No, the same person did not pose as a potter and a footwear craftsman in photos with Indian PM

By: Ankita Kulkarni
September 28 2023

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No, the same person did not pose as a potter and a footwear craftsman in photos with Indian PM

Social media posts claiming that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was photographed with the same person who posed as a potter and a cobbler. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The two artisans seen interacting with PM Narendra Modi in photos captured on Vishwakarma Jayanti are different individuals.

Claim ID f280dcfa

What's the claim?

A collage of two images, both showing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with workers, has gone viral on social media with the claim that the same person posed as a footwear craftsman and a potter for the photographs.

An X post, which shares the screenshot of a post by another user, carrying the two images (archived here), was shared with the caption, "The event manager has been suspended for using the same fellow as cobbler and potter." This post alone had received over 44,000 views at the time of writing this story. Apart from X, the claim implying that PM Modi was photographed with people posing as artisans during a staged event is also circulating widely on Facebook (archive here). 

Screenshots of social media posts circulating online. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, Logically Facts was able to determine that the persons seen with PM Modi are different individuals. 

What did we find?

A reverse image search of the two pictures led us to a photo story published by NDTV on September 17, 2023. Both images have been shared in NDTV's photo story titled "Tailors, Masons, Cobblers: PM Modi's Day Out With Artisans In Pics." According to NDTV, the images were taken during Modi's visit to the YashoBhoomi convention center in New Delhi on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti—a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Vishwakarma, who is worshipped as the architect of the universe— where he interacted with tailors, masons, cobblers and other artisans. The image of PM Modi interacting with two potters, as also seen in the viral claim, was shared with the caption, "PM Modi meets potters at YashoBhoomi Convention Centre." Hindustan Times had also shared the same picture in a report relaying similar details. 

 Screenshot of an NDTV image featuring the potter. (Source: NDTV/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

We then came across an Instagram post shared by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad (EDII) on September 20. The post shared the same image of two potters seen in the viral post. The Instagram post read, "Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi interacting with Mr. Baijnath Prajapati, a master trainer from the Nizamabad Black pottery cluster in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, during the launch of the PM Vishwakarma Yojana in New Delhi." Logically Facts then contacted Baijnath Prajapati, who told us that the person sitting next to him in a white shirt was Surendra Prajapati. 

Surendra confirmed to us that Baijanth and he interacted with PM Modi when the latter visited their pottery stall. He said the person identified as footwear craftsman in the second picture was someone else. "We are not the same as the other person has a mustache, and I don't," he said. 

The second picture in the viral post, where Modi is slightly crouching to talk to a footwear craftsman, was shared in the NDTV report with the caption, "PM Modi meets a footwear craftsman at YashoBhoomi Convention Centre." Similar visuals from the photograph can be spotted in an India Today video report (between 0:31-0:38 timestamps) uploaded on YouTube on September 17, 2023. The video title reads, "PM Modi Meets Artisans And Craftsmen Related To Footwear Industry At Yashobhoomi Convention Centre."

Screenshots of the India Today video report featuring the footwear craftsman. 
(Source: YouTube/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

A Facebook video uploaded by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on September 18 shows the same person talking to the media. In the video, the man identified himself as Machendra Gangaram Kamble, a native of Belagavi in Karnataka. Speaking to Logically Facts, Kamble said, "I am aware that this kind of narrative is being shared, but the person in the first picture (of PM Modi interacting with artisans at a pottery stall) is not me." 

On comparing the images of the two men in question, it becomes very evident that they are different people. 

Comparison between images of the potter and the footwear craftsmen. (Source: NDTV/YouTube/Screenshots)

From the comparison, we could also infer that their clothes, which appear very similar, and the same kind of blue color ID card lanyard hanging around their necks might have led to the spread of inaccurate claims about them.

The verdict

Logically Facts spoke to the men in question and ascertained their identities. A closer look at the images clearly establishes that the two individuals seen in the viral collage are not the same person. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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