Manipur-based Saikhom Mirabai Chanu clinched a silver medal in the 49 kg weightlifting category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The event took place on 24 July and established Chanu as the first Indian weightlifter to win silver at the Olympics.
She returned to India with a grand welcome and is being felicitated by various political leaders. An image from her felicitation ceremony is widely shared on social media. The viral image shows a congratulatory banner for Chanu, purportedly thanking PM Modi for awarding an Olympic medal to her. The banner also has photos of PM Modi and Mirabai Chanu.
The text from the banner reads in Hindi, "धन्यवाद मोदी जी, मीराबाई चानू को मेडल दिलाने के लिए" (Its English translation reads, "Thank you, Modi Ji, for getting Mirabai Chanu a medal").
Jayant Chaudhary, national president of Rashtriya Lok Dal, shared the image on Twitter.
The image is widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Banner in the felicitation ceremony of Saikhom Mirabai Chanu credits PM Modi for her 2020 Olympic medal win.
We found that the viral image of the banner is morphed.
A simple reverse image search of the viral image led us to a press release issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 27 July. According to the press release, the felicitation ceremony was held by Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur at his residence for Mirabai Chanu and her coach Vijay Sharma. Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju, Kishan Reddy, and Sarbananda also marked their presence at the event.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister for Law and Justice, shared the photos and video from the event on Twitter.
Kishan Reddy, Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of the North-Eastern Region, shared the photos and video from the event on Twitter.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister for AYUSH, also shared the video from the event on Twitter.
Comparing these photos and videos to the viral image, we found that everything else is identical, other than the text on the banner. The blank space visible in the original image is utilized to add the text mentioned in the viral one.
We also found a Youtube video uploaded by DD News on 26 July. The video is titled in Hindi, "मीराबाई चानू का खेल मंत्री अनुराग ठाकुर के आवास पर अभिनंदन समारोह." (English translation, "Congratulation ceremony of Mirabai Chanu at the residence of Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.")
This video also did not have any trace of the text as mentioned in the viral image.
Later, Jayant Chaudhary, who earlier shared the viral image, issued a clarification on Twitter that the image is edited.
Therefore, it is clear that the viral image is morphed, and the text visible in the viral image was added with the help of photoshop editing tools. The original banner from the felicitation ceremony does not have any text crediting PM Modi for Saikhom Mirabai Chanu's Olympic medal win.
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