Washington: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump stoked another controversy after he posted a 'quote' on social media by Mahatma Gandhi, drawing sharp reaction from the US media which questioned the authenticity of the words attributed to the Indian leader.
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win - Mahatma Gandhi," Trump wrote on social networking site Instagram yesterday as part of his effort to rally supporters.
The post included a picture of hordes of supporters rallying at a Trump campaign stop in Alabama. Soon, the anti-Trump lobby was up in flames on the social media.
The Hill, a top US political website, said: "There's no record that Gandhi ever used the phrase, which has been widely attributed to him." The quotation appears to be similar to words used in a 1918 trade union address by socialist leader Nicholas Klein, it said.
Christian Science Monitor has put this among the top 10 political misquotes. There was no immediate response from the Trump's campaign on the issue. "Gandhi did not say this," one Scott T Smith wrote on twitter.
Trump sought to quote Gandhi a day after he was criticised for re-tweeting Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini early Sunday morning. "He got tired of quoting Mussolini and he's saving the Hitler quotes until he's really desperate," tweeted Brad Fraser.
Several popular websites have attributed the quote - First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win - to Mahatma Gandhi.
According to Wikiquotes, this is the quote which is often misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi. "A close variant of the quotation first appears in a 1918 US trade union address by Nicholas Klein," it said. Klein had said: "And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America."