Forget Modi, Did Rajiv Gandhi Use A Digital Camera in 1983? 

A viral image doing the round on social media falsely claims that Rajiv Gandhi used a digital camera in 1983.

3 min read
Forget Modi, Did Rajiv Gandhi Use A Digital Camera in 1983? 

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A viral image on social media claims that Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used a digital camera in 1983. Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that he used digital camera in 1988, social media users are now questioning if Rajiv Gandhi could use a digital camera in 1983, then why cannot Prime Minister Narendra Modi use it in 1988. The claim reads: “ बस एक सवाल आया मन में ,अगर राजीव गांधी जी 1983 में डिजिटल कैमरा यूज़ कर सकते थे तो मोदी जी 1988 में क्यों नही कर सकते ???”

(Translation: Just one question in mind, if Rajiv Gandhi ji could use digital camera in 1983, then why cannot Modi do it in 1988???)

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, spokesperson of the Delhi Unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party also shared the image with a similar claim via his Twitter account.

The image has been shared by social media users on Facebook as well.

The Quint also received a query about the claims made about the same video via our WhatsApp helpline.



The claim made about the viral image is false. The camera used in the image is not a digital camera, but a JVC video camera and recorder. Digital cameras were not even made for public use in 1983.


The first digital camera to actually go on sale was the 1990 Dycam Model 1, as per technology publisher CNET. Even the JPEG and MPEG image standards were adopted in 1988.

The Dycam Model 1 is the first digital camera that was made available to the public.
(Photo Courtesy: CNET)

This camera is definitely different than the one Rajiv Gandhi is holding in the viral image. In the viral image, the label ‘JVC’ can be clearly seen on the video camera and recorder.

The label of JVC company on the camcorder is highlighted in red.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Actually, Rajiv Gandhi used a JVC GX-88E video camera and recorder. As per an India Today article, Gandhi bought a new JVC video camera and recorder in 1982.

Left: Image of JVC GX-88E. Right: Rajiv Gandhi holding the same camera.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Following is the user manual of the JVC GX-88E video camera and recorder.

The user manual of JVC GX-88E.
(Photo: Screengrab of eBay)

Further the article from which the image has been taken is an India Today article written by Shekhar Gupta. The article nowhere mentions anything about the claim that is being made about the viral image. Rather it’s headlined as, ‘The Rajiv Gandhi years’ and elaborates on his tenure as a political leader.


On Saturday, 11 May, Narendra Modi, in an interview to News Nation claimed that at a public rally held in 1987, in Viramgam town of Ahmedabad district, he might have been the first person in India to click a picture using a digital camera. Further, he said that he used it to capture a colour picture of his mentor Lal Krishna Advani and sent it to New Delhi via email.

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Topics:  Rajiv Gandhi   digital camera   Webqoof 

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