A Chinese looking Sardar Patel? If social media is to be believed, the first pictures of the Statue of Unity have revealed that Sardar Patel’s face has very strong Chinese features. The world’s largest statue built at a cost of Rs. 2989 crores is ready to be inaugurated on October 31st. The Chinese involvement in construction of the statue has come under much criticism with Rahul Gandhi calling it a “Made in China” statue. Congress supporters have now gone a step further and claimed that it even looks Chinese.

The image and an equivalent narrative is also viral on Facebook.

What is the truth?

The face of the statue arrived in Gujarat in October 2017 and it looks nothing like the pictures that are being circulated.

Images of the statue being given final touches also show there is nothing Chinese about Sardar Patel’s features.

A google reverse search revealed that the image that is viral on social media as ‘Chinese Sardar Patel’ has been used as a stock image since a long time. It is available on Getty with the following description: “Internationaly renowned Indian sculptor Jashuben Shilpi gives final touches to a bronze statue of former Indian Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister the late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at her workshop near Gandhinagar some 30 kms. from Ahmedabad on October 31, 2008. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India, was born on October 31, 1875.” The photo credit reads SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images.

The image of Patel’s statue that is being circulated with the narrative that it looks Chinese is actually a 2008 image of a different statue of Patel, sculpted by Jasuben Shilpi. Shilpi, who was renowned for her bronze statues, passed away in 2013.

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