In the second week of December, a video that shows Fortune Atta’s ad on an Indian Railway locomotive was widely shared with the claim Adani had taken over Indian Railways. Fortune Atta is a product of Adani Wilmar Group’s sub-brand Fortune Foods. It has been shared by several Twitter and Facebook users.
A Twitter user posted the video and wrote, “ADANI RAILWAY.” (archived link)
ADANI RAILWAY pic.twitter.com/j2omJz4Jdt
— Er.Satinder Singh – ਮੈਂ ਵੀ ਕਿਸਾਨ (@Satinde38905077) December 12, 2020
Another user wrote, “What this means is that Indian Railways has also been sold to Adani.” (archived link)
— Ashokee13 Bhutedia (@AbBhutedia) December 14, 2020
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shared the video on her Facebook account and wrote, “BJP government has placed a stamp of his billionaire friend on the railways constructed with the hard work of crores of Indians. Gradually in the future, a part of the railways will be sold to Modi’s billionaire friends. (जिस भारतीय रेलवे को देश के करोड़ों लोगों ने अपनी मेहनत से बनाया भाजपा सरकार ने उस पर अपने अरबपति मित्र अडानी का ठप्पा लगवा दिया। कल को धीरे – धीरे रेलवे का एक बड़ा हिस्सा मोदी जी के अरबपति मित्रों को चला जाएगा।)”
जिस भारतीय रेलवे को देश के करोड़ों लोगों ने अपनी मेहनत से बनाया भाजपा सरकार ने उस पर अपने अरबपति मित्र अडानी का ठप्पा लगवा दिया।
कल को धीरे – धीरे रेलवे का एक बड़ा हिस्सा मोदी जी के अरबपति मित्रों को चला जाएगा।
देश के किसान खेती – किसानी को भी आज मोदी जी के अरबपति मित्रों के हाथ में जाने से रोकने की लड़ाई लड़ रहे हैं।
Posted by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday, 13 December 2020
Prior to these posts on December 12, Congress leader Hardik Patel posted this video on Twitter (archived link) and Facebook. He wrote “Adani’s fresh flour advertisement on Indian Railway is worth watching. Now we can firmly say that the farmers’ fight is on the path of truth.” This video has been viewed over three lakh times.
(Translated from भारतीय रेल पर अदानी के फ़्रेश आटे का विज्ञापन देखने लायक़ हैं। अब तो दावे के साथ कह सकते है की किसानों की लड़ाई सत्य के मार्ग पर हैं)
भारतीय रेल पर अदानी के फ़्रेश आटे का विज्ञापन देखने लायक़ हैं। अब तो दावे के साथ कह सकते है की किसानों की लड़ाई सत्य के मार्ग पर हैं। pic.twitter.com/WB97kaG6Fe
— Hardik Patel (@HardikPatel_) December 12, 2020
Adani trains are getting ready … pic.twitter.com/kbqNAdV8k6
— Nagma (@nagma_morarji) December 12, 2020
बस यही देखना बाकी था… pic.twitter.com/z3c56Fil0x
— Srinivas B V (@srinivasiyc) December 12, 2020
Key Context: One of the farm bills introduced this September was the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020. If passed, the bill will allow the farmers to sell their produce outside the government regulated Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC). Thus increasing privatisation in the agriculture sector. The impact of this bill will only be assessed after it is passed. However, several experts feel that the introduction of private players will lead to more exploitation of farmers. As the debate around the farm bills continues, protestors and the government are trying to negotiate the terms of the farm bills.
Misleading claim viral
The practice of advertising on Indian Railway locomotive is not new. In fact, it was incepted in the UPA regime.
In 2008, The Economic Times reported that Indian Railways was planning to introduce vinyl wrapping ads on trains. Using advanced keyword search on Google, we found a 2012 commercial circular by the Ministry of Railway that approved commercial publicity on trains using vinyl wrapping.
In 2013, YouTube channel DeshGujaratHD uploaded a video of locomotive wrapped in Amul’s branding.
In 2014, Twitter users Vikrant Kumar and Sreedhar Pillai posted ad wrapped on locomotive and train respectively.
First time saw advertisement on a Train Engine & its Amul 🙂 pic.twitter.com/1cKBpdXqsk
— Vikrant ~ विक्रांत (@vikrantkumar) June 8, 2014
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) October 20, 2014
The Indian Express reported in 2016 that Indian Railways was planning to wrap the outer surface of more than 10,000 trains and generate Rs 300 crore revenue. This was also retweeted by the Ministry of Railways. The increase in demand for vinyl ad wraps on trains has led several businesses to supply these wrappings.
Indian Railway eyes 300 crore revenue from wrapping trains with ads.https://t.co/V1E1v50IFq
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) August 18, 2016
Earlier this year TheRailzone, a YouTube channel about Indian Railways, uploaded a video about advertisement on locomotives. The following slideshow includes few stills from the video.
According to a March 2020 report by Financial Express “Recently, on 27 February 2020, a total of five additional WAP 7 locomotives were allotted to Adani Wilmar on pro-rata basis.”
Therefore, the social media claim that the viral video indicates that Adani has taken over Indian Railways is false. Congress leader Hardik Patel also attempted to make a controversy out of nothing.