A picture in which a person is sitting on a chair and setting the national flag ablaze is viral on social media. The image has a text superimposed on it that reads, “RSS member burning Indian flag is ok in New India”. It has been claimed that the person seen in the picture is associated with the RSS.

User Pankaj Sharma posted the photo on Twitter, asking whether the government is not enraged by such incidents. (Archived link)

Twitter user Kumar Ambedkarvadi also tweeted the photo with the same claim. (Archived link)

Another user named Imran Kamil also amplified the image and accompanying claim. (Archived link)

The image is widespread on Twitter with the same claim.


Alt News performed a reverse image search and came across a tweet posted by user Girish Bhardwaj from April 2018 containing the photo. The tweet states that the man in the picture is an “arts” teacher in a school in Tamil Nadu named M Prabhu. The teacher reportedly staged a protest against the government by burning the Indian flag. (Archived link)

Upon further investigation, we found the image in a 2018 article by Edexlive, the education arm of The New Indian Express. According to the article, the man in the video is 34-year-old M Prabhu who teaches painting. He is also affiliated with the Tamil nationalist organization ‘Tamil Desiya Periyakkam’. Angered by the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) even after a Supreme Court order, M Prabhu burnt the tricolor in protest of the BJP-led central government. The police arrested Prabhu after the video went viral.

It is worth noting that fierce protests broke out in Tamil Nadu in April 2018 after the central government missed the deadline set by the Supreme Court for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

We also found a video from 2018 which contains more information about the photo.

To sum it up, a four-year-old picture is falsely being shared as a photo of a man associated with the RSS burning the tricolour.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a senior fact-checking journalist and researcher at Alt News. He has a keen interest in information verification and technology. He is always eager to learn new skills, explore new OSINT tools and techniques. Prior to joining Alt News, he worked in the field of content development and analysis with a major focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).