An altered video of Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi at a concert has been shared thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows him watching a sexually explicit song being performed. However, the original clip shows a different song, the Hindi Bollywood hit “Right Here Right Now”, which does not feature explicit lyrics.
The video was shared in a cheep on January 6 by Wasim Khan, one of the leaders of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The video, which has more than 340,000 views, appears to show the leader of the opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, in the front row of a theater watching a singer perform a sexually explicit song from the 2017 Bhojpuri language film “Satya”.
The sarcastic tweet in Hindi, which includes an excerpt from the lyrics, reads: “The gentleman who listens to the civilized song, ‘first lifted my veil and then made me lie on my stomach’.”
Screenshot of the misleading tweet, taken on January 12, 2023.
“The gentleman” is a reference to Gandhi, who attended a concert at Albert Hall in the western city of Jaipur on December 16 to mark 100 days of his Unite India March (Bharat Jodo Yatra).
Gandhi said his all-India march, which began in September, was aimed at highlighting rampant unemployment, skyrocketing inflation and growing polarization between the Hindu majority and religious minorities such as Muslims.
The same video was shared in similar posts on facebook here and here.
edited video clip
A Twitter keyword search I found a longer version of the video, but with different audio, in a cheep posted on December 18 by Manoj Sharma, Rajasthan bureau chief of the Hindi-language daily Dainik Bhaskar.
The Hindi tweet reads: “Bharat Jodo Yatra: Albert Hall, Sunidhi Chauhan Night.”
Sunidhi Chauhan is a Bollywood singer.
In the video, Chauhan is heard performing the song “Right Here Right Now,” which appears in the 2005 Bollywood movie “Bluffmaster”.
The song does not feature sexually explicit lyrics.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the altered video (left) and the original video posted by Sharma (right):
A comparison of screenshots from the viral video (left) and the original video posted by Sharma (right).
The Unite India March tweeted a poster promoting Chauhan’s performance at the concert.
A live broadcast of the concern aired by First India News shows that the particular song was not performed at any point in the show.
The channel also shared a video of Gandhi joining Chauhan on stage.
Other images of Gandhi at the concert were published by the stock photo site Alamy and the Navbharat Times newspaper.
AFP has debunked several false claims directed at Gandhi, including here and here.