No, PM Modi did not make 'racist comments' about Indian President Murmu's skin color

By: Rajeswari Parasa
May 24 2024

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No, PM Modi did not make 'racist comments' about Indian President Murmu's skin color

Screenshot of the social media post that claims Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made racist remarks against President Draupadi Murmu (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

A selectively edited video from PM Modi's speech has been circulated to falsely suggest that he made derogatory comments about President Murmu.

Claim ID 93562a0a

What is the claim?

A 15-second video featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has circulated on social media, alleging that he referred to all dark-skinned individuals in India as "Africans" and stated that President of India Draupadi Murmu 'needs to be defeated' as she is 'dark-skinned.'

In the viral video, Modi is purportedly saying, “People who are dark-skinned, they are all Africans. Draupadi Murmu is also African, and that's why people like her, who are dark-skinned, should be defeated.” The post was widely shared, and archives of such posts can be found here and here.

Screenshots of the claims made on social media platforms (Source: Facebook/ YouTube/ Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this claim is false. The video in question has been edited out of context. A portion of Modi’s speech paraphrasing certain remarks by Congress leader Sam Pitroda was selectively edited and shared.

What are the facts?

Upon investigating the source of the original video, it was discovered that the viral clip was extracted from a speech delivered by the prime minister at an election rally in Telangana’s Warangal on May 8, 2024. The full speech is available on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s YouTube channel (archived here).

In the unedited video, Modi criticized the Congress party and leader Rahul Gandhi, referencing certain contentious remarks made by Pitroda, the former chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress. 

At the 43:51 mark in the original video of his speech, Modi states, "Today, I have discovered that the prince's uncle (referring to Gandhi) resides in America. The prince's uncle serves as his philosopher and guide. Just as there is a third umpire in cricket, consulted in times of confusion, the prince seeks advice from this third party when faced with uncertainty. This philosopher and guide uncle has unveiled a significant revelation. He asserted that individuals with dark skin are African, implying a derogatory judgment based on skin color. This revelation made me realize that due to her dark skin, they presumed Draupadi Murmu to be of African descent. Consequently, they suggest she should be defeated." (Modi's remarks can be heard from 43:51 to 45:22 in the video below.)

It is evident that segments of Modi’s speech from 44:40 to 44:47 and 45:12 to 45:22 were spliced together and shared with a misleading narrative.

Pitroda made the controversial comments during an interview with The Statesman on May 8, where he praised India's diversity, stating, “We could hold the country together as diverse as India, where people in East look like Chinese, people in West look like Arab, people in North look like maybe white and people in South look like Africa, doesn’t matter. We are all brothers and sisters.” (Pitroda’s comments can be heard from the 2:41 timestamp, and an archived version of the video can be accessed here.)

Following the backlash from his comments, Pitroda resigned as the chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress.

The above evidence establishes that Modi’s remarks criticizing Sam Pitroda have been selectively edited and shared online.

The verdict

The claim that Indian Prime Minister Modi made racist remarks against President Droupadi Murmu in his speech in Telangana’s Warangal is false. The video was edited to present a distorted narrative, selectively combining Modi’s criticism of Sam Pitroda. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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