False: Rahul Gandhi was reading a Kannada newspaper.

By: Ankita Kulkarni
January 18 2023

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False: Rahul Gandhi was reading a Kannada newspaper.


The Verdict False

Gandhi was reading the English pages of the National Herald newspaper in 2017. Only the first and last pages were in Kannada.

Claim ID 3cf99691


The Congress party's ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' led by Rahul Gandhi resumed its journey from Adampur in Punjab on January 16, 2023. The yatra, termed a mass contact initiative by Congress, started from the southern city of Kanyakumari on September 7, 2022, and will conclude on January 30, 2023, with Gandhi hoisting the national flag in India's northernmost state capital Srinagar.

Many false claims are being made about the Congress leader and the yatra. Recently, a recent Facebook post shared on December 12, 2022, claimed to show an image of Gandhi reading a Kannada newspaper. The text overlaid inside the image in Hindi reads, "A person who doesn't even know Hindi properly is reading the newspaper in Kannada (translated to English)." 

However, the image has been incorrectly captioned.

In Fact

After running a keyword search, we found that the image has been in circulation since 2017 with similar claims. It was from when Gandhi attended the National Herald English newspaper relaunch event in Bengaluru. 

A report on the event was published by Financial Express on June 12, 2017, and carried the same photograph of Gandhi as seen in the viral post. The caption on the image read, "Rahul Gandhi at the launch of the commemorative edition of the National Herald, in Bengaluru."  

Logically checked the official archives of the newspaper and found the 2017 'commemorative Bangalore' edition that Rahul Gandhi was pictured reading. The archive shows that while the front and last pages of the newspaper contained advertisements and articles printed in Kannada, the other pieces were in English. 

An NDTV report on June 12, 2017, included another image from the relaunch event showing Gandhi, former Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, and other dignitaries holding the same newspaper edition.  

Furthermore, the newspaper's official website on the "About us" page notes that they publish newspapers in Hindi and Urdu. The website does not mention Kannada as one of its publishing languages.

The Verdict

A 2017 photograph of Gandhi reading English articles in a special edition of the National Herald newspaper has been shared with the claim that Gandhi was reading Kannada. It is part of a larger narrative against Gandhi that routinely mocks the leader. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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