Search Results


No Result Found.

Fact Check : Was leave approved only to Rajiv Gandhi during Indo-Pak war in 1971?

  • Share


Due to lack of evidence, we haven't provided any conclusion to the claim that Rajiv Gandhi was the only pilot of Indian Airlines whose leave was approved during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

A screenshot of a report is being widely shared on Whatsapp with the claim that Rajiv Gandhi was the only pilot whose leave was approved during the Indo-Pak war in 1971. We received the following screenshot from one of our readers.

The user further told us that his father was in the Army during those days and this news is false.

Our Investigation

We found a few websites on the internet who claim that Rajiv Gandhi was approved leave during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. According to them, the leave applications of all pilots under Indian Airlines were cancelled so that they could provide logistic support. However, apparently Rajiv Gandhi’s leave was approved and he, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi fled to Italy. They only returned after General Niazi had signed the surrender papers. According to the date of publications,

Kanchan Gupta, who is a political analyst based at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in Delhi and editor of the party's official organ, BJP Today first published about this under the article "Where was Sonia when India was at war? And after Mrs Gandhi lost in 1977?" on April 23rd 1999. This article talks about the incident mentioned above and Sonia Gandhi’s Anti Patriotic behaviour. It also highly criticises her actions, talks about how Sonia Gandhi is not of Indian origin and even talks about our constitution and how it lets a person who has acquired Indian citizenship to run for the post of Prime Minister. However, it is seen that most claims from this particular article are not linked with citations nor are the sources mentioned. Rajiv Gandhi leaving to Italy during the Indo-Pak war is mentioned, but where did the writer get this information from is not mentioned.

Very similar claims have been made by Pika Post on an article published on October 4, 2015. This article also has failed to include sources of information and has no citations. The latest article regarding this was published by Post Card on February 4th 2018. This particular article was shared by several people on social media.

Same as the previous articles, this article also narrates the incident of Rajiv Gandhi’s absence during crucial wartime and also heavily talks about how shameful Congress is. Just like the previous articles, no citations and sources have been given.

A similarity among all three articles is that all of them have quoted Sonia Gandhi saying that "It is here that I will breathe my last. It is here that my ashes will mingle with yours and my loved ones," ( referring to India ). These articles seem to accuse her of her anti-patriotic actions which are against her claims of being patriotic and indebted to the country till the end. However, their claims and accusations can only be considered valid if they had sourced their claims but unfortunately they haven’t.

Rajiv Gandhi as a Pilot

After attending college in the United Kingdom Rajiv Gandhi returned to India in 1966 and became a professional pilot for the state-owned Indian Airlines. He went on to become a check pilot on Avros, and would almost certainly have risen fairly high in the airline hierarchy if he had not left shortly after getting his licence endorsed for flying Boeings in 1980. 

We couldn't find much information about his career as a pilot but Vijay Agarwal has shared his experience with Rajiv Gandhi as a pilot.

Ranjiv Gandhi's leave in 1971

We couldn't find anything to support the claim that Rajiv Gandhi was the only pilot whose leave application was approved in 1971. But Kanchan Gupta is a reputed journalist and without evidence, we can't assume that whatever he has written is false. We have contacted him for his response on this matter.

In order to confirm whether the 1971 Rajiv Gandhi incident took place, Fact hunt has also contacted Minhaz Merchant who is the author of the biography of Rajiv Gandhi. He is yet to respond to our message and his response will be updated as soon as it is received.

As of now, we can't conclude anything about this claim.


  • Share

Note: You can reach out to us at support[at] if you find any issue with our articles.


{{comment.user.fname}} {{comment.user.lname}}, {{}}



Please Login or signup to share your views on this article

Support Fact Hunt




All you need to know about opposition leaders state-sponsored hacking claim
by FactHunt Admin 2023-11-01 07:02:25
No, Passengers without Burqas Were Not Prevented From Boarding A Bus In Kerala
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-31 13:27:53
List of 17 Nepalis shared as Indians kidnapped by Hamas
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-18 12:54:13
Fact Check: Was an Afghanistan Cricket team supporter beaten by Indians during world cup?
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-13 14:59:58
Debunking the Claim: US Navy Carrying F-16 Fighter Jets to Israel
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-12 18:21:17
Daughter Nandana denies news of death of her father Amartya Sen
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-10 19:47:46
Edited Press Release shared on social media to falsely claim that US sends $8Bn in aid to Israel
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-10 07:02:46
Viral Video From Azerbaijan Falsely Shared As Israeli Generals Detained by Hamas Fighter
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-10 05:04:02
Uday Kotak Calls Out Impostor LinkedIn Account Promoting Crypto currencies
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-07 15:40:48
Debunking the Myth: Giant Octopus Attacking a Car in Qatar
by FactHunt Admin 2023-10-06 19:06:05
Image of a train decorated with Flowers for Onam is AI generated
by FactHunt Admin 2023-08-25 19:42:05
Debunking the Myth: Tea or Coffee Without Brushing Doesn't Cause Cavities
by FactHunt Admin 2023-09-10 19:57:56
Debunking the Claim that SBI Will Deduct Rs 57.5 After 40 Withdrawals a Year
by FactHunt Admin 2023-08-12 18:28:15
Jamtara Scam Case Study: How to Stay Safe in the Face of Online Frauds
by FactHunt Admin 2023-06-07 20:36:37
Navigating the NFT World: Common Scams in the NFT Industry
by FactHunt Admin 2023-05-25 20:24:31
Understanding Cryptocurrency and the Prevalence of Scams in the Crypto Industry
by FactHunt Admin 2023-05-02 20:05:39
Debunking Online Scams: How to Recognize and Avoid Internet Fraud
by FactHunt Admin 2023-04-07 19:53:38
Fact Check: Doctored photo of BJP flag hoisting viral as a sign of "lotus blooming" in Tamil Nadu
by Aniket Datta 2022-06-08 12:50:03
Debunking the Money Received Scam on UPI payment apps like Google Pay
by FactHunt Admin 2022-12-20 19:26:40
Fact Check: Did Sourav Ganguly actually resign as the BCCI President? Rumours abound;
by Aniket Datta 2022-06-01 18:35:03

Mobile App

Available for Android


Subscribe to our newsletter to get notification about new fact checks, feature updates, etc..