A photograph of a minor boy helping another tie his dhoti is viral with a false claim that it is a childhood photo of Alapan Bandyopadhyay, former chief secretary of West Bengal and his late brother journalist Anjan Bandyopadhyay.
BOOM reached out to Alapan Bandyopadhyay who confirmed that the two boys seen in the photograph are not the Bandyopadhyay siblings.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay has become the face of tussle between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee after the Centre, in a surprise move on May 28, sought for the former's services and asked him to report immediately as the chief minister's principal advisor. The move came days before the 1987-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre was set to retire on May 31. Post this, the Union Home Ministry has served a show-cause notice to Bandyopadhyay under the Disaster Management Act for his absence from the Cyclone Yaas review meet chaired by PM Modi.
The viral image shows a group of young boys help each other tie their dhotis, a tradition of Ramkrishna Mission educational institutes, as they pose for the camera.
The image is doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook with a claim in Bangla, "This is a rare image. Two residential students of Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission. Person who is helping another wear a dhoti is the administrative head of Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay. And the other is journalist Anjan Bandyopadhyay, who recently passed away. Circa 1975."
(Original Texts in Bangla: এটি একটি দুর্লভ ছবি। নরেন্দ্রপুর রামকৃষ্ণ মিশনের আবাসিক ছাত্র দুজন। যে ধুতি পড়াচ্ছে, সে আজ বাংলার প্রশাসনিক প্রধান আলাপন বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়, আর যাকে পড়াচ্ছে সে সদ্য চলে যাওয়া সাংবাদিক অঞ্জন বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়, সাল 1975।)
BOOM also received the verification request for the image via its Whatsapp helpline.
BOOM reached out to Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who confirmed that it was not him or his brother Anjan in the viral photo. He said that he and Anjan both did study in Ramakrishna Mission school and would wear dhotis but they were not the children in the picture. "My brother and I, both studied in Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur and had to wear dhotis. In fact, we also stayed in a similar hostel."
He further explained that the tradition in the photo resembles what is followed in Ramakrishna Mission schools but added, "the photograph is a real-life one but we do not feature in it."
Bandyopadhyay recently lost his brother Anjan Bandyopadhyay to COVID-19. Anjan Bandyopadhyay was a senior journalist of Bengali television.