A viral letter claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi is praising Yogi Adityanath, chief minister, Uttar Pradesh (UP) for building a Hindu nation is fake. The letter which bears a fake signature of PM Modi is dated August 7, after the Ram temple bhumi pujan event.
The letter reads, "Let me begin congratulating you and your team for your precious contribution to the Hindu Rashtra. Hindus will always be grateful to you and your team for your honest and steady hard work to accomplish the mile stone in the shape of Ram Mandir, which will make a new history for Hindu Rashtra. I wish you and your team the very best for your future Elections 2022 and once again congratulate you for this remarkable achievement. Thank you for the wonderful support at this cirica time and from the Prime Minister's office I am also sending 50 crore rupees for early construction of Ram temple."
The fake letter is being shared as a screenshot of the original letter with a caption, when translated, reads, "The Modi government is very smart, spread this letter not only in the whole of India, but the whole of the world.' An archive of the post is available here.
Social media users are sharing the screenshot verbatim. An archive of the post is available here.
BOOM also received the fake letter on its helpline for verification.
BOOM found several discrepancies in the viral letter including the forged signature of Modi, not matching his original and the colour of the Indian emblem seen in the letter. We also found that the fake letter is similar to a letter viral in 2019 after the Ayodhya verdict which falsely claimed that Modi was congratulating Supreme Court justices for "supporting Hindu rashtra" by the verdict in support of building a temple.
We first compared the fake viral letter to a recent letter by Modi to Adityanath offering condolences after the latter's father passed away. The letter written om April 20, 2020 is written in Hindi with Modi's signature also in the Devanagari script. This letter also mentions UP chief minister's office address which is missing in the viral letter.
We then compared the viral letter with official replies from the PM to citizens who had written to him and found several differences. Modi has in the past replied to a 11-year-old student from Haryana and to a couple from Gujarat who explained the Rafale deal in their wedding card.
Some of the differences we noticed:
Informal way of addressing the Chief Minister
- The fake letter says, "Dear Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath" when most official letters by Modi show that he uses honorifics like 'Shri' or 'ji'
- The colour of the emblem of the fake letter is black and white, while in the original letter it is not.
- The fake letter also doesn't have the Shalivahana Saka calendar date in place after 'New Delhi,' on the top right side. The Saka Samvat, is the Indian national calendar and letter's written by Modi always mention the date and year according to the calendar, in addition to the Gregorian system.
The fake letter also has a discrepancy in Modi's signature. The N in the original letter doesn't have any curves, whereas in the fake letter, the N has many curves. The eliptical loop around the letter 'N' is also different.
We also scanned through Adityanath's and Modi's Twitter account but did not find any tweet mentioning such a letter. A search also showed that there were no news reports of such a letter where Modi congratulated Adityanath for a Hindu rashtra and said the PMO would send money.
BOOM had previously after the Supreme Court Ayodhya verdict debunked a fake letter claimed Modi appreciated the SC justices for the green signal to build a temple in Ayodhya last year and hailed it as step towards building a Hindu rashtra.
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