Did Jawaharlal Nehru say he had 'no part in India’s freedom movement'? No, viral clip is edited

By: Prabhanu Das
June 24 2024

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Did Jawaharlal Nehru say he had 'no part in India’s freedom movement'? No, viral clip is edited

Screenshots of viral X posts and attached video claiming that Nehru did not have any role in the freedom struggle and was opposed to it. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

A segment from an old interview with Nehru has been edited to create the viral clip. In the original video, he was discussing Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Claim ID 1f46fc0b

What’s the claim?

Multiple X (formerly Twitter) users have shared a 49-second video clip of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, appearing in an interview, allegedly stating at the beginning of the video, "I was not involved in the freedom struggle at all. Rather, I opposed it."

Several social media posts sharing the video imply that Nehru was not actively involved in the Indian freedom struggle. Archived links to these posts can be found here, here, and here

These X posts claim that Nehru made statements suggesting he was not involved in or supported the freedom struggle, accompanied by a video of an interview that has been altered. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video has been edited. In the original footage, Nehru was discussing Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and his lack of involvement in the independence movement

What we found

A reverse image search led us to the original video (archived here), which was uploaded by Prasar Bharati, India’s state-owned public broadcaster, on its official ‘Prasar Bharati Archives’ YouTube channel. The video, dated May 1964, is described in the video's description as "perhaps Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's last significant interview to American TV" by Prasar Bharati. The interviewer is identified as Arnold Michaelis, an American TV interviewer known for his interviews with politicians and activists such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Martin Luther King, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

We confirmed that the segment containing the viral clip starts at the 14:50 timestamp and ends at 15:47 in the original video. In this segment, Nehru clearly states, “Mr. Jinnah was not involved in the freedom struggle at all. Rather, he opposed it,” in response to a question about the roles of himself, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jinnah in the freedom struggle.

However, the beginning of the viral clip appears to have been edited. The audio where Nehru refers to “Mr. Jinnah” has been replaced with “I,” creating the false impression that Nehru was personally disavowing his involvement in and support for the freedom struggle. The source of the audio where Nehru says “I” appears to be from the same interview but cannot be independently verified.

A comparison of the viral claim and the original video uploaded by Prasar Bharati on YouTube. (Source: X/Prasar Bharati/Modified by Logically Facts)

Nehru was a pivotal figure in India's struggle for independence from British rule. Returning to India in 1912, he quickly became involved in the freedom movement, organizing protests and frequently facing arrest. As president of the Lahore Congress in 1929, he declared complete independence as the Congress's goal. Nehru played a significant role in negotiations for India's independence and served as the nation's first Prime Minister from August 15, 1947, until his death in 1964. 

Jinnah led the All-India Muslim League, a political party advocating for Muslim interests in British India, from 1913 until the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. Jinnah served as Pakistan's first governor-general until his death.

The verdict

A segment from an old interview with Nehru has been edited to falsely claim that he declared he had no role in the Indian freedom struggle. The original video clearly demonstrates that Nehru was actually discussing Jinnah. Nehru’s pivotal role in India’s struggle for independence is extensively documented.

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