Shashi Tharoor shares photo of Pandit Nehru in Russia as a photo showing huge gathering in USA

Posted on 2019-09-24 05:22:33 by Neel Kamal


Shashi Tharoor tweets a photo of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi in Soviet Russia as an image from the USA.

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Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor tweeted a picture showing former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi on an open-top vehicle and a huge crowd cheering for them.

Along with the picture he wrote, "Nehru & India Gandhi in the US in 1954. Look at the hugely enthusiastic spontaneous turnout of the American public, without any special PR campaign, NRI crowd management or hyped-up media publicity."

He was perhaps taking a dig at Howdy Modi event in the USA. 

Picture from Moscow

The picture tweeted by Shashi Tharoor is not from the USA. A simple Google reverse image search shows that the picture is from Soviet Russia.

This image is available on the web mentioning that it is from Moscow in 1956.

The picture was shared on Reddit as well linking it to USSR. A Popular Twitter handle @IndiaHistorypic had also tweeted the same picture in the past linking it to Moscow.

After being called out for sharing the picture with a wrong context, Shashi Tharoor offered his explanation.

I am told this picture (forwarded to me) probably is from a visit to the USSR and not the US. Even if so, it still doesn't alter the message: the fact is that former PMs also enjoyed popularity abroad. When @narendramodi is honoured, @PMOIndia is honoured; respect is for India.

He had shared the same picture on Facebook as well. On realising his mistake, he updated the caption. However, his updated caption implies that Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi were welcomed in USSR by the American public. (You can check the edit history of the post.)

Truth About the Picture

True Indology had tweeted that the picture was clicked during social workers day in Magnitogorsk, Russia in 1955. Taking a cue from this, we did a reverse image search on Yandex, a Russian search engine and found several pieces of evidence to substantiate the claim of True Indology.

The picture is used in an article published by The article reads:

In August 1955, Jawaharlal Nehru came to Magnitogorsk with his daughter Indira Gandhi. The car - an open "Victory" - was "cut off" by the people from the motorcade. I was fortunate enough to run alongside - Indira, dressed in a sari, brightly painted, was terribly frightened by a warm meeting.

Here is another picture published in the article.

However, Nehru-Gandhi's Soviet trip started on June 7, 1955, and ended on June 23, 1955. We also found some media reports of the same event. Another website has published the same image. According to the report:

In June 1955, road workers in Magnitogorsk set a record: in a very short time they built a road from the airport to the city. Rumor had it that they did it all in one night. It seems like a bike, although the reason for such a rush was really significant: Indira Gandhi and her father, then the Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, flew into the city. On June 17, 1955, an Il-14 aircraft with Indian delegation on board arrived in Magnitogorsk. By the way, this date is considered to be official opening of the Magnitogorsk jetty.

Update: The article was updated to add more information about the picture.

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