(Editor’s Note: The story was first published on 2 February 2019 and is being republished from The Quint’s archives to mark former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 35th death anniversary.)
An old picture on social media shows Rahul and Rajiv Gandhi with their hands folded in front of them, offering prayers before a coffin. Also seen in the picture are Sonia Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao.
The claim along with the picture reads:
"इन्दिरा की लाश के सामने राहुल और राजीव गांधी कलमा पढ रहे हैं फिर भी हमारे देश के लोगों को लगता है कि ये लोग ब्राह्मण हैं..."
(Translated: At Indira Gandhi's funeral, both Rajiv and Rahul Gandhi can been seen offering the 'kalma'. And people say they are Brahmins.)
The photo has been shared with this narrative by many people on Facebook, including the page 'HumLog', which had garnered over 120 shares in an hour, at the time this article was being written.
TRUE OR FALSE?
The picture while true, is not from Indira Gandhi's funeral.
A reverse image search led us to a community thread website called skyscrapercity.com, where we found the same photo having been posted on 10 December 2016, with the claim that it was from Bacha Khan aka Abdul Ghaffar Khan's funeral in Peshawar.
When we searched with the terms 'Bacha Khan funeral Rajiv Gandhi', we stumbled upon a tweet by Mohsin Dawar from 26 January 2016. Dawar is a Pakistan MP from Wazristan.
A New York Times article from 21 January 1988 too mentioned that Gandhi had stopped in Peshawar the day before on his way to Sweden to pay tribute to Khan, who was also known as 'frontier Gandhi.'
An excerpt from the book The Pathan Unarmed also mentions how, in an exception to protocol, Khan's funeral was attended by several prominent leaders, including Rajiv Gandhi, "thereby implicitly attributing to him the status of a head of state."
This claim had earlier been debunked by Boom.
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