Fact Check: Conspiracy Theory Viral Claiming Mahatma Gandhi's Last Rites Were Held As Per Islamic Rituals
Fake news is being shared claiming Mahatma Gandhi's sons didn't participate in his funeral and the ashes of Gandhi's mortal remains were not immersed in the river rather given to a Nawab for burial.
A theory is being propagated on social media that Mahatma Gandhi had changed his religion and he was not a Hindu when he died. This theory is viral on social media and many people are sharing it from their Twitter handle.
The theory is based on two different claims. The first claim says that Gandhi's ashes were not immersed in water as per Hindu rituals, rather was given to Nawab of Rampur, 'Nawab Raza Ali Khan'. The ashes were then buried by Nawab Khan. Later the Samajwadi Party's MP Mohammad Azam Khan embellished it. The second claim of the same theory says that none of Gandhi's sons participated in his funeral as he had converted to Islam.
The same Tweet was published on the website named, 'Tarang news'.
The Tweets were shared from the Twitter handle Kattar Hindu.
Mahatma Gandhi sons didn't participate in his funeral and the ashes of Gandhi's mortal remains were not immersed in the river rather given to a Nawab for burial.
Searching in the photo gallery of gandhiheritageportal.org, with the keyword funeral, The Logical Indian found a photo of Mahatma Gandhi's pyre in Raj Ghat.
In the same website, while searching with the keyword Asthi, two images were found. One in which decorated urn of Gandhi's ashes were being taken out from the Birla House, Delhi and second in which a decorated vehicle with ashes was on its way to Sangam in Allahabad. Thus, Gandhi's ashes were immersed in the river Ganga in Allahabad.
But, the entire ashes of Gandhi's mortal remains were not immersed.
Since Gandhi was considered a saint not just in India but globally too, thus, to placate the ailing hearts of the people, Gandhi's entire ashes were not immersed in river Ganga. Ashes were sifted and divided into many parts which were distributed within the nation and to foreign countries. One of the parts reached to Aga Khan who enshrined it in Pune. Another part of it is available in Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Los Angeles. A part of his ashes was also sent to Singapore. Similarly, even in India, many friends and family of Gandhi received the ashes.
Thus, the claim that Gandhi's ashes were not immersed in water was false. Moreover, the Gandhi Samadhi in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur is one of the many Samadhis across the globe where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi is buried.
Claim 2: Gandhi's sons were not present in the funeral.
On Youtube channel, British Pathe, the video of sifting of Gandhi's ashes and people encircling the ashes are clearly visible. British Pathe is a website that contains many historical reels and documentaries. In the same video Ramdas Gandhi, son of Gandhi was also present, according to the YouTube descriptions.
Further in a report by UPI, it was found that Gandhi's youngest son Devdas Gandhi touched fire to the pyre.
A report by The Guardian, mentions that Gandhi's great-granddaughter, Nilamben Parikh immersed Gandhi's ashes into the Arabian sea. It says that Harilal, Gandhi's eldest son, did not perform his father, Gandhi's last rites and let his younger brothers perform it.
Another photo of Gandhi's son Devdas along with Jawaharlal Nehru carrying the asthi for immersion can also be seen. Thus, it can be concluded that Gandhi's sons Devdas and Ramdas participated in father's funeral but it was just his eldest son, Harilal who did not participate in the funeral.
After debunking both the claims on which the theory was based, The Logical Indian comes to the conclusion that the conspiracy theory falls flat and is nothing more than mere propaganda to malign the image of Gandhi.