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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

PM Narendra Modi claims nobody knew of Mahatma Gandhi before the film Gandhi

Several countries had installed statues of Gandhi in their prominent public spaces and also issued postage stamps in his name way before Attenborough film came out

Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 30.05.24, 05:53 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File picture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday claimed nobody knew of Mahatma Gandhi before the film Gandhi, leaving the nation gobsmacked and adding to the growing corpus of factually incorrect statements made by him.

“In the last 75 years, was it not our responsibility to let the whole world know of Mahatma Gandhi? I am sorry, nobody knew about him. It was only after the film Gandhi that the world became curious about him,” the Prime Minister said in an interview with ABP News, referring to the 1982 Richard Attenborough film.

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The Prime Minister’s remark was not only fact-checked in real time, he also opened himself up for some serious mocking. “Only a student of ‘Entire Political Science’ would have needed to see a film to learn about Mahatma Gandhi,’’ Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, taking a swipe at the Prime Minister.

Rahul’s “only a student of Entire Political Science” jibe referenced the MA degree certificate of Modi, which shows that the Prime Minister completed his master’s in “Entire Political Science”.

“It’s shocking to hear PM Modi’s claim that the world only learned about Mahatma Gandhi after the 1982 film ‘Gandhi’. Father of the Nation, Gandhi never needed anybody to promote his unparalleled legacy as a symbol of peace and non-violence! Before Modi was born Gandhi was nominated 5 times for the Nobel Peace prize! He was never awarded as India was a colony under Pax Brittanica!” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a post on X.

Across social media, people dug out old newspaper clippings and photographs that prove Modi wrong. While Gandhi’s assassination was headline news across the world, ample proof was offered throughout the day of how the world was influenced by Gandhi and took note of his actions years before he was gunned down. He was on the cover of The Time magazine thrice before India gained Independence and inspired an entire galaxy of notables including Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela.

Several countries had installed statues of Gandhi in their prominent public spaces and also issued postage stamps in his name way before the Attenborough film came out. The film itself was part-funded by the National Film Development Corporation of India.

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