A cropped photo of the late Indira Gandhi wearing a saree with the pallu covering her head and sporting a traditional collared coat is being shared with a false claim that it shows her wearing a burqa and covering her head with a hijab.
The photo shows late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi standing with Sonia Gandhi and a young Rahul Gandhi in the latter's arms. It is being shared with text that reads, "Indira Gandhi in burkha and Hijab and Rahul Gandhi wearing a cap...they made fools of entire Hindus"
BOOM found that the photo is cropped and the original shows her wearing a saree with the pallu wrapped around head and not a hijab. Additionally, the embroidered tlp is a traditional collared coat that Gandhi is wearing on the saree, and is not a burqa.
We first ran a reverse image search on the photo and found the same picture published in a 2020 Mumbai Mirror photo story featuring rare photos of Sonia Gandhi.
The photo was credited to a D Kumar and BCCL (Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited), the parent company of the Times of India group.
Using this as a clue, we ran a custom keyword search for Indira Gandhi on the Times Of India photo archives and found a full version of the same picture.
The photo was dated 'May 9, 1971 (tentatively)' and captioned as, "Prime Minister Indira Gandhi along with her grandson little Rahul, in the arms of his mother Sonia, poses for photograph at her residence in New Delhi on May 09, 1971."
In the full photo one can see Indira Gandhi wearing a saree with the pleats of the same clearly visible. The pattern of the cloth on her head matches the pattern of the rest of her saree.
A further search for the photo led us a clearer version of the same tweeted by the official handle of the Indian Youth Congress on January 10, 2018.
We used the Magnifier tool and compared the the design seen on her pallu in the IYC photo and the design seen on her saree in the Times archive photo, and found that it was the same. This proved that Gandhi is not wearing a hijab but has wrapped the wider hem part of her saree around her head.
Additionally, we used the Magnifier tool on the photo tweeted by the IYC handle and found a black elliptical button on the left and a small knot on the right visible on the black embroided top worn by Gandhi. The coat does not resemble the burqa worn by Muslim women.
While we could establish that Indira Gandhi is not wearing a hijab or a burqa, none of the available images show a clear photo of the cap worn by young Rahul Gandhi. We could not indepedently verify the type of cap worn by Rahul Gandhi in the viral image.