Old image from Kolkata with 'Go Back Modi' graffiti resurfaces claiming to be from Tamil Nadu

By: Vivek J
April 12 2023

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Old image from Kolkata with 'Go Back Modi' graffiti resurfaces claiming to be from Tamil Nadu


The Verdict False

The photo is from the 2020 CAA protests held in Kolkata. It is unrelated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Chennai visit this month.

Claim ID 02ce9426

(Editor's Note: This story was first published on April 12, 2023, and has been republished from Logically Facts' archives in light of claims resurfacing on social media in connection with PM Modi's visit to Kanyakumari in May 2024.)


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Chennai in Tamil Nadu on April 8, 2023, to inaugurate a new terminal building at the Chennai Airport, flag off the Vande Bharat Express train between Chennai and Coimbatore, and inaugurate several other infrastructure works. His visit witnessed widespread protests across Tamil Nadu with an online campaign with hashtags like #GoBackModi trending, among others. Some also released black balloons with "Go Back Modi" written on them. According to reports, cases were filed against 1,150 people for organizing protests in the state. 

Several images with placards and graffiti with the writing "Go Back Modi" surfaced on social media platforms implying that it was from the latest protests. One such image showed the same text written on the road. This was shared by several users protesting Modi's visit. However, this image of the graffiti on the road is not from the recent protests in Chennai. 

In Fact

On conducting a reverse image search of the viral images of the Chennai protests, we found that the graffiti that read "Go Back Modi" has been online before 2023. Social media users have previously shared this image claiming to be from Chennai on a previous visit by Modi in February 2021. 

In October 2020, the same image was alleged to be from Bihar during the 2020 state elections. However, the oldest image of this graffiti was shared by a Kolkata-based journalist Mayukh Ranjan Ghosh on Twitter on January 11, 2020. In the post, he wrote, "This is one of the busiest roads in Kolkata. #Esplanade. Lakhs and lakhs of people commute, jam-packed traffic r seen. Just look at this place tonight. Roads turned into graffiti, no traffic, all roads blocked, students protesting overnight (sic)." 

Prime Minister Modi had been to Kolkata in January 2020 on a two-day visit when students, including the Students Federation of India (SFI), held several protests across various locations in the state capital. They used placards and graffiti to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) proposed by the union government. 

Some articles that reported the protests against Modi's visit had the image of the same graffiti taken during the day from various angles. The caption on one of the images from an article by the Times of India read, "Graffiti left behind from Saturday's protest."

With a closer look at the viral image, the writing "Metro channel control post. Hare Street police station" can be seen. This is one of the locations where the protests against the citizenship law took place in January 2020. 

The Verdict

An image of the graffiti that read "Go Back Modi" was widely shared following the protests in Chennai over the prime minister's visit, implying that it was from Chennai in April 2023. This image has been shared several times, claiming to be from different protests in Chennai and Bihar. However, it is actually from the anti-CAA protests in Kolkata in January 2020. Therefore, we are marking this claim as false.

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