Did Indira Gandhi Force Sitaram Yechury To Resign During JNU Crisis?

Mohandas Pai shared an image out of context, that made this misleading claim.

Former Infosys director and private equity investor Mohandas Pai posted an image of Communist Party leader Sitaram Yechury from 1977, where he is seen reading out a memorandum by Jawaharlal Nehru University students to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, asking for her resignation as University Chancellor.

The image shared by Pai contains a text, falsely claiming that in 1975 Yechury was reading out an apology letter, after being forced to resign as JNU Student Union President by Gandhi.

Pai tweeted the image with the caption, "Folks is this true?" He also tagged Yechury to the post.

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The image shows a large gathering in front of Gandhi, while Yechury stands next to her, appearing to read out from a piece of paper in his hand. Men in police uniform surround the entourage. The piece of text embedded in the image reads:

"1975, Emergency

Indira Gandhi enters JNU with Delhi Police and beats CPI leader, Sitaram Yechuri who was at that time president of the JNU students union, and forces him to resign and read an apology letter for protesting against emergency.

This is called Iron Hand dealing with communists. Amit Shah looks saint in front of her."

BOOM took some keywords from the caption and did a quick search on Twitter and Facebook, only to find this photo being posted on both the platforms.




This image is being shared with the viral caption in the backdrop of the attack faced by JNU students last Sunday by a masked mob.

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Fact Check

BOOM cropped the text out of the viral image and did a reverse image search, which returned multiple links that shed light on the context behind the photo. One of them was a tweet, which gave a different narrative to what was going on in the photo.

According to user Korah Abraham (@thekorahabraham) the image shows "Sitaram Yechury as a student leader in JNU reading the memorandum presented by students on September 5, 1977 to Indira Gandhi, demanding her resignation as chancellor of the university." Abraham also states that Gandhi resigned after this protest.

Taking hints from the caption, we refined our results with relevant keywords and came across articles by Hindustan Times and India Resists, that confirmed Abraham's claim.

BOOM reached out to Yechury to confirm what happened at the varsity more than 42 years ago. Yechury too went on to confirm what was stated in the HT and India Resist articles.

"This photograph was not taken in 1975, it was taken in 1977 September. The students demanded that she resign as University Chancellor, which she did," he said. Yechury also sent BOOM the link to the India Resists article, confirming the accounts presented by Chaman Lal, who retired as professor in Hindi translation from JNU.

Did Indira Gandhi show aggression towards Yechury, as stated in the viral image?

Yechury's memories from that day claimed differently. "She was civil, alright. And then she just walked away."


Updated On: 2020-01-11T14:02:04+05:30
Claim Review :  Image shows Sitaram Yechury reading out apology letter to Indira Gandhi for protesting at JNU.
Claimed By :  Mohandas Pai, Twitter
Fact Check :  False
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