Hyderabad: A quote that is being attributed to India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has been going viral on social media. It reads, "I am English by education, Muslim by culture, and Hindu merely by accident."
The quote is circulating on WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.
(Click here to view the post on Facebook)
The claim is false.
NewsMeter performed a keyword search and found that the quote has been circulating for several years. It had earlier been debunked by many fact-checking websites. It has again gone viral on social media.
While researching the authenticity of the quote, we found a reference in the book "The Nehrus: Motilal and Jawaharlal" by B.R Nanda that said N.B Khare, a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, had said Nehru was "English by education, Muslim by culture, and Hindu by an accident of birth".
We then found a 2018 tweet by a Twitter user who had shared a newspaper clipping of Deccan Chronicle that had printed the quote on 18 November 2018 and attributed it to Nehru.
We also found a tweet by Gaurav Pandhi, the national coordinator of the Indian National Congress, from 24 November 2018. He had said that the Hyderabad edition of the newspaper had wrongly attributed the quote to Nehru. He also mentioned that it was said by N.B Khare, the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, in 1950. He had further shared a screenshot of Shashi Tharoor's book "Nehru: The Invention of India" that mentions the viral quote and attributes it to Khare.
We found a tweet by Shashi Tharoor himself from 24 November 2018 replying to a Twitter user who had tweeted, "@ShashiTharoor a good article of yours in the Deccan Chronicle on the 19th of November has been mired by the quote attributed to Nehru captioned on top of the same page. Wish you and Deccan Chronicle puts in the right perspective."
Shashi Tharoor had replied, "Yes it's a completely fake quote. A line of the Hindu Mahasabha's N.B. Khare falsely attributed to Nehruji."
We also found a speech by Nehru in the book "The Great Speeches of Modern India" by Rudranghsu Mukherjee.
Therefore, the viral statement is false as the quote is not by Jawaharlal Nehru.