On the 14th of November, when Hindus around the world were celebrating Diwali, the most auspicious festival for most Hindus that marks the homecoming of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of Vanvas, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was busy secularising the festival. On the evening of 14th November, Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter to wish people ‘Jashn-e-Chiraagh’, using the image of an anchor of MirrorNow, Sahar Zaman.
Shashi Tharoor used an image of Sahar Zaman on MirrorNow, with the ticker saying ‘Jashn-e-Chiraagh Mubarak ho’. Along with the image, Shashi Tharoor wrote, “The brilliant @saharzaman has come up with an Urdu greeting for #Diwali — “Jashn-e-Chiraagh Mubarak!” I love it. Spread the light!”
Essentially, Tharoor attributed the absurd Urdu greeting for Diwali to Zaman, however, he was more than happy with the secularisation.
Soon after Shashi Tharoor posted this tweet, many realised that the image being used by Shashi Tharoor was morphed.
Only a few hours before Shashi Tharoor got rather excited about ‘Jashn-e-Chiraagh’, Sahar Zaman had herself tweeted a screen grab of herself from when she was on-air Mirror Now.
In the image tweeted by Zaman, the timestamp of the screen says that the screengrab was taken from Mirror Now at 5:21 PM. The ticker in that picture said “Donald Trump maintains ‘no lockdown’ stand in US”.
However, it was the very same image that was used by Shashi Tharoor with the ticker, that was original about Donald Trump, morphed to say “Jashn-e-Chiraagh Mubarak”.
If one looks closely, the timestamp on the image used by Shashi Tharoor also says 5:21 PM.
Responding to Tharoor, the anchor had rather merrily accepted the greeting and said that she rather likes the sound of ‘Jashn-e-Chiraagh’.
Nonetheless, as soon as Tharoor tweeted, several people pointed out to him that the image was morphed and that the anchor herself had tweeted the original image that had nothing to do with the Urduisatioin of the Diwali greeting.
So @ShashiTharoor photoshopped a tweet of Muslim anchor of Mirror Now to so secularism. Such a fraud these Congressi are. They leave no chance to hurt hindu Sentiments.— Facts (@BefittingFacts) November 14, 2020
Real 👇🏻 Fake 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/E6ppLRILhc
It is here when the theatre of absurd unfolded. While people were calling out Shashi Tharoor for sharing a morphed image, the tweet by Sahar Zaman where she had tweeted the original image with the ticker about Donald Trump and his Covid measures, was deleted.
While many thought that it was at the behest of Shashi Tharoor, one cannot be sure if she deleted the original image that she had tweeted at the behest of Tharoor or on her own accord.
Thereafter, Zaman proceeded to defend Shashi Tharoor and say that it was not him that had morphed the image and shared it on Twitter, but it was her who had decided to use the image to wish her family and friends on “Jashn-e-Chiraagh”.
CLARIFICATION: All u guys pls relax. Request to pls understand that this is exactly how I have used my image to wish all my friends & acquaintances. It’s an image created by me , and not photoshopped by anyone else. #HappyDiwali . Enjoy the festival of lights, Jashn-e-Chiraagh. pic.twitter.com/vISGPhA2Rm— Sahar Zaman (@saharzaman) November 14, 2020
“All u guys pls relax. Request to pls understand that this is exactly how I have used my image to wish all my friends & acquaintances. It’s an image created by me, and not photoshopped by anyone else. #HappyDiwali. Enjoy the festival of lights, Jashn-e-Chiraagh”, she tweeted to an individual who was questioning Tharoor for using a photoshopped image.
Turns out, while Netizens were questioning Shashi Tharoor was morphing the image of an anchor, the anchor herself turned up to defend Tharoor by claiming that she was the one who had created the image to wish her friends and acquaintances. Further, she deleted the real image that she had tweeted earlier so those who perhaps missed the Twitter outrage since they were celebrating Diwali do not stumble upon it and start the outrage anew.