An old internet forward titled 'Read the opinion Bill Gates has about Indian people' falsely attributed to the Microsoft Corporation co-founder has been revived on WhatsApp.
BOOM was able to confirm through a spokesperson for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that the viral message did not originate from Gates.
"This statement [in question], on Indian economy and culture, has nothing to do with Mr. Bill Gates. Any attribution to Mr. Bill Gates is completely and totally incorrect. This is a false statement," a spokesperson told BOOM in an email reply.
The message explains why India is not a superpower and is critical of people who spend money on religious rituals, instead it urges people to offer practical help to those in need.
BOOM received the below message on its WhatsApp helpline (7700906111) asking us to verify the same.
The statement attributed to Bill Gates reads:
"Read the Opinion, Bill Gates has about Indian people !!! India is the richest country in the world... "Even if you sell the wealth of temples, churches and mosques in India, it shall become a superpower" But the funniest thing is people fail to understand that they are like Servants in their nation. Owing to which a farmer commits suicide cursing God and his misfortunes. The poor in this country fails to recognize the true culprits behind his poverty. The youth is unaware of the people responsible for his unemployment. Do you gather Punya by offering hairs or money to God, really..?? Does prosperity come to you by offering a coconut or clothes to goddesses.?? In realty...
Hair and coconuts or money offered make big business. What does one achieve by offering Gold/Silver..?? Infact these are just auctioned off. Of what use is such Charity....
Try to donate seeds to farmers. Try to help in a poor girls marriage. Try to adopt an orphaned child. Try to feed a hungry person. Try to help a handicapped person. Try to donate to a village school library. Try to donate to an old age home. Schools in villages have no shelter but temples have Marble flooring. Parents make hundred queries for donating Rs 200/- to a school but donate in thousands to a temple without any question. Will such a nation become a superpower in real sense. You call yourselves an agriculturist nation and your farmers commit suicides almost in every state. Please not only. Read and forward it .. " (Sic)
The same message has been viral since 2018 and was even posted by Congress leader Priya Dutt in November 2019.
BOOM ran a keywords search using sentences from the viral message. We found a website named Miscw (archive), that published the exact same text on January 14, 2018. The article appears to be one of the earliest instances of the viral message. It has no introduction section or about us section. The only thing about the website is mentioned on the bottom left corner where it ambiguously stated, "The future of news is not an article."
The image of Bill Gates used in the article was taken in 2010. A Wall Street Journal article used it in 2013 with a caption that reads: "Bill Gates meets with a farmer in the Indian village of Guleria in May 2010 to talk about the country's polio program. India has now been polio-free for more than two years."
In addition we found no evidence of anything similar to the viral message written or spoken by the billionaire philanthropist.
Updated On: 2020-10-23T17:18:59+05:30
Claim : Bill Gates opinion for India is that the country can never develop because the people in India have blind faith in temple, mosques, churches...
Claimed By : Social media
Fact Check : False