Four images of past protests by trade and workers unions of the Communist Party of India (CPI) are doing the rounds on social media with false claims that as many as 250 million people went on strike in support of the farmers' protest; the narrative further claim how the broadcast media has not reported on the same.
These images are viral in the backdrop of the ongoing farmers' protests at the Delhi borders, which reached its 21st day on December 16. The farmers are protesting against the contentious farm bills introduced by the government.
Each of the images show a huge crowd of people rallying and protesting with the flag of the Communist Party of India (CPI).
The four images have been tweeted by a Twitter user Zach Carter, who claimed, ''250 *million* people on strike in India. The revolution will not be televised.'' The tweet received 2,300 retweets, and 6,600 likes at the time of writing the story. Twitter later labelled the post as 'manipulated media'.
Archive of the tweet can be seen here.
A screenshot of this tweet is being shared on Facebook with a claim that reads, ''I don't think people realise how big this is. This is damn near the population of the USA.''
An archive of such a post can be seen here.
We found more posts on Facebook with a similar claim. The caption of such a post reads, "Last week, there was the largest strike in human history.250 million people in India went on strike for better wages, better healthcare, better labor and pension protections. Why didn't we see this story on U.S. mainstream media?''
Archive can be seen here.
BOOM ran a reverse image search on each of the images an found them to be dated and unrelated to the ongoing farmers' agitation in Delhi. The images are from past protests organised by the Communist Party of India in 2018 and January 2020 respectively.
A reverse search on the above image took us to a blog by Portside posted on January 13, 2020. The image has been credited to international wire agency Associated Press. We also found the image in the AP library. It was shot on January 8 this year. The image has been captioned as, ''Members of various trade unions shout slogans during a general strike called by various trade unions in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Trade unions have called for a country-wide strike Wednesday to protest against what they call the "anti-workers and anti-people" policies of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)''
Reverse image search to this photograph directed us to Communist Party of India (Marxist)'s leader Sitaram Yechury's tweet from March 11, 2018. His tweet says, ''Make in India in Davos. Makers of India in Mumbai. #KisanLongMarch #NiravModi''
We also found some news reports on the incident shared with the same image. A report by Firstpost on March 11, 2018 stated that the Kisan Long March that took place from Nashik to Mumbai with over 35,000 protesters marching. The protest rally was organised by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
BOOM ran a reverse image search on Google and found the image on international stock photo archive, Getty Images' website. The image was taken at the all-India strike called by CPIM party on January 8, 2020. The caption of the image, "Activists of Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM), along with members of different workers unions, shout slogans as they block train tracks during a nationwide general strike called by trade unions aligned with opposition parties to protest against the Indian government's economic policies, near the railway station in Amritsar on January 8, 2020. - Millions went on strike throughout India on January 8, unions said, as workers angry at the government's labour policies brought travel chaos across the country.(Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)"
This image could also be found from the same protest in Amritsar on January 8, 2020. The same is available on Getty Images' website. The caption of this image says, ''Activists of Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM), along with members of different workers unions, hold flags as they march to block train tracks during a nationwide general strike called by trade unions aligned with opposition parties to protest against the Indian government's economic policies, near the railway station in Amritsar on January 8, 2020. - Millions went on strike throughout India on January 8, unions said, as workers angry at the government's labour policies brought travel chaos across the country. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)''
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