With just days to go for the Gujarat assembly elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is currently leading the Bharat Jodo Yatra, joined the political fight in the state holding two campaign rallies at Surat and Rajkot.
Soon after, a video showing a Gujarati translator leaving the stage mid-way during Gandhi’s public address went viral on social media platforms. Those who shared the 24-second-long footage alleged that the translator left the stage as he was “unable to understand & translate” what Rahul Gandhi had to say.
BJP’s Amit Malviya was among several Twitter users who shared the viral video deriding the Congress leader.
A keyword search for “Rahul Gandhi,” & “Gujarat Rally” on Google which yielded multiple reports from the past 24 hours elaborating on the Congress leader’s rallies in Rajkot and Surat on Monday.
One such report by Times of India, dated November 21, 2022, stated, “In his first election rally in poll-bound Gujarat, Gandhi while addressing a gathering of tribals at Mahuva in Surat district said they are the first owners of the country and claimed the BJP was working to take away their rights.”
The report featured an image of Gandhi at the dais. On comparing this image with the keyframes of the viral video, we could conclude that both the visuals were from the same event.
Taking a clue, we looked up “Rahul Gandhi,” “Surat rally,” & “address” on Google which led us to the video of Gandhi’s live interaction with the audience at yesterday’s public rally. 37:41 minutes into the video, we could spot the same sequence that has since gone viral.
On analysing the successive frames, at around 38:07 minutes, the audience members can be heard asking Gandhi to continue speaking in Hindi – suggesting that they don’t require Gujarati translation of his address.
The translator can be seen slightly nodding during this interaction, following which he tells Gandhi that it’s fine if he (Rahul Gandhi) speaks in Hindi, and that the audience understands it. The translator left only after the audience asked Gandhi to continue delivering his address in Hindi, without translation.
Rahul Gandhi then confirms the same, and continues his address.
Furthermore, we came across several news reports on this incident. A report by Mint, dated November 21, 2022, stated, “Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in Gujarat for the election campaign, was interrupted by a man during his speech. The man interrupted Rahul Gandhi during the speech and asked him to continue in Hindi and not use a translator. Before the interruption, Rahul Gandhi had been turning to his translator to translate his Hindi sentences to Gujarati.”
Adding, “You speak in Hindi, we will understand. We don’t need translation,” the man shouted from the middle of the crowd. Hearing the demand, Rahul Gandhi paused and asked if Hindi would really be okay. Rahul Gandhi asked “chalega Hindi? [Hindi would be okay?]”. The translator was removed from the stage and the speech went on.”
Notably, the man seen translating Gandhi’s speech in the viral video is Congress leader Bharat Solanki. In a tweet dated November 21, 2022, Solanki himself clarified that he stopped translating Gandhi’s address to Gujarati as the audience wanted to listen to his speech in Hindi only.
Viral post passing a jibe at Rahul Gandhi after his translator at the Surat rally was seen leaving the stage, lacks context. Congress leader Bharat Solanki, who was translating Gandhi’s speech, stepped down from the stage as the audience was able to understand Hindi.
Result: Missing Context
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