“See the difference…” said a post by Facebook page Postcard English which juxtaposed two photographs- one showed former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the other showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The photographs were placed together and compared the attitude of the two Prime Ministers vis-a-vis athletes who were successful at the Commonwealth Games. Dr. Manmohan Singh can be seen sitting while posing for a photo with the athletes, whereas PM Modi can be seen standing and interacting with them while they are seated.

The post was uploaded on July 27, 2018 and has been shared over 4200 times till now. The implication of the post is clear- there is a sea of difference in the attitude and behaviour of the two Prime Ministers. While the former PM is seated, PM Modi engages with sportspersons.

Is there a difference?

Indeed there is, but not in the manner that Postcard News has claimed. The two photographs which have been juxtaposed represent athletes who were successful at two different events and not the Commonwealth Games as claimed by the post by Postcard News.

The athletes present in the picture taken with Dr. Singh are the medal winners of the 2012 Olympic games held in London. This photograph along with others can be accessed here in this article by Firstpost dated August 17, 2012.

(Medal winners of 2012 Olympics with Dr. Manmohan Singh)

As for the photograph of PM Modi seen interacting with athletes, it was clicked in April 2018 when the Prime Minister met athletes who were victorious at the Commonwealth Games held in Australia.


So, is there a difference in the way the two Prime Ministers and by extension, the two regimes in the manner in which athletes have been treated? The photographs comparing the two as posted by Postcard News are misleading. This is because PM Modi is seen seated in the presence of athletes on other occasions. For instance, when he met the medal winners of the Asian Games of 2014.

On another occasion, PM Modi can be seen seated in the presence of athletes bound for the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.

PM Modi with Olympics-bound athletes, 2016. (Image : Indian Express)

Meanwhile, there are photographs of Dr. Singh as well, seen interacting with athletes, like the photograph below taken in 2012. Cherry-picking images to drive home a certain narrative is misleading at the very least.

India Today goofs up

India Today attempted to ‘fact check’ this claim by Postcard News, but the move backfired when the news outlet ‘busted’ a claim that was absent in the first place. India Today in its article claimed that Postcard News had faked data ‘to show more sports medals during NDA rule than UPA’.

However, there was no data present in the post by Postcard News and the conjecture was arrived at on the basis of the juxtaposed photographs referred to in this article. India Today‘s goof-up did not go unnoticed and Postcard News hit back at the media organisation for what it claimed was a misrepresentation of the post and its intent.

Postcard News has been notorious for spreading misinformation in the garb of news and can neither absolve itself of its bigoted role or claim vindication on the basis of an incorrect fact-check. Two images were put together to create a false impression in favour of PM Modi. Political propaganda expectedly works on the basis of optics and for supporters of political parties on social media, such tactics have become par for the course.

courtesy : altnews.in

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New Delhi, Jul 22: The government on Monday cited an inter-ministerial group report prepared in 2012 to assert that a case for granting special category status to Bihar is not made out; a stand which came a day after BJP's allies from Bihar demanded the status for the backward state.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon session, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said special category status was granted in the past by the National Development Council (NDC) to some states which were characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration.

These included hilly and difficult terrain, low population density or sizeable share of tribal population, strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of state finances, he said in reply to a question asked by JD(U) member Rampreet Mandal.

The decision was taken based on an integrated consideration of all the factors listed above and the peculiar situation of a state, the minister said.

"Earlier, the request of Bihar for Special Category Status was considered by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) which submitted its Report on 30th March 2012. The IMG came to the finding that based on existing NDC criteria, the case for Special Category Status for Bihar is not made out," the minister said.

The Congress-led UPA was in power at the time.

JD(U) leader Sanjay Kumar Jha had voiced his party's demand for the status at an all-party meeting on Sunday. The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), also a BJP ally, and the opposition RJD echoed the same demand at the meeting.

The JD(U), though, has already conveyed to the Centre that it is willing to settle for a special financial package in case the status cannot be granted to the state.

The BJD and the YSR Congress had made the same demand for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh respectively in the meeting.

The government has in the past also argued that the 14th Finance Commission report has ruled out the possibility of any more states being granted the status, which includes tax relief and higher central funding for the beneficiary states.