WebQoof Recap: Fabricated NYT Front Page, Rakesh Tikait 'Threatening' Media

From misinformation around Amarinder Singh's Twitter account to false claims about only temples paying taxes.

4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>From misinformation on <em>The New York Times</em> front page on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to misleading claims on farmers leader Rakesh Tikait.</p></div>

From a fabricated screenshot claiming that The New York Times touted the PM Modi as the "Last, Best Hope of Earth" to an out-of-context video of farmer leader Rakesh Tikait shared to claim that he "threatened" the media, here's what misled the public this week.


1. Photoshopped Image of NYT Front Page Praising PM Modi Goes Viral

After the conclusion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 3-day US visit, a screenshot of a purported NYT article was shared by many social media users with a claim that the publication had put PM Modi on its cover page with a headline that read, "Last, Best Hope of Earth".

However, we found that the viral image is a fabricated one and NYT didn’t feature PM Modi on its Sunday front pages. In fact, the front page of the publication on 26 September didn't have any story on PM Modi.

The New York Times, too, clarified that the image is a "fabricated" one.

You can read our fact-check here.

2. Amarinder Singh Didn’t ‘Drop’ Congress From Twitter Bio, He Never Had it

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday, 30 September, stated that he will quit Congress, but would not join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Soon after that several media outlets reported that Singh had 'dropped Congress' from his Twitter bio.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the page can be found <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the page can be found here.

(Photo: Wayback Machine/Screenshot)

However, upon checking the online archives of former Punjab CM's Twitter handle, we found that he didn't mention 'Congress' in his Twitter bio. While serving as the CM of Punjab, his Twitter bio read: 'Chief Minister of Punjab and a Military historian'.

Raveen Thukral, media adviser to Captain Amarinder Singh denied the reports of the former Punjab CM 'dropping Congress from his Twitter bio.'

You can read our fact-check here.


3. Do Only Temples Have to Pay Taxes in India? No, Claim is False

A message, going viral this week, stated that 'only Hindu temples have to pay taxes while other religions enjoy freedom'.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Twitter/Screenshot)

We found that the claim, which has been shared before, was false. Taxation in India is not done on the basis of religion. The Ministry of Finance, too, had clarified the same in a press release in 2017.

"There are some messages going around in the social media stating that the temple trusts have to pay the GST while the churches and mosques are exempt. This is completely untrue because no distinction is made in the GST law on any provision based on religion," the MOF press release said.

You can read our fact-check here.

4. Edited Pic of Subhash Chandra Bose Shared To Push Theory of His Survival

An edited photograph of late Indian nationalist leader Subhash Chandra Bose reading a newspaper was shared with a false claim that he can be seen reading the story of his demise.

The claim follows an oft-repeated theory that Bose survived the plane crash and that the news of his death was spread by the Congress under the British rule.

However, we found that the image was morphed and the original image shows Bose reading a story about Japanese General Hideki Tojo in Nippon Times.

You can read our fact-check here.


5. News Reports on Rakesh Tikait's 'Media is Next Target' Remark Lack Context

A video of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait was aired by several news organisations and shared by several journalists and social media users with a claim stating that he "threatened" the media and asked them to join the protest.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

You can view the archived version here.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ Screenshot)

However, we found that Tikait's statement is being taken out of context and he was referring to the government when he said that "media is the next target".

You can read our fact-check here.

6. Video of Boys Talking About Conversion in Aligarh Shared With a Communal Spin

The video from Aligarh of two boys talking about Hindus, Muslims and Islam was shared by several social media users, including journalists working for Sudardhan News, with a misleading claim. They stated that one of the boys, who claimed to be a Muslim in the video, was promoting Islam and encouraging religious conversion.

WebQoof Recap: Fabricated NYT Front Page, Rakesh Tikait 'Threatening' Media

However, we found that both the boys in the video belonged to the Hindu community. Circle officer Raghvendra Kumar told The Quint that both the people in the viral video were minors and belonged to the same religion.

We also found a report in The Times of India that included a quote from the uncle of one of the boys, who is a BJP member from Hathras. He told the publication that the boys were having a "friendly debate" and "didn't mean any harm".

You can read our fact-check here.


(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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