Edited photo of AIMIM leader Owaisi holding Lord Ram's portrait goes viral amid Indian polls

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 17 2024

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Edited photo of AIMIM leader Owaisi holding Lord Ram's portrait goes viral amid Indian polls

Screenshot of the viral image that show AIMIM President AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi supposedly holding a portrait of Lord Ram. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The original image is from 2018 and shows AIMIM President and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi holding a photo of social reformer Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Claim ID 3bdb9b27

What is the claim?

An image showing Asaduddin Owaisi, chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and a Member of Parliament (MP),  purportedly holding a framed picture depicting Hindu god Lord Ram is being shared widely on social media amid the ongoing Indian general polls. 

In some viral posts, Owaisi is depicted standing with other men, purportedly holding a portrait of Lord Ram. The accompanying Hindi caption, same for all, insinuates that Owaisi, fearful of losing the elections, is showing himself to be a Lord Ram devotee to get votes during the elections. Archived version of the post and others making similar claims can be found here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the viral X posts. (Source:X/ Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Owaisi is contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections from the Hyderabad constituency in Telangana, a seat he has held for four terms. Polling in Hyderabad was held on May 13 during the fourth phase of the general election, for which the results will be announced on June 4.

The viral image of Owaisi purportedly holding Lord Ram's portrait has also been shared on Facebook with similar captions, and archived versions of such posts are available here and here.

Screenshot of some Facebook posts. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false, as the image is edited.

What did we find?

A reverse image search using the viral photo led us to a post shared on April 7, 2018, on Owaisi's verified Facebook account. This post included a photo (archived here) of Owaisi holding a framed portrait of social reformer and independent India's first law minister, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and not Lord Ram.

The post's caption read: "Dalits from Mochi Colony met #AIMIM President Barrister Asaduddin Owaisi at AIMIM party headquarters #Darussalam & thanked him for taking development activities in their area (Ramnaspura div Bahadurpura Constituency)." 

Source: Facebook

Below is a comparison of the 2018 image with the now-viral one. The same men surround Owaisi in the same positions as in the viral photo, with the only difference being that they hold up Dr. Ambedkar's portrait.  

Comparison of the viral photo, which has some visual discrepancies, with the 2018 image. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

Also, on closely observing the viral image, one can spot the distortion around the right-hand corner of Lord Ram's portrait. Here, one of the hands of a man holding the framed photo is quite blurred. Also, in the viral image, the edges of the photo frame are not well-defined. All these discrepancies indicate that the original 2018 image was edited to show Owaisi holding a portrait of Lord Ram instead of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.

We also did not find a photo of Owaisi from April 7, 2018, with the same people seen in the viral picture holding a portrait of Lord Ram on any of his or his party's social media accounts.

Logically Facts has previously debunked false claims about Owaisi, including an edited video falsely showing him chanting a Hindu prayer and a photo incorrectly claiming that Owaisi visited a temple.

The verdict

An edited image has been falsely shared to claim that Asaduddin Owaisi was holding a portrait of Lord Ram. The original image, from 2018, shows Owaisi holding a picture of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar instead.

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