On 8th Dec, journalist and former Rajya Sabha member Pritish Nandy shared a photo of Sardar Patel's statue on Twitter claiming it to be the Statue of Unity and alleging that the statue bore no resemblance to Patel.
Nandy tweeted the photo with the caption, “The statue of Sardar Patel is so tall that you can hardly see his face. If you did you will notice there is no resemblance to the real man.”
The image shared by him seems to be a screenshot of a Facebook post. The text in the post claimed that Sardar Patel’s statue is made in ‘Chinese style’ and this is what would happen if ‘Chines (sic) men will work on such projects’.
Earlier in Oct, Congress supporters had shared a similar post.
Another user had also called the statue of unity defective and tweeted "@narendramodi Are taxpayers going to remember that they contributed to a defective manufacturing and delivery? Why Non-compliance was not initiated so we conclude no 3D Printing used for absolute perfection"
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Using reverse image search tools, we found that the photo is indeed a statue of Sardar Patel but this is not the Statue of Unity. The statue in the photo is installed at Gandhinagar in Gujarat and was built by late sculptor Jasuben Shilpi. The photo shared by Mr Nandy is a cropped version of a full-length image available on Getty Images.
The caption on Getty Images reads "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. AFP PHOTO/ Sam PANTHAKY (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)".
Here is a comparison of the image shared by Mr Nandy and the statue of Unity. If you will carefully look at the chest portion, you can easily figure out that the statues in the two images are not same.
A user shared his image with a 25 ft replica of the 75 ft face of the statue of unity.
Here is the actual image of Sardar Patel.
If we compare both the images, the face in the statue of unity closely resembles the actual face of Sardar Patel.
When Mr Nandy was pointed out of his error, he claimed that Outlook has also carried the same image in its latest story.
But when we checked the outlook story, we found that Mr. Nandi has clearly misunderstood the article by Outlook. The story talks about how fake news is spread on social media by political parties across the spectrum. The image in question was shared as an instance of fake news.
The statue in the viral image is indeed a statue of Sardar Patel but this is not the Statue of Unity. The statue in the photo is installed at Gandhinagar in Gujarat and was built by late sculptor Jasuben Shilpi.
The face in the statue of unity closely resembles the actual face of Sardar Patel.