An edited image purporting to show PM Modi and pop star Rihanna sitting besides each other while Modi stares at her inappropriately is viral online. BOOM found that the image has been photoshopped and the two have never been photographed together publicly.
PM Modi is currently on a three-day state visit to the US, where he held a rare press conference and took questions from journalists along with President Joe Biden at the White House. When asked about discrimination against minorities and silencing critics, PM Modi said that "there was no question of discrimination" and that "democracy runs in the DNA of India". He added, "We have always proved that democracy can deliver. And when I say deliver, this is regardless of caste, creed, religion, (or) gender."
The photo of PM Modi and Rihanna is circulating in this backdrop to claim that he was looking at the the singer inappropriately. It is being shared with the caption, "Isi liye bola Bhakto ko …don’t go to RSS shakha where life is turned into a pathetic joke."
The post is also circulating on Twitter.
BOOM found that the photo has been digitally altered to show the PM and Rihanna together.
A reverse image search of the portion with Rihanna in the image led us to an article from Mirror published in 2017. According to the story, Rihanna was being honoured with the Humanitarian of the Year award at Harvard University where she was photographed wearing a grey dress.
The caption credited the image to stock photos website Getty Images. Taking a clue from this, we looked for the photo on Getty's website and found an exact match. The caption read, "CAMBRIDGE, MA - FEBRUARY 28: Rihanna receives the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year Award at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on February 28, 2017 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)"
A reverse image search of PM Modi from the image on Google Lens led us to an article by Pro Kerala, published on April 19, 2019. The story showed PM Modi wearing the same outfit and was titled, 'PM Modi at convention of traders'. According to the story, PM Modi attended a traders convention at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi along with then Union Minister Vijay Goel. Similar reports by The Indian Express and The Tribune were also published around the same time.
Click here to view.
We also found photos of PM Modi at the convention shared by Getty Images. See here.
Here is a comparison between the viral photo and a photo from the traders' convention: