By: Umme Kulsum
September 14 2023
The gold bold of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was carved by a jeweler in Gujarat. It has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia.
What is the claim?
A video showing a gold bust of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is widely circulating on social media platforms with false claims. The viral video shows PM Modi's bust stored inside a rotating glass cage with the text "156 gm" imprinted on it. The viral clip was shared on Facebook (archived here) with the caption, "People make statues out of wax, but in Saudi Arabia, a Muslim country, they made and installed a gold statue of Modi."
S.R. Shekhar, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) treasurer for Tamil Nadu, also shared the video on his official X account (archived here) with the caption written in Tamil. Loosely translated to English, the caption read, "As pure as gold, Modi who is living as a god in 140 crore people's hearts. The bust statue of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at fifteen and a half pounds, that too in Saudi Arabia, is a delight to see, isn't it?" This post was viewed more than 30,000 times and was reshared 272 times at the time of publication.
Screenshots of the claims made online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, this video of PM Modi's bust is from Gujarat.
What we found
After a simple reverse image search, Logically Facts found the same video uploaded on YouTube on January 30 by Hindi publication Dainik Jagran. The video title read, “PM Modi Gold Statue: गुजरात में बनाई गई पीएम मोदी की 156 ग्राम वजन की सोने की प्रतिमा (Gold statue of PM Modi weighing 156 grams made in Gujarat).”
We also found a longer video of the bust on News18 India's YouTube channel with a similar description that read, "PM Modi Gold Idol: सूरत में ज्वेलरी कंपनी ने बनाई पीएम मोदी की 156 ग्राम सोने की मूर्ति ( PM Modi Gold Idol: In Surat, a jewelry company made a 156-gram gold statue of PM Modi)." The video description stated that a jewelry manufacturing company from Surat, Gujarat, carved a 156-gram gold statue of PM Modi. The jewelers told News18 India that the bust was made considering BJP's win in Gujarat under PM Modi's leadership in 2022. The bust's weight was fixed at 156 grams, as the BJP won 156 seats in the state. The brand logo card placed next to the bust in the viral clip is also similar to the one in the video shared by News18 India.
Comparison of visuals from News 18 India’s video report and the viral video
(Source: News 18 India/X)
Several mainstream Indian news outlets published reports about Basant Bohra, owner of the jewelry-making firm Radhika Chains, who carved Modi's bust in 18-carat gold.
Bohra had told The Hindu, "I am a fan of Narendra Modi and wanted to make something as a tribute to him. It took around three months for nearly 20 artisans to make this bust at our factory. I am satisfied with the final outcome. There is no price tag because it is not for sale as of now."
According to the jeweler, the bust was completed in December 2022 and weighed slightly more than 156 grams, but after learning that the BJP had won 156 seats, the artisans made some alterations to reduce the weight, pushing its completion date to January, an NDTV report stated.
The state election was held in Gujarat in early December last year in two phases. The BJP formed the government after winning 156 seats with over a 50 percent vote share, while the Congress was a distant second with only 17 seats.
A video of PM Modi's bust created by a jeweler in Gujarat to commemorate BJP's victory in the state's assembly elections in 2022 has been wrongly attributed to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.