False: Angry over price rise and unemployment, locals stopped Paresh Rawal from campaigning in Gujarat.

By: Anurag Baruah
December 13 2022

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False: Angry over price rise and unemployment, locals stopped Paresh Rawal from campaigning in Gujarat.


The Verdict False

The video is from 2017 and is unrelated to the 2022 Gujarat elections. Rawal was apologizing to the Rajput community for a remark he made in Rajkot.

Claim ID 95378e38


Bollywood actor and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament Paresh Rawal was recently in the eye of a storm for the controversial comments he made during a speech in Gujarat, where he was campaigning ahead of the now concluded Assembly elections. Speaking about inflation and unemployment at a rally held in late November, the BJP leader said, "Gas cylinders are expensive, but their price will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?". Rawal came under fire from various opposition political leaders, activists, and civil society members. According to The Hindu, Rawal later apologized for his comments, saying he was talking about "illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingyas."

As the controversy unfolded, a Twitter handle posted a 56-second clip purportedly showing outraged local residents stopping Rawal from campaigning in Gujarat. The accompanying description claimed that "angry against BJP" over sharp price increase and rising unemployment, locals forced Rawal to "leave campaigning.” The video, which shows a group of angry people confronting Rawal and the actor apologizing, has garnered over 34.8K views. 

In Fact

We conducted a reverse image search using one of the keyframes from the viral video and found an extended version uploaded on YouTube on November 30, 2017. The video, which was a minute and 30 seconds long, was titled "Paresh Rawal apologizing to Rajput Samaj" (translated from Hindi) and uploaded by “The Rajput Company" channel. 

Taking a cue from this, we conducted a keyword search and found a news report published by The Tribune in November 2017. According to the report, Rawal apologized for a remark allegedly comparing royals and music with monkeys. The remark had drawn the ire of some members of the Rajput community, following which Rawal apologized, saying: "If the statement hurt anyone, I would like to apologize for it…My statement was not on the Rajput community…," the report said.

News agency ANI had also reported the incident at the time and carried a photo of Rawal in a tweet. His outfit in this image matches the one seen in the viral video establishing that it is a report of the same incident. 

A report by The Times of India (TOI) from November 2017 also confirms that Rawal had apologized for his statements. "The actor-turned-politician, while remembering Sardar Patel at a recent rally in Rajkot, had compared the royals (raja) and music (vaja) to monkeys (vandar), which did not go down well with the said community. Soon after, the Karni Sena reportedly warned Paresh Rawal over his statement. However, the veteran actor immediately apologized, saying that his comment was aimed at the "Nizam of Hyderabad,"" the TOI report said.

A regional news channel from Gujarat, VTV Gujarati, also published a video news report about the incident with the headline, "Paresh Rawal compares royals with monkeys, apologizes after protest" on November 26, 2017. The report included another video of the same incident of Rawal being confronted by local residents forcing him to apologize. It is hence, evident that the clip is from 2017 and was not taken during the 2022 Gujarat elections, which the BJP went on to win on December 8.

The Verdict

The viral video dates back to an incident from 2017 when Rawal apologized for his comments perceived as derogatory by members of the Rajput community. The incident captured in the viral clip occurred during the 2017 Gujarat Assembly election campaigning and has no connection to the recently concluded 2022 Gujarat Assembly election. Therefore, we have marked the claim false. 

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