No, this is not a real picture of Indian film stars wearing scarves promoting India’s ruling party
A photo of Indian movie actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, which has been shared thousands of times on social media, purports to show the pair wearing saffron scarves emblazoned with a message to vote for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The photo has been doctored from a November 2018 image which shows the actors wearing plain saffron scarves.
The doctored image was published here in a Facebook post on April 10, 2019, by a page with more than 36,000 followers.
It has since been shared more than 5,000 times. The caption alongside the post in English says: “Hail Lord Rama #Vote4Bjp #NamoAgain.”
“Lord Rama” is a reference to the Hindu deity in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana. This is an article about Rama on the Britannica Encyclopedia website.
NaMo is an acronym of the name of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is a website created by Modi’s supporters which is called Nation with NaMo.
Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:
The Hindi-language writing on the photo translates to English as: “Push the lotus icon and be a contributor in the country’s development.”
The BJP uses the image of the lotus flower as its logo. Here is the logo on the BJP’s official website.
India’s election started on April 11. Here is an AFP report published on April about the polls.
A reverse image search on Google found the photo has been doctored from an original image taken in Mumbai by the Press Trust of India news agency on November 30, 2018.
This report by Indian news channel News18 carried the photo on December 3, 2018.
Below is a screenshot of the photo in the report:
The English caption states: “Celebrity couple Deepika Padukone and Ranbeer Singh pose for photos on their visit to Siddhivinayak Temple, in Mumbai on November 20, 2018.”
Indian news television channel News18 Malayalam published the same photo on its website here.
Mumbai-based photographer Viral Vayani also posted this video the couple during their visit to the temple on his official Instagram page on November 30, 2018, which shows them wearing plain orange scarfs.