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Fact Check: Old, morphed visuals shared as protests against PM Modi’s recent visit to Kanyakumari

Some edited visuals were shared to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Kanyakumari for meditation was faced with protests by the people of Tamil Nadu.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Kanyakumari (TN) Published on: June 03, 2024 16:57 IST
Fact Check, PM Modi
Image Source : X Fact Check


The Verdict [Misleading]

Two of the visuals are being shared on social media which are unrelated to PM Modi’s recent visit to Kanyakumari. The first image has been morphed while the second one is from 2023.

What is the claim?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, to meditate for nearly 48 hours after the conclusion of the campaigning for the last phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Amid his visit which began on May 30, a set of three visuals in which slogan “Go Back Modi” is visible prominently in each, went viral on social media, claiming that the people of Tamil Nadu are reacting to the Prime Minister’s visit  to the state.

PM Modi’s visits to Tamil Nadu have seen some protests in the past few years with the protestors using the slogan “Go Back Modi”.

In the collages, the initial image features a railway station signboard displaying "Kanyakumari" in both English and Tamil, with the striking addition of "Go Back Modi" nestled between the words. Following this, a video captures a man liberating black balloons emblazoned with the identical anti-Modi message. Speaking in Tamil, he announces, "Thousands of these balloons are poised to take flight tomorrow." Lastly, a video montage emerges, amalgamating various photographs of posters echoing the sentiment "Go Back Modi."These visuals are viral social media with the caption, "That's how the people of #TamilNadu are responding to the 2 days visit of PM Modi to Kanyakumari, who is suppose to meditate at #RockMemorial, a monument built in tribute to #SwamiVivekananda, in #Kanyakumari (sic)." Another user also shared the photo of the railway station signboard with the hashtag "Go Back Modi". Archived versions of these posts can be seen here, here and here.

India Tv - Viral post


What are the facts?

During the fact check, it was found that the first image is old and morphed and the second video was from 2023. However, the third video does show recent developments in Tamil Nadu.

The railway station signboard

Through the reverse image search, the original image was traced back to a photo essay on the photography news site PetaPixel. The website had published the image on March 9, 2016. The focal point of the piece centered on India's "longest train," the Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express, noted for its extensive journey spanning 4,273 kilometers from Assam's northeastern edge to the southernmost point of mainland India, Kanyakumari. A photo essay accompanied the article, spotlighting an original image captioned "End of the line." This picture showcased a signboard featuring Kanyakumari's name in Tamil, Hindi, and English. However, upon closer inspection, a comparison with a viral image reveals editing; the Hindi line originally stating Kanyakumari now bears the phrase "Go Back Modi."

Other highlights in the Petapixel photo like the passengers in the background, the bench, and the electrical line matched the visuals in the viral image. The findings established that the latter was manipulated to include the anti-Modi slogan.

India Tv - Fact check


Video of man with black balloons

Through reverse image search, it was found that an X user (archived here) had posted the same video on April 9, 2023, with a caption in Tamil that translated to "Go Back Modi."

Further research led the fact check team to an article published by The News Minute on April 8, 2023, headlined "Modi visit: Police detain Congress leader, seize black balloons in Chennai." The article carried a screenshot of the man from the viral video, confirming that the incident dates back to April 2023. The report said that MP Ranjan Kumar, chairman of Tamil Nadu Congress's Scheduled Castes wing, had stocked up 500 such black balloons in his house and nearly 2,000 with the Congress cadre in Sathyamoorthy Bhavan. He had reportedly planned to release them to oppose Modi's visit to the city.

India Tv - Fact Check


The Hindu also reported on the incident, adding that Kumar was detained by the police and noted that multiple protests were held by Congress in the state against PM Modi.

PM Modi visited Chennai in Tamil Nadu on April 8, 2023, to flag off the Vande Bharat Express train between Chennai and Coimbatore, to inaugurate a new terminal building at the Chennai Airport, and to inaugurate several other infrastructure works.

Video of anti-Modi banners put up in different places

While searching for recent reports about "Go Back Modi" posters in Tamil Nadu, we found several news stories published on May 30 carrying the same images of the same poster used in the video montage.

ETV Bharat reported that such "Go Back Modi" posters have created a stir, writing that a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) lawyer, Hemanth Annadurai, condemned Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu by making these posters and pasting them all over the main areas of Chennai like Tiruvallikeni, Pookadai and Parimuna.

Seithipunal, a Tamil-language news media, also reported that the posters had been created by a lawyer from DMK and pasted at places "like Chennai High Court Complex, Central Railway Station, GH, Anna Road, Gemini Overpass, MLA Hostel, Chennai Press Club, Anna Institute, Anbakam Road." 

The posters also carry a photo of Hemanth Annadurai. He himself had shared several images of the posters as seen in a post on his X account on May 30 (archived here). 

India Tv - Old post

Image Source : SCREENSHOT/XOld post

The verdict

Old and morphed visuals are being shared to claim that PM Modi’s recent visit to Kanyakumari triggered protests. Therefore, the posts are termed misleading in the fact check.

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


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