Statue of all ironies: Pritish Nandy uses example of fake news to spread fake news

Earlier, Nandy was caught spreading science is a myth propaganda.

In a major facepalm moment, Journalist and filmmaker Pritish Nandy, who once represented the Shiv Sena in Rajya Sabha, today used an example of fake news to spread fake news regarding Statue of Unity.

In what appeared to be a copy of a Facebook post, Nandy claimed that if you notice the features of Sardar Patel in the statue, it has no resemblance to the man that he was. The text in the post claimed that Sardar Patel’s statue is made in ‘Chinese style’ and this is what would happen if ‘Chines (sic) men will work on such projects’.

The image shared by Pritish Nandy is fake. In fact, we had busted this lie back in October when a Youth Congress leader had shared the same image of the statue with ‘Chinese features’ on social media. The picture on the right 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.

NOT Statue of Unity

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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:

Photo credit SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images

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 Pritish Nandy did not let facts get in the way of spreading a narrative.

Nandy was called out by people for spreading fake image.

When it was pointed out to Nandy by multiple people that the image he is sharing is not of Statue of Unity but of another statue, Nandy brazened it out and said how he had sourced it from the latest copy of outlook.

Of course, helpful people pointed it out again that the Getty stock image also shows the picture he is sharing of Patel with ‘Chinese features’ is another statue and not the same.

However, to verify whether Outlook shared a fake image of Statue of Unity, we went to their website to check out their latest edition. One of the cover stories is on ‘fake news factory’. It talks about how fake news are spread on social media by political parties across the spectrum.

Here is what Outlook said about the fake image shared by Nandy.

Outlook story on ‘fake news factory’ claiming fake news spread by Nandy being fake news.

So, Pritish Nandy shared an example from a story on fake news, to spread fake news. We are not making it up. Even as we update this article with his latest comments, he is not believing it.

We have no words, really.

Repeat offender

Nandy’s gullibility at falling for forwarded messages on other social media channels is not new. Earlier he had claimed how despite switching over to LED, his electricity bill had spiked, insinuating that science is a myth.

Except that UJALA initiative of the government of distributing LED bulbs in bulk has led to an estimated savings of Rs. 16,464 crore a year.

Meanwhile, Nandy could subscribe to OpIndia on WhatsApp by sending a hello to +917980429661 so that he does not fall for fake news.

Note: In light of new information available on the source of image shared by Pritish Nandy, the article has been updated accordingly.


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