What is the claim?: The Quint received the image on its WhatsApp tipline along with a text that said, "No matter how much you hide the truth, it always comes out. This is the real photo of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. This fake Gandhi family is actually the family of Mohammad Ghazi".
On going through social media platforms, we found several older claims where users have insinuated that Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi were married according to Islamic rituals.
Are these claims true?: We found a similar image uploaded on the official website of Indian Culture, which said that it was taken during a fancy dress party after Rajiv Gandhi's wedding.
Further, as per historical evidence, the duo got married in a Hindu ceremony.
About the viral image: We performed a keyword search and came across a similar image uploaded on the Indian Culture website.
The picture's description says, " The photograph shows Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Shri Sanjay Gandhi and Mohammad Yunus in a fancy dress party after Rajiv's wedding, New Delhi, February 1968."
We compared the image above with the viral image, and found several similarities.
Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi can be seen dressed in a similar attire. All those present in the viral image can also be seen in the picture uploaded on India Culture website.
Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi's wedding ceremony: We came across a video uploaded on a verified YouTube channel called 'British Movietone'.
It was titled, "WEDDING OF RAJIV and SONIA - NO SOUND."
The video showed Rajiv Gandhi accompanied by his mother, former PM Indira Gandhi.
One can see Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi exchanging garlands during the ceremony.
News reports: An article published in Entertainment Times uploaded around 25 special images from Rajiv's life on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
The first image was taken after the wedding ceremony of the duo and can be seen wearing garlands.
Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi got married on 25 February 1968.
On the first page of the newspaper, a report was published that was titled, "Rajiv weds Sonia Maino."
The report said, "Amidst chanting of Vedic hymns and plaintive notes of "shenai" the couple garlanded each other with jasmine and roses, signed the registrar's book in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner. Mr BN Tandon, and exchanged rings, before being declared man and wife."
A recent report about Sonia Gandhi's personal and political journey said, "In 1964, she [Sonia Gandhi] went to Cambridge in England to study English, where she came across Rajiv Gandhi, who was studying engineering. The two fell in love, and in 1968, got married in a Hindu ceremony."
Other sources: We accessed a copy of the book titled 'Indira Gandhi : an intimate biography' on Wayback Machine by logging in and borrowing the book for an hour.
According to the book, Rajiv and Sonia exchanged garlands and rings while a magistrate was present to register the wedding. It was followed by a Kashmiri vegetarian meal.
The official website of Congress, too, mentioned that the wedding of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi took place as per Hindu rituals.
Lineage of Gandhi family: Time and again, false claims around the Gandhi family's lineage are shared, claiming that they actually were Muslims. Team WebQoof recently debunked the viral claim about former PM Jawaharlal Nehru and found that he came from a family of Kashmiri Pandits. You can read our fact-check here.
Conclusion: It is clear that an image of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi is being shared on the internet with a false claim.
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