On June 21, several social media accounts of the Indian National Congress shared an image of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi addressing a crowd of army men. As per the claim, this speech was given to the Indian army soldiers in Galwan valley, the region where 20 Indian troops were recently martyred in clashes with China.
The image was tweeted by Uttar Pradesh Congress (archive link), gaining over 2,000 retweets. Some of the other official INC accounts that posted the image were Youth Congress (archive link), Delhi Youth Congress (archive link) and Daman and Diu Congress Sevadal (archive link).
UP MLA Aradhana Misra-Mona (archive link) also posted the image along with the same claim. Mona wrote, “Modi ji! Take inspiration from Indira Gandhi and bring back pride to Mother India. (मोदी जी! इंदिरा गांधी जी से प्रेरणा लीजिए, भारत माता गौरव वापस दिलाइये।).” Other INC members who posted the viral image include — vice president INC Delhi Ali Mehdi (archive link), IYC Chattisghar president Purnchandra Padhi (archive link), state president, western UP youth congress, Omveer Yadav (archive link) and national secretary and social media in-charge Vaibhav Walia (archive link).
Alt News performed a reverse image search on Google, along with relevant keywords, and found that the viral image was published by a blog art-sheep.com. The caption for the image read, “Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi addressing jawans in Leh in 1971.”
Using this as a clue, we performed a keyword search on PTI’s photo archive and found the viral image.
The Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) tab under ‘Properties’ revealed that the photo was added on October 30, 2009. The description read, “One of the rare pictures of former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi addressing jawans in Leh in 1971, as the nation prepares to observe her 25th death anniversary.” This photo has been attributed to DPR Defence. As per Google Maps, Leh is at least 219 kilometres away from Galwan valley which is adjacent to the Galwan river flowing from the disputed Aksai Chin region to Ladakh.
Several social media accounts associated with Indian National Congress and members of the party used a photo of Indira Gandhi in Leh as the ex-PM addressing Indian army soldiers in Galwan valley in 1971.
Photo circulated with false claim across social media
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.