ये कैसा ब्राह्मण DNA है जो शिव मंदिर में नवाज़ पढ़ रहा है … कितना सुतिया बनाएगा देश को (What kind of Brahmin DNA is this, offering nawaz inside Shiv mandir…how long will you fool the country- translated). This message has been shared widely on social media along with a photograph of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi can be seen sitting inside a temple with his hands folded in front of him. He had offered prayer at the Achaleshwar Shiv temple in Gwalior.

अबे मंदबुद्धि यह मंन्दिर है मस्जिद नही है……

Posted by राजनीति on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The above post is by the Facebook page Rajneeti, and it has been shared over 6000 times so far. The page I Support Narendra Modi which has a massive following of over 15 million has posted it too. Another page, @kattarhindukapage too has shared this photograph mocking Gandhi for supposedly adopting an Islamic ritual of prayer inside a Shiv temple. Another popular page, Politics Solitics, with over 110,000 followers too had posted this photograph, which has now been deleted.

On October 15, Rahul Gandhi kick-started a two-day visit to poll-bound Madhya Pradesh with a visit to the Peetambara Peeth temple at Datia.

Misrepresentation of photograph

The photograph showing Gandhi with folded hands, claiming that he was performing namaz is a misrepresentation. The sequence of events is as shown below.

As can be seen clearly, Gandhi is not offering namaz but taking the temple offering from the priest. This photograph can be seen on a fan page of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia. Photographs of this event in sequence can be accessed here. The video of Rahul Gandhi’s temple visit is posted below, in which it can be seen that the priest is handing over the temple offering to Congress leader Kamal Nath.

Rahul Gandhi’s temple visits have been routinely and aggressively targeted by political opponents. Earlier, his visit to Kailash Mansarovar had witnessed criticism and ridicule of the Congress president on social media. Earlier, in the run-up to the Gujarat assembly election in 2017, it was falsely claimed that Gandhi had signed the register meant for non-Hindus. In this instance, a regular photograph was taken and presented with a distorted narrative.

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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.