A photo of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is being shared on social media claiming that he was publicly slapped by a Hindu saint named Swami Vidyanand Videh for allegedly referring to the people of Hindu Arya Samaj as refugees in India. According to the post, Swami Vidyanand Videh slapped Nehru on the stage of a public event and said- “The people of Arya Samaj are not refugees. They are our ancestors and the original inhabitants of this country. Your own ancestors are “Arabic”, and “Arab” blood is flowing in your body. You are not the original inhabitants of this great country… you are a refugee…” Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: A photo captured during a public event where Jawaharlal Nehru was slapped by Swami Vidyanand Videh.
Fact: The photo shared in the post was taken in 1962, during a meeting of the Congress Party in Patna, Bihar. The photo shows a security person holding Jawaharlal Nehru to prevent him from plunging into a riotous crowd at the meeting in Patna. There are no confirmed news reports indicating that Swami Vidyanand Videh had slapped Jawaharlal Nehru at a public event. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.
On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, the same photo was found published on the Outlook news website. The photo was published with the description, “Braced for the worst Nehru is prevented from plunging into a riotous crowd in 1962, before the war.”
When we searched for further details of the photo, we found that the ‘Associate Press’ had published the same photo on their website, with the description, “A security man grabbed Indian Prime Minister Nehru to keep him from plunging into a riotous crowd at a meeting of the Congress Party in Patna, India, January 1962. Later in the year, Communist China’s attack on India plunged Nehru into new troubles.” The news report confirmed that the photo was taken in 1962, during a meeting of the Congress Party in Patna.
An article published by ‘Indian Express’ in 1962 regarding this clash can be found here. The Times of India, the Press Trust of India (PTI), and a few other news organisations have issued clarifications regarding the origin of Nehru’s photo.
On searching for the details about Swami Vidyanand Videh, it was found that he is the founder of an organization named ‘Ved-Sansthan.’ Swami Vidyanand Videh is well-known as a scholar of Vedas and a proponent of the Yogic lifestyle. No information or evidence was found suggesting Swami Vidyanand Videh slapped Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during a public meeting.
To sum it up, a 1962 photo of Jawaharlal Nehru was shared with a false claim that he was slapped by Swami Vidyanand Videh for referring to Aryans as refugees in India.