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Fact Check: Cartoon showing Congress, Gandhi family ‘looting India’ is morphed

Fact Check: American cartoonist Ben Garrison drew a cartoon depicting India being looted under Congress’ rule, which some claimed was mocking the Gandhi family. However, in the fact check it was found that the cartoon was edited.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Published on: June 02, 2024 10:51 IST
Fact check of Congress party and the Gandhi family in a bad
Image Source : X Fact check of Congress party and the Gandhi family in a bad light

FACT CHECK BY NEWSMETER: A cartoon depicting the Congress party and the Gandhi family in a bad light is circulating on social media.

The cartoon portrays the Congress party as a cow eating a leaf shaped like the map of India. The cow's defecation goes into a bucket labelled for the Indian people, while its milk is collected in a bucket labelled for the Gandhi family.

The accompanying text on the image reads, “American cartoonist Ben Garrison’s depiction of the state of India. The best way to show how Congress ruled India.”

Sharing the image (archive), an X user, S Gurumurthy, wrote, “Nehru to Rahul Rule couldn’t have been depicted better. (sic)”

India Tv - Fact check

Image Source : X/@SGURUMURTHYViral cartoon

Fact Check

NewsMeter's investigation revealed that the cartoon was altered and its initial version portrayed India being 'looted' by foreign investors rather than implicating the Gandhi family.

Upon conducting a reverse image search, we discovered the same cartoon (archive) shared by X user in February 2021, with a similar claim.

In the comments, an individual shared a screenshot of a 2015 Facebook post featuring a different version of the cartoon, which pokes the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative rather than targeting the Gandhi family. The user asserted that this is the original version of the cartoon, not created by Ben Garrison, but by Amal Mehdi in 2015, aiming at the BJP.

Here is a comparison of the two versions.

India Tv - Fact check

Image Source : XComparison of the two versions

In the second version featuring the artist's signature by Mehdi, the cow represents the ‘Make in India’ initiative, providing milk to the bucket labelled 'for foreign investors'. The rest is the same.

To verify whether Mehdi is indeed the artist of the second version, claimed to be the original unaltered cartoon, we conducted a search for Mehdi, leading us to his Facebook account. We discovered that Mehdi posted both the altered and original versions on his Facebook account on March 28, 2024. In the caption, he stated that both images had been circulating on social media for the past nine years. Additionally, he also mentioned that he did not make money from his cartoon.

India Tv - Fact check

Image Source : FACEBOOKAltered and original version posted by Amal Mehdi

NewsMeter has contacted Mehdi for his statement, and the story will be updated once his response is received.

We also found Ben Garrison’s X account. In a 2017 post (archive), Ben clarified that he has never drawn cartoons on Indian politics, stating that the cartoons attributed to him on the topic are not his work. His website confirmed this statement, as it contained no cartoons on Indian politics, including the viral one.

Based on the evidence gathered, it can be concluded that the viral cartoon portraying the Gandhi family as looters of India has been altered. In the original version, the artist was taking a jibe at the government’s ‘Make in India initiative’. Therefore, the claim that the cartoon is originally by Ben Garrison and targets the Gandhi family is false.

Claim Review: American cartoonist Ben Garrison drew a cartoon making fun of the Gandhi family looting India under Congress’ rule.

Claimed By: X users

Claim Reviewed By: NewsMeter

Claim Source: X

Claim Fact Check: False

Fact: The claim is false. The original version of the cartoon pokes fun at the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and how it is helping foreign investors instead of Indians.

(Disclaimer: This story was originally published by NEWSMETER, and republished by India TV as part of the Shakti Collective.)



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