Leftists are now not only spreading fake news through clandestine WhatsApp and Telegram groups — they’re spreading it openly through verified accounts on Twitter.
Jawhar Sircar, who is a former IAS Officer and Prasad Bharti CEO, today shared a picture on his verified Twitter account which showed PM Modi bowing before Nita Ambani. “Wish fellow parliamentarians and others in politics also received such courtesy and bonhomie — from their permanently-scowling PM. In a mature democracy, we would know the two-way relationship, favours, transactions. Some day, history will tell us,” he claimed.
Jawhar Sircar seemed to be implying that PM Modi was somehow beholden to the wife of the richest Indian, and was thus showing her courtesy that he didn’t show to other people. But there was a problem — the image shared by the former Prasar Bharti CEO was morphed.
This is the original image, which was perhaps morphed by Jawhar Sircar to propagate his narrative. The woman in the image is Deepika Mondol, who belongs to an NGO called Divyajyoti Cultural Organisation and Social Welfare Society. Jawhar Sircar appears to have morphed Nita Ambani’s face upon the face of Deepika Mondol, and shared the image on his verified Twitter account.
Incredibly, Jawhar Sircar tried to brazen it out even after it was pointed out to him that the image was fake. After Social Tamasha shared a fact-check as a reply to his tweet, he hid the reply in an apparent bid to continue spreading his propaganda. He also blocked the account of Twitter user Desi Mojito who’d pointed out that the image was fake.
It’s understandable why Jawhar Sircar feels empowered to keep spreading his fake news — Twitter applies dubious fact-checks and manipulated media labels only on nationalistic handles, and left-leaning propagandists such as Sircar are empowered to keep spreading their fake images without any fear of penalty.
Update: Jawhar Sircar has now deleted his tweet, but is yet to issue an apology or clarification for sharing the fake image.