This image has been digitally manipulated to insert the face of an Indian activist

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

An image purporting to show Indian activist Anna Hazare joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been widely shared on Facebook and Twitter. The image, however, has been doctored to add Hazare’s face on the body of another politician who was photographed with the BJP's leader. 

The image was shared in a tweet posted on January 29, 2021.

The post's Hindi-language caption reads: “I joined the Bharatiya Janata Party today in the presence of respected J P Nadda”.  J P Nadda, whose full name is Jagat Prakash Nadda, is president of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The tweet appears to have been published by an account belonging to Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare.

Screenshot of tweet, taken on February 11, 2021

The photo circulated online after Hazare called off a hunger strike planned in support of Indian farmers protesting against agriculture reforms, after the government met some of his demands, the Times of India reported.

Social media posts (here, here and here) shared the image purportedly showing Hazare alongside the BJP leader, suggesting he had joined the party. 

The claim, however, is false.

The tweet circulating on social media is not from Hazare's official Twitter handle, but an account that describes itself as a “fan acccount”.

A reverse image search also found the photo has been doctored to add Hazare's face in the image. 

A video of the now-BJP politician, Jyotiraditya Scindia, meeting with Nadda was published by The Times of India on March 11, 2020.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the doctored image (L) and a screenshot from The Times of India’s video (R):

Screenshots comparing doctored image (left) and original photo (right)

Corresponding photos of the meeting between Scindia and Nadda were also published in March 2020 by several major Indian media outlets; for example here, here and here.

AFP found no credible news reports that Hazare has joined the BJP as of February 11, 2021.


Indian farmers protests