A picture showing actors Swara Bhasker and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub holding a poster with a Bengali slogan which reads, “Mamata is scared” is being shared online.
However, we found that the photo, which is originally from December 2019, has been edited by social media users to create a different narrative.
The same photo has been found displaying several different slogans, ranging from “Jai Shree Ram” to those supporting Pakistan.
The picture is being shared to claim that the two actors held a poster with ‘anti-Mamata Banerjee’ slogans written on them.
This image comes in the backdrop of the protest rally arranged by the Bharatiya Janata Party's youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in Kolkata on 8 October. The protest – 'March to Nabanna' (West Bengal Secretariat) – was organised to agitate against the state government.
We also found the same image with a different slogan on the poster, this time supporting Pakistan.
Similar images were also found on Twitter.
We also found the same photo with a blank poster tweeted by Twitter user Rishi Bagree. The caption with the tweet says, “Friends, Show your creativity”.
His tweet received several hundred responses with edited versions of the photograph. His tweet had received over 3,000 likes by the time this story was written.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Upon conducting a reverse image search on Google, we found images from a press conference held on 26 December 2019, in Delhi.
The press conference was organised in Delhi Press Club, where activists and Bollywood actors spoke about state repression in Uttar Pradesh, in the context of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The same viral image, taken by Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), was found from the day of the press conference.
Bhasker, too, uploaded a photo from the day holding the same poster which read, in hindi: “हम बिंदिया बनारसी, हम मुरारी बनारसी, हम ज़ोया-कुंदन को खोज रहे हैं, जो UP से प्यार में नहीं UP पुलिस की मार खा कर गायब हैं |”
(Translation: We are Bindiya Banarasi and Murari Banarasi. We are looking for Zoya-Kundan, who are missing from Uttar Pradesh, not for love but from the fear of UP police atrocity'.)
Bindiya and Murari were the characters portrayed by Bhasker and Ayyub respectively in the 2013 Bollywood film ‘Raanjhanaa’, which was based in Varanasi. Zoya and Kundan were the characters played by Sonam Kapoor and Dhanush.
Evidently, an old image of the actors has been edited to create a false narrative.
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