where I was born and this is where I will die. I have nothing but contempt for the fake news brigade. Their desperation to try and discredit those who hold a view different from their’s is both vicious and laughable. I have never made this statement attributed to me.”

This wasn’t an isolated incident when the actor was targetted using a fake quote. Earlier, we had found a false statement ascribed to her, according to which she’d said, “भारत अच्छा और महान देश नहीं है क्यूंकि यहाँ मुसलमान खुश नहीं है। (India is not a good or a great nation because Muslims are unhappy here.)”

About the Author

She specializes in information verification, examining mis/disinformation, social media monitoring and platform accountability. Her aim is to make the internet a safer place and enable people to become informed social media users. She has been a part of Alt News since 2018.