Congress President Rahul Gandhi was on a two-day tour of UAE on 11th January in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on 12th January.
As he gathered massive response from the local crowd, right wing websites were bound to spin articles against the positive cheer spread by Rahul Gandhi. One such website, My Nation ran an entire fake news piece titled, “Rahul Gandhi dumbfounded in Dubai by little girl’s questions”.
The article claimed that during Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to Dubai, a 14-year old girl asked him two questions that stumped him. According to the article, the questions embarrassed the Congress President who “dismissed it with a smile”. The portal also incorrectly claimed that the live telecast was disconnected by Congress.
Pathological liar. Have the courage to speak the truth. The ‘inaccuracies that may creep in’ are deliberately created by you for cheap publicity. And just how sick can you be to misuse a young innocent girls photograph to push your agenda? https://t.co/Mtwo2c7R4G
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) January 13, 2019
The first question according to the article was:
“Congress prides itself for having ruled India for several decades. The welfare and development that were not achieved then, will be done now?”
While the second question was:
“The girl went on to say that it’s only after Modi came to power that India got its recognition across the world. She advised him to seek votes with the promise of providing corruption- free governance instead of bringing in caste distinctions. The public was stunned and the entire place resounded with thundering applause.”
This news piece was shared on twitter by Abhijit Majumder, Editor of My Nation on 12th January which started getting viral.
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) January 12, 2019
It is important to note that ‘My Nation’ did not substantiate the claim made in the article, by any evidence or a video. Infact when Alt News debunked this false information, My Nation even went on to share an updated version of their article, claiming confirmation of the same from office of Congress overseas secretary Aarathi Krishnan.
Krishnan was prompt in calling out lies and miscommunication spread by My Nation once again!
I have been misquoted. No such question was asked at any interaction with Mr. Gandhi. His entire interaction with IMT students can be viewed here : https://t.co/mQHgeXvONz This should clarify any doubts people may have. https://t.co/zA88xvhHAy
— Arathi Krishna (@ArathiKrishna15) January 13, 2019
Other fake news website Postcard News also ran a similar story titled, “Deadly Dubai” making similar claims of the broadcast being stopped because Rahul Gandhi could not answer a 14-year old girl.
Who is the 14-year girl in the article?
Alt News found that the claim originated from a Tamil website which is now deleted. The same was picked up by My Nation followed by Postcard News and Rightlog – All Right Wing Propaganda Websites. A picture of a young girl was circulated in all the articles and in social media posts.
Using reverse image search, Alt News found that the picture of the girl was taken from a 3 year old Youtube video titled, “SAVE GIRL CHILD Powerful Speech by SIDDHI BAGWE”. According to the description, this video was shot at St. Joseph’s High School in Vikhroli, a suburb of Mumbai.
How Fake News Websites Spread Fake News!
The entire local mainstream media had covered this event extensively, however, not a single footage of this 14-year-old girl asking questions nor any mention of it in any credible media publication surfaced.
The misleading claim continues to be shared by additional RBI director, Gurumurthy who has shared several false news links in the past, Ashutosh Muglikar who’s a contributor to OpIndia, an right wing propaganda website, and Gaurav Pradhan who has ignorantly or deliberately spread misinformation several times.
The technical fact check has been curated from Leading Fact-Check portal Alt News.com
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