Old footage used to claim Indira Gandhi hosted G20 summit in India 40 years ago

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
September 22 2023

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Old footage used to claim Indira Gandhi hosted G20 summit in India 40 years ago

Screenshots of claims made online (Source: Facebook/X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This clip is from the 1983 Non-Aligned Movement summit in Delhi during Indira Gandhi's tenure as the Indian prime minister.

Claim ID 5ed1fb40

What is the claim?

The 2023 G20 New Delhi summit marked the eighteenth gathering of G20 leaders and was hosted from September 9 to 10. 

In the events aftermath, a video claiming to show a G20 Summit that supposedly took place in India in 1983 is making rounds on social media. The video, slightly longer than a minute, features Hindi text overlays, which state that India hosted a successful event surpassing the significance of the G20, with participation from over 100 nations, elevating India's global prestige. 

The video commences with scenes featuring former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, former Cuban President Fidel Castro, and other prominent figures standing together. It goes on to show glimpses of Gandhi addressing an audience and engaging with Castro and the former President of the State of Palestine, Yasser Arafat. During her speech in the video, Gandhi warmly welcomed a diverse assembly of representatives from sovereign nations.

One Facebook user shared the clip and captioned it: "For all those who think that the G20 happened for the first time in India recently… know that 100 Heads of State attended the G20 in India 40 years ago.'' The archived posts can be found here, here, and here. One such post had garnered over 43,000 views and 15,000 shares.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also found a shorter version of the same clip with the same text overlay circulating on X, with similar captions claiming that Gandhi had hosted the G20 summit in India 40 years ago. These posts can be seen archived here and here.

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the captions in the posts are incorrect for two reasons:

  • The video comprises footage from the 1983 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Delhi, not a G20 summit.

  • Secondly,  the G20 was only formed in 1999, and its first leaders' meeting took place in Washington, D.C., in 2008.

What we found

We noticed that although the captions suggest that the viral video shows a G20 summit, the Hindi narration heard at the beginning of the longer version of the video talks about the seventh Non-Aligned Summit. We also noted that the video opens with an image showing Gandhi, Castro, and other influential leaders gathered before a sign that reads: "SEVENTH NON-ALIGNED SUMMIT" and "New Delhi 1983."

Screenshot of the viral post showing Gandhi and other leaders assembled in front of a sign bearing the inscription: "SEVENTH NON-ALIGNED SUMMIT" and "New Delhi 1983." (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

On performing a reverse image search, we found the same image on Getty Images, along with a description that reads, "Indira Gandhi, Fidel Castro, and leaders from numerous nations participate in the Seventh Non-Aligned Summit in New Delhi, India." 

Visual comparison of the viral clip and image posted on Getty Images. (Source: Facebook(L)/Getty Image(R)/Screenshots)

Furthermore, we found a video posted by The Associated Press (AP) Archive channel on YouTube. This video, titled "GS 07 03 1983 Non-Aligned Nations Conference Begins in New Delhi," was published on March 14, 2022. Upon closely examining the keyframes of this video, we observed notable resemblances to the viral video. This proves that the video shows the seventh Non-Aligned Summit in New Delhi in 1983, in line with the voiceover's narrative.

Visual comparison of the viral clip and the AP Archive YouTube video. (Source: X(Left)/YouTube(Right)/Screenshots)

The Seventh NAM Summit 1983 

The Non-Aligned Movement was created during the decolonization period and the Cold War, playing a pivotal role in supporting the independence of nations and preserving global peace. Formally founded in 1961, the movement has expanded to include 120 member nations.

India Today's report, originally published on March 31, 1983, states that 101 countries were represented at the seventh assembly held in Delhi. This historic event represented two-thirds of the global population, marking the largest gathering of its kind in history. The meeting took place from March 7 to March 12, 1983. A report by The Indian Express states that Gandhi took on the role of chairperson during this summit.

What about the G20 Summit?

Contrary to claims that India hosted a G20 meeting in 1983, the G20 was established in 1999 following the Asian financial crisis. Initially, it served as a platform for finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss global economic and financial matters. In response to the global economic and financial crisis in 2007, the G20 was elevated to the Heads of State/government level, officially becoming the "premier forum for international economic cooperation" in 2009. In 2008, the group held their first meeting in Washington, D.C.

The G20 Summit is now an annual event led by a rotating presidency, with India taking on this role starting December 1, 2022, and hosting the Summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10.

The viral video's origin and context

The viral video featured the logo "Har Haath Shakti." We found the Facebook page titled "Har Haath Shakti" posted the now-viral video on September 7. The video was accompanied by a Hindi caption, translating: ''A bigger conference than the G20 Summit was held in 1983.'' An archive of the post can be found here.

Screenshot of the viral post featuring the "Har Haath Shakti" logo. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

The uploader did not make any assertion regarding a G20 summit taking place in 1984, as the video's voiceover distinctly references the NAM Summit.

The verdict

The video does not depict an Indira Gandhi-hosted G20 Summit in India 40 years ago; rather, it shows visuals of the seventh Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit held in Delhi approximately four decades ago. The G20 forum was established in 1999, with its first leaders' meeting occurring in 2008 in Washington, DC.

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