No, The New York Times did not publish a cartoon mocking Indian PM Narendra Modi

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
March 22 2024

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No, The New York Times did not publish a cartoon mocking Indian PM Narendra Modi

Screenshot of X posts with captions claiming that The New York Times published an article mocking PM Modi. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The publication did not publish the viral cartoon or any recent articles mocking Modi. The viral front page is fake and was created as satire.

Claim ID 750fc5bb

What is the claim?

Numerous social media posts have widely shared an alleged screenshot of The New York Times front page purportedly mocking Indian Prime Minister Modi. These posts claim that the American daily published a cartoon and an article disparaging Modi. 

The screenshot in question features a caricature depicting a king seated naked on a throne. The accompanying text claims that the Supreme Court of India has declared Modi 'naked' amid the ongoing controversy over electoral bond data. Several social media users on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook shared the alleged screenshot with captions claiming that international media outlets like The New York Times have reported that the electoral bond issue has left Modi 'naked.' (Introduced in 2017, electoral bonds allow anonymous donations to political outfits in India. A recent ruling by the Supreme Court led to revelations highlighting several big companies as political funders.)

One post sharing the viral clipping garnered over 121,000 views at the time of writing. Archived versions of the post and similar others can be viewed here, here, and here.

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

However, the purported newspaper frontpage attributed to The New York Times is fake. The outlet has not published any articles mocking PM Modi recently.

Did the daily publish the viral cartoon?

We noted that the date printed on the purported newspaper front page is March 15, 2024. We then reviewed The New York Times website and checked the front page of the edition for the same date. However, this page from the original edition differs immensely from the viral newspaper clip shared on social media.

Comparison between the viral and authentic newspaper clips. (Source: X/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts)

We also did not find the viral image or report mocking PM Modi on the daily's website. 

This proves the viral screenshot does not represent authentic content published by The New York Times.

What about the viral clipping?

A close look at the clipping shared in the viral posts reveals several key indicators underlining its inauthenticity. Firstly, the phrase "Satire Edition" is prominently displayed at the top, above the newspaper's masthead. We also noticed the words 'Reported By- @Educated Billa' in two places.

Moreover, we noticed a Hindi article at the bottom right corner of the newspaper clip, even though The New York Times is an English publication. Additionally, the clip referred to PM Modi as 'Feku,' a feature unlikely to be in The New York Times report. Misspelling 'Modi ji' as 'Moiji' is also not likely to make it to the newspaper.

Screenshot of the viral newspaper front page featuring the "Satire Edition" label and the Hindi article in the bottom right corner. (Source: X/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts)

Further, there are several inconsistencies in the formatting, font size, and images within the newspaper clip. These factors strongly indicate that the newspaper clip is fake.

Next, we found that the X account of 'EducatedBilla,' mentioned in the viral clipping, had shared this fake newspaper page on March 15. The archived version can be found here.

(Source: X)

In response to several comments on their post, the social media user (archived here) stated that the clipping was satire and claimed that they had created it using the editing software MS Paintbrush.

The verdict

The New York Times did not publish this viral article and cartoon mocking PM Modi. Our research has proved that it is a satirical image allegedly created by a social media user. Therefore, the viral newspaper clip is fake.

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