A map of India is being shared around on social media, where each state is compared to a country based on the population. This is being shared with the claim that an American CEO had made this map to demonstrate how India is indirectly handling the COVID-19 crisis of many countries, owing to its large population.
The claim is false; the map has no link to COVID-19, as it has been shared multiple times on the internet since 2016 - more than 3 years before the outbreak began.
The map was sent on BOOM's WhatsApp helpline number with the following caption:
"This is Indian map redesigned by an American CEO where he marked the Indian states population which is almost equal to population of some of the countries. He tried to explain to his employees that India is indirectly handling COVID-19 situation of so many countries. It's about the management of the problem in an efficient manner. He praised Modiji in this unique way. The world is recognising efforts of Modiji but some insider slaves and traitors are still criticising Modiji of mismanagement of COVID-19 in India."
In the map, you could see names of other countries written, instead of the names of states.
Keyword searches on Twitter and Facebook revealed that the image is viral on both social media platforms.
Bharatiya Janata Party's National General Secretary Ram Madhav also shared the image, with a similar caption.
👆This is Indian map redesigned by an American CEO where he marked the Indian states population which is almost equal to population of some of the countries.— HomeDoc (@HomeDoc4) April 14, 2020
He tried to explain to his employees that India is indirectly handling COVID-19 situation of so many countries. pic.twitter.com/pNiQ5Hgz2r
BOOM also found the map being shared with similar Hindi captions, but without the mention of COVID-19. The Hindi posts claimed that the map is drawn by a non-residential India (NRI), "who is also an American CEO". The captions further highlight the challenges of running a country which contains the population of many other countries.
अमेरिका के एक NRI ने, जो कि अमेरिकन कम्पनी का CEO भी है, उसने भारतीय मैप को RE-DESIGN किया है,— @pushpendra shukla (@Pushpen32523996) April 14, 2020
अपने कर्मचारियों को समझाने के लिए,
कि सिर्फ जनसंख्या के अनुसार हिन्दुस्तान के प्रत्येक प्रदेश( STATE WISE) की जनसंख्या विश्व के किस देश के लगभग समान है।#IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/PFTRLG0rZZ
We ran several keyword searches, but did not come across any credible news report on an American CEO drawing such a map. We then ran a reverse image search of the map, and came across a large number of posts from as early as 2016, carrying an image of the map.
The earliest post we could find, that carried this map, was made by Twitter user Amit Ranjan, who describes himself as an employee of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The caption simply said, "Thought provoking map! --> "Indian states mapped to countries of equivalent population." There was no mention of any NRI or American CEO drawing this map.
A few days later, the same map was shared by Erik Solheim, who was previously a diplomat from Norway to India. Solheim made no mention of who drew the map either.
India population now at 1250 mill.— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) April 29, 2016
Look at this map - India is not just another country - it's enormous! pic.twitter.com/IKn4Q4BY10
As the map got more viral throughout the years, the caption got more elaborate - with "American CEO" and "NRI" being added eventually.
अमेरिका के एक NRI ने, जो किसी अमेरिकन कम्पनी का CEO भी है, उसने *भारतीय मैप* को *RE-DESIGN* किया है, अपने कर्मचारियों को समझाने के लिए, कि सिर्फ *जनसंख्या के अनुसार* हिन्दुस्तान के *प्रत्येक प्रदेश( STATE WISE)* की जनसंख्या विश्व के किस देश के लगभग समान है।#MeraBharatMahan— यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः॥ (@saivenkat1106) May 13, 2018
In April, 2020, the map appeared on social media once again - and this time the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was added to the narrative.
Updated On: 2020-04-15T17:42:25+05:30
Claim : Image shows map designed by an American CEO to praise Indian governments response to COVID-19.
Claimed By : Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp
Fact Check : False