Youth Congress leader spreads fake photo of Statue of Unity

On Saturday, Core committee member of West Bengal Congress social media cell and Social media team coordinator of Youth Congress Vinay Kumar Dokania posted an image on Twitter which is supposed to be a photograph of Statue of Unity, the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which being built in Gujarat. He had posted two images, one photo of Sardar Patel and next to it a photo of a statue of Patel. He also wrote “Thank u Modi ji for Getting The makeover of Sardar Patel in Chinese style”, implying that it is photo of Statue of Unity, and noting that features of the face of the statue do not quite match with the person himself, but it has resemblance with a Chinese person.

Congress supporter spreading fake image of Stature of Unity

Soon the tweet was shared by many people on Twitter, most of them commenting that the face does not match Patel and looks like a Chinese or East Asian person. Some of them also asked PM Modi why a ‘defective’ statue of Sardar Patel is being built with public money.

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But is it really a photo of the world’s tallest statue that is being built? If you look at the statue, it indeed looks a bit different from photos of Patel that we have seen. But if you pay attention, you will notice that the statue is under a shed supported by a steel structure, which is visible on the top right corner of the photo. This observation prompted us to investigate the photo further, because we have seen numerous photos of the under-construction statue in media and social media, and never saw it being under such a shed. In fact, building such a tall steel structure will be a major project in itself. This means there is a high possibility that this is some other statue of Patel and not the one being talked about.

Using image search tools available online, we have found that this photo has been extensively used in various media reports for the last several years. Fine tuning our search, we have zeroed onto the source of the image. We have found that this photo is available in stock image site Getty. Here is the full image, which is an AFP photo credited to Sam PANTHAKY, clicked on October 31, 2008:

It is evident from the photo that the statue is clearly nowhere near touching the record of world’s tallest statue. The description of the photo says that is a Bronze statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is being built by renowned sculptor Jashuben Shilpi at her workshop near Gandhinagar.

The sculptor is seen working on the statue in the photo, which gives a clear idea about the size of the sculpture. But Vinay Dokania has cleverly cropped the photo to retain only the head of the statue, so that its true height can’t be guessed from the photo. Here is another photo of the statue from a different angle, from Getty Images:

Based on this we can confirm that the youth Congress leader from WB is spreading misinformation regarding the Statue of Unity. The statue in the photo is a different statue of Sardar Patel. Moreover, based on photos of the actual statue being built, it is safe to assume that facial the features of statue matches with Sardar Patel the person and does not look like a ‘Chinese’ person.

The progress of the progress can be tracked in this website, where photos of the statue is regularly updated.

It is not a big surprise that a Congress leader is using a fake photo to attack BJP. Party leader Rahul Gandhi himself is relentlessly attacking the government on Rafale based on totally false allegations, so it is no wonder that his comrades are also following his footsteps only.


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