At this point, far-left propagandists are grasping at straws in their efforts to somehow malign the government.
Prominent far-left accounts today made a sensational claim — that the President of India had unveiled a picture of an actor playing Subhas Chandra Bose instead of Netaji himself. TMC’s Mahua Moitra, who is best known for spreading fake news, said that only God can save India. “After donating ₹5 lakhs to the Ram temple the President honours Netaji by unveiling a portrait of Prasenjit, the actor who played him in biopic. God Save India (because this government certainly can’t),” she tweeted.
“So it turns out that this is a portrait of Prasenjit Chatterjee who acted as Netaji in a movie! Surely @rashtrapatibhvn could have found a nice original Netaji portrait to put up!” wrote leftist propagandist Rajdeep Sardesai.
Barkha Dutt has now slid into irrelevance, but even she tried to throw her hat into the fake news ring. “Shocked to hear that the President unveiled the portrait of actor Prasenjit Chatterjee, who played #Netaji instead of the real deal. I wish this were a headline from the Onion. I had to look twice to make sure it had actually happened. How utterly embarrassing,” she tweeted.
A similar claim was made by troll Swati Chaturvedi. “Sir, you have unveiled the portrait of an actor who played Netaji,” she tweeted to the President of India.
The founder of the leftist propaganda rag The Wire made the same claim too, who saw “allegories” in the supposed picture being put up. “I see so many allegories about India in this absolutely hilarious instance of a film actor’s face being unveiled in Rashtrapati Bhawan instead of Netaji’s. Next is Ben Kingsley instead of Gandhi,” he sneered.
But as it turns out, the embarrassment would soon squarely on the side of the left-leaning propagandists, because the picture that President Ram Nath Kovind had unveiled was very much that of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose himself.
The picture in question had been shared by Chandra Kumar Bose, who is the grand nephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, over a year ago. It shows a faded black-and-white photograph of Bose, complete with smudge marks and even a white spot where the flash had hit. This was clearly an old photo of Bose, and not one of an actor playing him.
The portrait unveiled by the President is clearly a drawing inspired by this photograph. Here are the two pictures side-by-side. On the left is the picture shared by Bose’s grand-nephew; on the right is the picture unveiled today by the President.
To top it all, the photo looks nothing like what the actor Prosenjit looked like in his portrayal of Netaji. Here is Prosenjit in the movie Gumnaami and the photo unveiled by the President side-by-side.
The Hindu’s Nistula Hebbar additionally said that the portrait unveiled by the President had been drawn by artist Paresh Maity based on an actual photo of Subhas Chandra Bose, which is the same photo which had been shared by his grand-nephew.
As such, the claims of the portrait being that of actor Prosenjit as opposed to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose are fake, and possibly malevolent. It’s highly unlikely that all these left-leaning propagandists suddenly had the same idea that the photo resembled an actor instead of Netaji himself — the speed with which the fake news spread signals that it was a coordinated campaign to sow distrust around the 125th birth anniversary of the late freedom fighter.
UPDATE: Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt and Mahua Moitra have deleted their tweets after being exposed. We’ve updated the article with the screenshots of their tweets.