A viral photo claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bowing to Priti Adani, chairperson of the Adani Foundation is false. The photo is from 2018 and shows Modi greeting a social worker, Deepika Mondol who was visiting the Rashtrapati Bhawan for an event.
The photo is being shared with farmers sitting on an indefinite protest in Delhi are outraging over two business families - Adani and Ambanis, alleging that farm legislations will benefit big agri and retail companies.
The photo is being shared with two captions, in Hindi and English, both claiming that Modi is bowing to Priti Adani, wife of Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani group.
The text in Hindi translates to, "Chowkidar bowing down to salute Priti adani ...look at the style/grace, look at his eyesight...andhbhakts/blind followers two words for this fakir please...the worst prime minister till now ruining his dignity" and the English caption on certain posts read, "How he bows before Mrs Priti Adani, Wife of Gautam Adani"
(Original text in Hindi : प्रीति अडानी को झुककर सैल्यूट करते हुए चौकीदार....अदा तो देखिए, नजरे भी देखिए अंधभक्तो दो शब्द इस फ़क़ीर के लिए अभी तक का सबसे घटिया प्रधानमंत्री अपनी गरिमा को तितरबितर करते हुए
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Posts with the English caption can be viewed here
BOOM found that the photo does not show Priti Adani, but a social worker Deepika Mondol, who was attending an event at the Rashtrapati Bhawan with her husband, Samar Mondol. Samar, was a photographer at the Rashtrapati Bhawan and confirmed to us that the photo is from 2018 and that he clicked it.
A reverse image search on the photo showed us a story that appeared in Hindi news daily, Amar Ujala on April 12, 2018 which identified the woman as Deepkia Mondal, a social worker who runs a non governmental organisation called Divyajyoti Culture Organisation and Welfare Society
The photo story in Amar Ujala carried the same viral photo and other pictures of the same woman posing with other celebrities and politicians. Using this as a hint, we searched for Divyajyoti Culture Organisation and Welfare Society and found the same listed on many NGO directory websites. The sites listed Mondol as one of the founding partners and speaking to BOOM, she too confirmed the same.
Mondol told BOOM that the photo is from 2018 when she was attending a Civil Investiture Ceremony when Pranab Mukherjee was the president. Mondol explained the minutes leading up to the picture and said, "The PM was walking around meeting everyone and when he came to me, I said Namaste to which he replied Namaste Mataji and then asked me what I do. I told him I am a social worker he just bowed to me with folded hands. I was very humbled by his gesture and you can see in the photo that I am feeling slightly overwhelmed with the prime minister bowing to me."
Mondol added that PM Modi soon left and went to meet other guests. "The photo had gone viral even in 2018 after some newspapers picked it up and profiled me," she said. "I am not related or connected to Adanis. I run an NGO and do social work."
We also reached out to Samar, Mondol's husband who was incidentally an official photographer at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Samar confirmed to BOOM that the photo is from 2018 and added that it was either clicked by him or his colleague. "She would attend various events with me at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, with due permission and following procedure of course and has photos with various celebrities and political leaders," he said. Samar further explained that the photo was uploaded on his wife's Facebook profile too. "We had uploaded it but when we realised that it had gone viral with some wrong messages, we locked her profile.
He also shared with us a video where Mondol is speaking to a local channel about the moment when Modi greeted her with folded hands and a bow. Watch here
Here is Priti Adani's verified Twitter profile which shows she looks different than the woman in the viral image.
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