An image of CPI leader and former president of JNUSU Kanhaiya Kumar has been shared on social media. It shows the politician purportedly giving a speech in front of a map depicting Indian states as part of Pakistan. From the Facebook page ‘I am with narender modi – नरेंद्र मोदी’, the photograph has received close to 200 shares.

The accompanying message reads, “इस कुत्ते के पीछे भारत का नक्शा देखो यह जेएनयू में पलने वाला कुत्ता है भड़वा है और इस देशद्रोही को पलवल आने का न्योता दो इसका इलाज पलवल में ही संभव हो पाएगा (See India’s map behind this dog. This dog was bred in JNU. This anti-national and traitor should be given an invitation to Palwal. His treatment is only possible in Palwal.)”

Alt News has received verification requests for the image on its official mobile application.

The image has in fact been doing the rounds on social media since February but was mostly shared without a mention of JNU in the caption. “दोस्तों कन्हैया को न देखिये…इसके पीछे लगे हुये भारतवर्ष के मानचित्र को गौर से देखिये….और कुछ लोग कहते है कि कन्हैया मासूम है निर्दोष है (Friends, do not see Kanhaiya…look at India’s map behind him…and some people say that Kanhaiya is naive and innocent.)” – read a caption on the Facebook page ‘NARENDRA MODI MISSION 2024 OFFICAL’.


A simple reverse image search on Google leads one to the original photograph which does not show a distorted map of India. The background is plain. The Hindu had used the image in a 2015 article, crediting it to photographer Sandeep Saxena.

The photograph was shot during a presidential debate for the 2015 student elections in JNU. A video of the event shows Kumar in the same background, wearing the same clothes. In fact, the featured image of the video is the same as the viral photograph.

“The photo of Kanhaiya Kumar is taken by me during JNU’s (Jawaharlal Nehru University) 2015 presidential debate. The event happened in September and I was there covering it,” photographer Sandeep Saxena told AFP.

In the backdrop of the JNU student protest, an image of a former leader of the university was photoshopped and shared on social media. In the original image, Kanhaiya Kumar is not standing in front of a map that depicts several Indian states as a part of Pakistan. For other misinformation related to the protest, read this detailed fact-check by Alt News.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.