New Delhi: An image of former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi distributing sweets has gone viral on social media, falsely claiming that Singh was holding the sweets for the Gandhi family like a ‘servant’.
In a tweet Friday, author Shefali Vaidya shared the image with the caption: “Rare historical pic of family servant Ramukaka holding a box containing 100 crore rupees from the taxpayer’s money to be donated to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation as Shehzada and the Dowager Empress mingle with the commoners!”
The post was liked over a 1,000 times and shared more than 400 times until the time of publishing this report.
Rare historical pic of family servant Ramukaka holding a box containing 100 crore rupees from the taxpayer’s money to be donated to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation as Shehzada and the Dowager Empress mingle with the commoners! pic.twitter.com/57VlhHGxhi
— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) June 26, 2020
Vaidya, in her post, suggested that the former PM was Gandhi family’s ‘Ramu kaka’ — the typical name often given to the actor playing the role of a servant in Hindi films.
The “Dowager Empress” is a reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The viral image is from 2015 and was taken during the inauguration of a programme by the Congress to celebrate the country’s 69th Independence Day.
A gallery of images from the day can be found on the Congress’ official Facebook page, where even Sonia and Rahul could be seen holding sweet boxes. It was not just Singh who was holding the sweet boxes, as was claimed by Vaidya in her tweet.
Sweet boxes were distributed among some children after the flag hoisting, and Singh, Sonia and Rahul — all were seen distributing sweet boxes to the children.
Picture used twice before
The same picture was shared by a group, ‘India Against Presstitutes’, on Facebook in 2017 with the caption: “When MMS [Manmohan Singh] was made to stand holding mithai ka dabba like the family’s loyal servant. Where was the ‘dignity’ of his post’?”
The post was shared over 3,000 times at the time.
Both Vaidya and India Against Presstitutes shared the image with the false claim that the former PM was holding a box of sweets for the Gandhi family.
Not a first for Vaidya
This is, however, not the first time that Vaidya has shared this picture on social media.
On 27 April 2016, Vaidya posted the same picture with a similar caption on Facebook.
The caption read: “Remember this pic? Shehzada and #ScamQueenSonia graciously mixing with commoners and getting all the credit, while poor loyal family servant Ramukaka is left holding Mithai Ka Dabba?”
“#AugustaWestland is exactly like that, as Miyan Patel proved last night on Times Now, when he distanced ‘his party and his leader’ from ‘the (UPA) govt,” she wrote.
On 17 September 2017, Vaidya tweeted the same picture again with the caption: “Rare pic of Manmohan Singh celebrating his birthday by holding the Mithai Ka Dabba while d Sultana n Shehzada graciously mingle w d masses (sic)”.
Rare pic of Manmohan Singh celebrating his birthday by holding the Mithai Ka Dabba while d Sultana n Shehzada graciously mingle w d masses pic.twitter.com/N7mSSSB34H
— Shefali Vaidya. (@ShefVaidya) September 26, 2017
(In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer)