A photo posted by a former cricketer and member of parliament, Lok Sabha namely Kriti Azad depicting the ongoing Manipur Violence in the backdrop with our Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the front page of the well-known magazine India Today is making waves on the Internet. Moreover, the tweet shared with the hashtag #NeverVoteBJP made headlines on social media. Let’s see the truth behind this viral image.
What’s the truth?
While we started our research using the simple Google reverse image process, we came across the same front page issue of India Today magazine but with a completely different person in place of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After seeing the original cover, we looked at the image posted on Twitter with more suspicion. While examining the picture a little deeply, we were able to see the name of the Manipur Chief Minister namely N. Biren Singh written in an invisible font near the picture of Narendra Modi. This revelation was indeed shocking.
Yes, the original cover of the India Today magazine carries the photograph of the Manipur, CM N. Biren Sing was published on the month of August 2023, with the title “Manipur: Shameful blunders. Inept state leadership and delayed action by the centre caused mayhem in the state. What can be done”.
We further confirmed this by seeing the website of India Today’s editor’s page and saw the original cover having Manipur CM Biren Singh for their August edition.
But, what we see now in the Twitter handle of the former cricketer and TMC leader Kriti Azad is a digitally modified photo of PM Narendra Modi in the place of CM Biren Singh.
Manipur is a state in north-eastern part of India. On 3 May 2023, ethnic violence erupted between the Meitei and the Kuki communities in the state. The state is facing severe violent clashes from that day to now. Because of this ongoing issue without any resolution from the state and central government, CM Biren Singh and PM Narendra Modi are scathingly criticised by all the people in India. The India Today magazine has addressed this Manipur violence and published the above August issue with the Manipur CM image. But, this original cover was misused and misled.
Look at the comparison of the original with the digitally altered image below:
COMPARISON OF THE ORIGINAL AND THE EDITED COVERS OF INDIA TODAY
To make things crystal clear, India today itself has shared both the images from their Twitter handle and called it out for the misleading claims with the morphed picture of prime minister Narendra Modi in the place of Manipur CM Biren Singh. They even warned the users of taking legal action against such fake images and the spreading of distorted claims. Some Twitter users have also shared the same message from India Today, which can be viewed here and here.
At a time when our country is battling hate mongers and propagaters of fake news, it is upon media houses like ours to ensure the truth and only the truth reaches you. India Today strongly condemns this act of attempting to malign the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India through this… https://t.co/1AjObir5Mm pic.twitter.com/1Kow3AMHoh
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) August 2, 2023
Thus, its clearly visible that the viral image with Modi under the title “Manipur Shameful Blunders” is a digitally doctored image.
Therefore, we conclude that the photo featuring Narendra Modi on the India Today cover posted by former cricketer Kriti Azad is a digitally engineered image with misleading claims. The original cover actually features the Manipur CM Biren Singh.