Viral Claim That India Today Edited Tilak Out From Indian Grandmasters Forehead Is False

Credit: Twitter

Viral Claim That India Today Edited Tilak Out From Indian Grandmaster's Forehead Is False

Videos and images posted by social media users accused India Today of editing out the tilak, or the Vibhuti (sacred ash) from chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa’s forehead in an article. The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim.

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Several claims have been going viral about India Today allegedly editing out the sacred ash marking (Vibhuti) on Indian chess prodigy and Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa's forehead in an image that they shared with one of the articles about him.

The article, published on May 21, 2022, reported the second time win by Praggnanandhaa over world champion Magnus Carlsen in the fifth round of the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament.

The claim by users on social media is that India Today edited out the tilak due to their hatred for Hinduism. Some have also called India Today 'anti-India' for this.

One post claims that Praggnanandhaa always has the Vibhuti on, and only India Today's article contains a photo of him without the mark.

Another user, a BJP worker, shared a side-by-side comparison of a usual photo of Praggnanandhaa and the photo posted by India Today, saying, "Why does @IndiaToday Remove Tika from Praggnanandhaa's forehead?".

Why does @IndiaToday Remove Tika from Praggnanandhaa's forehead? pic.twitter.com/QFVDkCVmwz

Another Twitter user shared the claim with this caption, "#TukdeTukdegang member #AroonPurie @aroonpurie ji how much black money funding did you receive from #Pakistan #China? for such cheap propaganda #BoycottIndiaToday #BoycottAajtak 😡😡😡"

The hashtag #BoycottIndiaToday has been going viral along with these posts. Similar claims can be found here, here, and here.

Claim:

India Today edited out the tilak or the Vibhuti (sacred ash) from chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa's forehead in an article.

Fact Check:

The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the viral claim and found it to be false.

We reverse searched the image from India Today's website, and found that the same image has been used by news outlets like News18 (August 2020), Times of India (August 2020), and Business Today (February 2022).

Image Credit: India Today


India Today had credited the image to FIDE (International Chess Federation) who had tweeted this image along with the caption,"India does it! 4:2 win against China, four draws & two wins on U20 boards. 15-year-old Praggnanandhaa R was on the ropes, but managed to turn the tables on Liu Yan & finish with a perfect 6/6 score. India takes first place in Pool A & is the first team to qualify to quarterfinals."

We reached out to FIDE for a statement. We will update the article once we receive a reply about the source for the image. They did tell a fact-checking website, Newschecker, that they hadn't manipulated the image, but it would be tough for them to ascertain the actual source of the image.

However, India Today hasn't edited the image for any reason, communal or otherwise, as they had just picked it up from a different source, as did multiple news outlets.

Praggnanandhaa has also been photographed without the Vibhuti mark in multiple other Chess tournaments or otherwise. Reports of this can be found here, here, and here. The claim that he has the mark on every photograph is false too.

Image Credit: ESPN


The Logical Indian Fact Check team has found the claim against India Today to be false. India Today hasn't edited the image for any reason, communal or otherwise, and Praggnanandhaa has been photographed and seen without the sacred ash on his forehead on multiple other occasions as well.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.

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