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Soon after Navjot Singh Sidhu took over as the President of Punjab Congress and amidst congratulatory messages pouring in for him on getting this big responsibility, a viral post has been circulating on the online media. Navjot Singh Sidhu was appointed as the President cum Chief of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on the 18th of July, 2021, in the backdrop of rumors of a deep divide between him and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh over his appointment in the party. The viral image shows a morphed image of Mr. Sidhu holding a poster of late former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
However, it was found that Sidhu was holding a photo of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh which has been photoshopped with Indira Gandhi’s face. The photo was first shared with a caption in Gurmukhi script that translates to, “These Congressmen, in the picture are going to bow down to Harmandir Sahib. Can any congressman tell what kind of message is he trying to give to the people especially to the Sikhs by taking this photo?” The original text read- ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਮੱਥਾ ਟੇਕਣ ਚੱਲੇ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਕਾਂਗਰਸੀ । ਆਹ ਫੋਟੋ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਰਾਹ ਚ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਖਾਸ ਕਰਕੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕੀ ਸੁਨੇਹਾ ਦੇ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਕੋਈ ਕਾਗਰਸੀ ਦਸ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ ?)
The fake image appears to be flourishing with an intention to stoke an anti-Indira Gandhi sentiment among the Sikh community on account of the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots that broke out across the country following the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
All these posts on Facebook shows a misleading and photoshopped image of Navjot Singh Sidhu holding the late former Prime Minister’s poster.
The frame Sidhu hold out had Bhagat Singh’s painting, Indira Gandhi’s photo was morphed.
Upon reverse image searching the viral picture on Google, it was found that the original picture was posted by India Today the roadshow dated July 20, 2021. The article by India Today was titled- ” Navjot Singh Sidhu injured in road show in Amritsar as hundreds gather to welcome him | See Pics. Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu was welcomed by hundreds of people in Amritsar. The Congress leader suffered a slight foot injury during the road show, but continued the celebration despite the injury, read the byline.
A twitter thread posted by a user named Arshdeep Kaur on 20 July 2021 was also found. However, it didn’t show the poster of Indira Gandhi in Mr. Sidhu’s hand, but that of the famous freedom fighter, Bhagat Singh. The tweet was captioned ” Sidhu reaches Amritsar”.
— Arshdeep Kaur (@arsh_kaur7) July 20, 2021
On comparing the viral image with the original one, it was clearly found that the former had been morphed to include Indira Gandhi’s photo. The original picture showed the poster of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The Congress leader had also met people at Phagwara, Jalandhar, and was received by hundreds of people in Amritsar during his road show. This road show came right after Navjot Singh Sindhu sworn in as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief on 23 July, 2021, Friday at a ceremony held in Chandigarh. In his induction speech, he had also promised that he would not let down the state and would accept everyone into the party. Thus, most evidently, social media users shared a morphed image of Navjot Singh Sidhu holding a poster of late former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. While the claim is falsiying, truth is that Mr. Sidhu had a poster of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in his hand.