Doctored video shared to claim former cricketer Gautam Gambhir lost cool to ‘anti-India’ slogans

By: Anurag Baruah
September 6 2023

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Doctored video shared to claim former cricketer Gautam Gambhir lost cool to ‘anti-India’ slogans


The Verdict False

While it is still unclear if 'anti-India' slogans were raised or why Gambhir showed his middle finger to a crowd, the video in question is doctored.

Claim ID 901a4caa

A video of former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gautam Gambhir showing the middle finger to a crowd that can be heard chanting "Kohli-Kohli" recently went viral on social media. The video was purportedly recorded during the India-Pakistan match held on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka, as part of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. A Pakistani social media user posted this video on X(formerly Twitter) on September 4, garnering over 237,300 views. The video was amplified by opposition leaders like Srinivas BV, who is the national president of the Congress party's youth wing.

What is the claim?

Speaking to the Indian news agency ANI on September 4, Gambhir said the crowd in Kandy, which also included Pakistani cricket fans, was chanting 'anti-India' slogans, provoking him to use the gesture captured in the viral video. 

However, these slogans were not audible in the video that had emerged before his interview, in which only "Kohli-Kohli" chants could be heard. 

After Gambhir's statement, another version of the same video clip started circulating on social media, seemingly to support the parliamentarian's claim. In this version of the video, the crowd appears to be chanting, "Bharat, tere tukde honge. Inshallah, inshallah" (India, you will be divided into pieces, according to the will of Allah). One iteration of the new video, posted by an X user on September 4, garnered over 1,23,900 views.

Screenshots of X posts sharing the video with 'anti-India' slogans. 

One X user named 'Narendra Modi Fan,' who has over 420,000 followers, also amplified the new video. Richa Rajpoot, the head of the social media cell for BJP's youth wing in Uttar Pradesh, also shared it. 

Screenshots of X posts by Narendra Modi Fan and Richa Rajpoot. (Source: X/@narendramodi177, @doctorrichabjp)

However, the now-viral video is doctored, and the audio has lifted from old news reports and videos that emerged in 2016 when some individuals at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had purportedly raised 'anti-India' slogans at a protest.

What did we find?

What did we find?

We came across a video report posted by Hindi news outlet Aaj Tak on its official YouTube channel on February 15, 2016. At the time, BJP's student organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had alleged that some students had raised 'anti-India' slogans during a protest in JNU. The description of the Aaj Tak video read, "ABVP has released a new video which show a group of JNU students allegedly shouting anti-national slogans." Around 33 seconds into the video, one can hear the slogan "Bharat, tere tukde honge…," which is the same slogan heard in the viral video. 

The sloganeering in this video by Aaj Tak, which went viral in 2016, is of the same tone and pitch as heard in the Gambhir video. The voices in the two videos are the same, and it is clear that the audio from the 2016 video has been overlaid onto the clip that captures Gambhir gesturing rudely at the crowd at the match.

Were 'anti-India' slogans raised at the match?

Apart from his statement to ANI, Gambhir also took to X on September 4 to suggest that 'anti-India' slogans were raised in the Asia Cup match. "Not everything is as it seems. Any Indian would react how I did to the kind of slogans used against our nation," he wrote.

Notably, after the match, the first video to emerge was that of the crowd around Gambhir chanting "Kohli-Kohli." This video was first posted on X around 6:30 p.m. on September 4. After Gambhir made his statement on September 4 around 8:30 p.m., an hour later, videos with the 'anti-India' sloganeering emerged, with some users claiming this was the "real" and "original" video of the incident.

Screenshot of X post by Nibraz Ramzan. (Source: X/@nibraz88cricket)

So far, it is not clear what exactly happened on the ground. Logically Facts has not been able to ascertain whether the crowd at the match chanted "Kohli-Kohli," or if Gambhir did hear a section of the crowd raising 'anti-India' slogans. 

Taking to X on September 5, Nibraz Ramzan, a sports journalist from Sri Lanka, refuted the claims that 'anti-India' slogans were raised at the match. He said his cousins sat near the Sri Lankan fan who captured the video and only heard Indian fans chanting "Kohli-Kohli" when Gambhir passed them by.

Gambhir and Indian cricketer Viral Kohli have a history of on-field altercations, and Kohli's fans have often been heard shouting "Kohli-Kohli" to tease the former. The two have been involved in multiple heated exchanges, particularly during Indian Premier League matches, with the first being in 2013 when they had pushed each other during an altercation on the sidelines of a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) match.  

The verdict

While it is still not clear whether 'anti-India' slogans were raised at the match or not, or what kind of slogans Gambhir lost his cool to, the particular video with the "Bharat, tere tukde honge…" slogan to justify his reaction is doctored. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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