By: Rajini KG
February 10 2023
The video was taken when Sitharaman visited Varanasi and met K. V. Krishnan, great-nephew of the famous poet Subramania Bharati, and not her father.
A video of India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interacting with an elderly man went viral on social media ahead of the 2023-2024 budget session. The video was posted by one Sudhir Mishra (who is a journalist according to his Twitter bio) on his verified Twitter account on January 28, 2023. The video was captioned in Hindi: "This is our country's "Finance Minister N Sitharaman ji", meeting her "father" had gone to work in the town! How simple, simple, and gentle, is a family (translated)." The video shows Sitharaman sitting beside the elderly man and talking to him. The tweet has received over 21,000 likes and the video has been shared by many users on Twitter and Facebook with captions appreciating Nirmala Sitharaman for her humility.
According to Nirmala Sitharaman's bio on the ministry of finance website, the minister was born in 1959 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Her mother's name is Savitri Sitharaman, and her father is Narayanan Sitharaman. Sitharaman’s parents visited the Parliament to witness her first budget speech in July 2019 after she became the finance minister in May 2019. Indian news channel ABP News uploaded a video on its YouTube channel showing Sitharaman's parents ahead of her first budget speech on July 5, 2019. It was captioned: "Proud Moment! Nirmala Sitharaman's Parents Attend Her First Budget Speech | ABP Uncut." At 0:28 seconds, the video shows Narayanan and Savitri Sitharaman heading toward the entrance of the Parliament. BQ Prime also published a video of the family on July 5, 2019. It was titled, “Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Parents Reach Parliament.” As seen in the videos, Sitharaman's father is not the same man in the viral claim and bears no resemblance to him.
After establishing the man in the video is not the finance minister's father, we conducted a reverse image search using keyframes from the video in the claim to find out his identity. According to Logically’s research, the person in the viral video is KV Krishnan, the great-nephew of poet Subramania Bharati. The viral clip of Sitharman meeting Krishnan was shared on the TV24 Studio YouTube channel on December 5, 2022. It was captioned: "FM Nirmala Sitharaman Visits The Kumaraswamy Mutt In Varanasi | Kashi Tamil Sangama." The official Twitter handle of the office of Nirmala Sitharaman also posted a few images of her visit to Varanasi on December 3, 2022. The tweet says, “Smt @nsitharaman visits Siva Madam in Varanasi and interacts with the family members of Mahakavi Bharathiyar, including his 96-year-old great nephew Shri K. V. Krishnan. #KashiTamilSangamam.” Kashi Tamil Sangamam, a month-long event held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, honors the historical and cultural ties between north and south India. CNBC-TV18 also posted a collated video of visuals from Sitharaman's visit to Varanasi and an image from her interaction with KV Krishnan. The video further proves that the gentleman in the now-viral video is KV Krishnan and not Sitharaman's father, Narayanan Sitharaman.
After several users pointed out to Mishra that the man in the video was not Sitharman's father, he wrote in a reply that users should read the term “father” in the original post as “father-like (translated from Hindi).” However, he did not delete the original post with the false claim.
A video of the finance minister interacting with poet Subramania Bharati's great nephew KV Krishnan during a visit to Varanasi was falsely portrayed as a video of her interaction with her father. Therefore, we mark this claim false.