False: A Christian cross stands atop a historic pillar at India's Rashtrapati Bhavan.

By: Rajini KG
March 17 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
False: A Christian cross stands atop a historic pillar at India's Rashtrapati Bhavan.


The Verdict False

An image of the six-pointed Star of India, which stands on top of the Jaipur Column, was misrepresented as a Christian cross.

Claim ID a1bda86d


Former chief of India's premier investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), M. Nageswara Rao, posted an image of the Jaipur Column from Rashtrapati Bhavan (residence of India's President) on March 11, 2023, on his Twitter account claiming that a Christain cross was mounted on top of the iconic pillar. The photo, which has garnered over 630,000 views and more than 1,800 likes on Twitter so far, was captioned: "This is Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is the symbol of India's secular sovereignty. And who do you see there? A Christian Cross on a high column. What does it depict? That the President of India, a creature of the Secular Constitution, upholds the majesty of Christian Cross. That is the reality of India’s #PseudoSecularism." Apart from implying that the post of President did not uphold secular values, the retired officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) also took a dig at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and it’s parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). Rao's tweet further read, “Whereas duffers, chatukars (sycophants), slaves and paid-artistes of #PseudoHindutva RSS-BJP keep saying that either India is already a #Hindu_Rashtra or a Hindu Rashtra-In-Making. My foot !"

However, a simple search on the internet reveals that the claim made by Rao, who is infamous for his controversial opinions, is false, and atop the Jaipur Column is not a Christian cross but a six-pointed Star of India, made of glass. 

In Fact

The official website of Rashtrapati Bhavan-The Office and Residence of the President of India, has an entire page dedicated to the Jaipur Column. The webpage has several images of the pillar, the Jaipur Column, which is located in the center of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (known as the Viceroy's House during British rule) courtyard. According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan website, the Jaipur Column stands at a height of 145 feet and is made of sandstone. On top of the pillar is a five-ton bronze lotus from which rises a six-pointed Star of India. The lotus and the glass-made Star are attached to a block in the foundation by a steel tube that passes within the column. King George V and Queen Mary laid the foundation stone of the column on December 15, 1911. The column was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and sponsored by Maharaja Madho Singh of Jaipur. The Star of India was added to the column, one of the five columns at the Bhavan, in 1930.

According to an article published by The Indian Express, the six-pointed Star of India was placed atop the Jaipur Column to honor Indian rulers, chiefs, and British officers and administrators who served the British Empire in India. 

The website of the Royal Institute of British Architects also shows an image of the Jaipur column captured in 1931. On looking at the column straight from afar, the Star of India appears to be a four-pointed object, even though it is a six-pointed relic. No credible report or article on the Star of India claims that it is a symbol of Christianity or the Christian cross. The Orthodox Christianity website shows that all variants of the Cross have four sides. 

The Verdict

The Jaipur column at Rashtrapati Bhavan supports a six-pointed Star of India, not the Christian cross, on top of it. An image of the iconic pillar has been circulated online with a communal spin. Therefore, we mark this claim false.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before