Did Rahul Gandhi say this country is not for priests?

Amit Malviya’s continues his misinformation against Rahul Gandhi, this time with a clipped video.

Claim

Now they have a problem with the priests too…

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Rating

Explanation

Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is slated to enter Punjab on 11th January 2023 after its second leg in the state of Haryana. Meanwhile, the IT Head of the BJP, Amit Malviya tweeted a clip where Rahul Gandhi can be heard saying that the reality of this country is a country of tapasvis, not a country of priests. Using this clipped video, Amit Malviya had said “Now they have a problem with the priests too.” Almost identical tweets were made by other BJP members such as Deepak Prakash, the State President of Jharkhand BJP and Saurabh Marodia, the social media co-convenor for Uttar Pradesh BJP. See here, here and here.

 

What’s the truth?

Since it looked like a press conference, we used a keyword search and found the full video of the Press Conference on Indian National Congress’ YouTube channel which was streamed on 8th January 2023.

From the video, we can find that the clipped video shared by BJP supporters is at the end of the video at 38:05-minute mark. Rahul Gandhi’s statement comes in response to a question posted to him by a reporter (supposedly Ishika Thakur) of India News which can be seen at 37:10 minutes. The reporter asks Rahul Gandhi by pointing out his earlier statement that his focus is with tapasya and not into political battles and asks if Rahul Gandhi had become a Tapasvi himself.

Rahul Gandhi responds by saying that he was, and he is a tapasvi. He added that this country is a country of tapasvis. He said that people talk about the distance Rahul Gandhi walked, but they do not talk about the farmers and workers of the nation who walk (work) more than him but do not get the respect that they get because people do not respect tapasyas. He then says that this is a country of tapasvis, not a country of worshippers (pujaris). He pointed out that that is the reality of the country and if India were to be a superpower, it should respect the tapasvis (in this context, farmers and labors).

A 10-second clip of Rahul Gandhi’s response which lasted more than 2 minutes is used by Amit Malviya with a misleading claim that Rahul Gandhi is against priests too. Amit Malviya had indulged in similar misinformation spree against Rahul Gandhi some of which is listed below.

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Conclusion

A clipped video of Rahul Gandhi’s press conference is used by BJP IT head Amit Malviya and other BJP supporters to claim that Rahul Gandhi had spoken against priests which is factually incorrect and misleading.

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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