A collage of four photos has gone viral with the claim that they are photos of President Droupadi Murmu, PM Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in their youth. The viral claims imply that all four personalities come from humble backgrounds and yet have achieved high levels of success.

Eknath Shinde’s alleged picture shows him in front of an embellished auto rickshaw. It is common knowledge that Shinde used to drive an autorickshaw to support his family before he joined politics. In Narendra Modi’s alleged image from his youth, he can be seen sweeping the floor. Droupadi Murmu’s alleged picture shows a young saree-clad woman wearing a headgear. And Yogi Adityanath’s image shows him meditating on a platform, clad in saffron clothing. The names of the dignitaries have been superimposed in Telugu at the bottom of each repspective image.

Telugu News outlet Hashtag U published an article on July 27, claiming the same.

The collage was shared on Twitter several times. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

The image that claims to be that of Eknath Shinde has also been separately shared.(1, 2, 3, 4)


Photo 1: Eknath Shinde standing in front of an autorickshaw

We came across several comments on Twitter that claimed that the man in the image is actually Baba Kamble, president of the Maharashtra Rickshaw Panchayat.

Taking this as a clue, we did a keyword search on Google and found that several major media outlets have clarified that the man in the viral image is not Eknath Shinde, but Baba Kamble.

Below is a video report by Aaj Tak talking to Baba Kamble.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ks3Gl7D04w]

Alt News reached out to Mr Kamble who clarified that the man in the image is indeed him. Mr Kamble said, “The image was clicked in 1997. At the time, we had made the Raat-Rani rickshaw stand in Pimpri-Chinchwad for passengers who travelled at night. This image was clicked during the Shravan month. We usually do a puja (prayer) and decorate our rickshaws. I had also done the same when this picture was taken”.

Alt News also found an image posted by महाराष्ट्र रिक्षा पंचायत पुणे on July 22.

महाराष्ट्र रिक्षा पंचायत संस्थापक अध्यक्ष कष्टकऱ्यांचे नेते बाबा कांबळे यांचा रिक्षा सोबत फोटो रिक्षा चालवताना 19 97…

Posted by महाराष्ट्र रिक्षा पंचायत पुणे on Friday, 22 July 2022

Translation of the caption- “This photo is of Maharashtra Rickshaw Panchayat Founder-President and labour leader Baba Kamble driving a rickshaw in 1997 and worshipping the rickshaw in the month of Shravan at the Ratrani Rickshaw Stand in Pimpri”.

Hence it is evident that the man in the picture is not Eknath Shinde, but the President of Maharashtra Rickshaw Panchayat, Baba Kamble.

Photo 2: Young PM Modi clicked while sweeping

On a Google reverse image search, we found that the image where PM Modi can be seen sweeping the floor was viral on the internet since the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Alt News has debunked the same image in 2019 when a major news media channel, India TV broadcasted this image on their show – ‘Unheard stories of PM Narendra Modi’ – a twenty-minute special on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life.

An RTI petition filed in 2016 revealed that the photograph was fake. According to Janta ka Reporter, the RTI reply said, “…It is stated while the information sought does not form part of records, it may be noted that the said photograph is morphed and the person in the photo is not Mr Narendra Modi”. Below we have added a screengrab of ABP Live‘s report on the same.

The original photo of the man holding a broom can be found here. Thus, the alleged photograph of Narendra Modi is actually morphed.

Photo 3: President Droupadi Murmu in her youth

Judging by the image quality, it appears that the picture was most likely clicked recently. To probe further, we performed a Google reverse image search which lead us to a News18 article on Droupadi Murmu, dated July 23, containing the same image. According to the article, the woman in the image is Sukumar Tudu, a sanitation worker at the primary health centre at Uparbeda, the village where President Murmu was born.

Screenshot of the News 18 article

Hence it is evident that the woman in the picture is not President Droupadi Murmu.

Photo 4: Young Yogi Adityanath

On a Google reverse image search, Alt News found that the man in the image is indeed Yogi Adityanath. This image has been used by several major media outlets in articles that profile him. One of them is Mumbai Mirror’s article called Mascot of Hindutva and a man of integrity. The article was published on March 19, 2017, days before Yogi Adityanath was appointed as the CM of Uttar Pradesh.

Excerpt from Mumbai Mirror’s article

We also found a second image of this event clicked from a different angle. Sharing this photo on Twitter, a user wrote that they found the image in the Gorakhnath Mutt records.

Thus, three of the four images used in the collage have been falsely claimed as images of President Droupadi Murmu, PM Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde in their youth. Only Yogi Adityanath’s image was found to be true

About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.