On January 23, 2021, President of India, Ram Nath Kovind unveiled a portrait of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Rashtrapati Bhavan to commemorate his 125th birth anniversary celebrations.
In the backdrop to this, a controversy started on social media claiming that the portrait unveiled by the President was not of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose but of actor Prosenjeet Chaterjee who played the role of Netaji in film Gumnami, directed by Srijit Mukherjee.
Many Twitter users shared the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and captioned, "This is unbelievably hilarious. The Portrait that President of India Unveiled, it is is of Actor Prosenjit who played the role of Netaji (Look at Eyes). That's like unveiling Portrait of Ajay Devgan as Bhagat Singh."
Mahua Moitra, leader of Trinamool Congress, also shared the tweet and later retrieved it. Similarly, journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt also tweeted and later deleted the tweet.
The portrait unveiled by Ram Nath Kovind is not of Netaji but actor Prosenjeet Mukherjee.
The Logical Indian searched for a photo of Prosenjeet Mukherjee's character as Netaji and compared it with the portrait of Netaji in Rashtrapati Bhavan. We were not able to find much resemblance between the two.
On closely observing the portrait of Netaji in Rashtrapati Bhavan, we found a signature in the bottom right corner of the picture.
We also found Srijit Mukherjee, the director of Gumnami tweeted refuting the viral claim. Srijit Mukherjee shared a photo of Netaji and shared that the painting in Rashtrapati Bhawan was painted by Paresh Maity based on the photo of Netaji. He tweeted, "The following is the picture on the basis of which the painting at Rashtrapati Bhawan was painted by Paresh Maity. For any similarity of Prosenjit's look to this photo, the credit goes to Somnath Kundu."
We compared both the images, the one shared by Srijit Mukherji and the portrait of Netaji in Rashtrapati Bhavan, and found both to be same.
The Logical Indian contacted Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew of 'Netaji' Subhas Chandra Bose, who said, "Paresh Maity is a well-known painter, the picture of Netaji was given to him by some family member based on which he made his portrait. The actor Prosenjeet dressed up as Netaji to play the character, so he was trying to resemble him."
Chandra Kumar Bose also tweeted, "This is the original photograph of #NetajiSubhasChandraBose, based on which renowned artist Shri #PareshMaity has drawn the portrait which was unveiled at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 23 Jan 202, by Hon'ble President of India-Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji. @rashtrapatibhvn @narendramodi"
Prosenjit Chatterjee also tweeted confirming the portrait was of Netaji, "Would like to congratulate Paresh Maity for the wonderful piece of art in remembrance of our National hero Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. As an actor, I'm elated that people thought, that the painting resembles my character in Gumnami, dir. by @srijitspeaketh and prosthetics by Somnath."
Hence, the portrait in of Netaji in Rashtrapati Bhavan is not of Prosenjit Chatterjee but Netaji.
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