India Today photoshop vibhuti of chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa photo?

A post is going viral on social media with the claim that India Today photographed chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa’s picture and removed vibhuti (holy ash) from his forehead.

By Sabya Singh Published on May 26, 2022 1:53 p.m. GMT


Fact check: Does India Today photoshop vibhuti of chess prodigy Praggnanandhaas photo?

Hyderabad: A post is going viral on social media with the claim that India Today photographed chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa’s photo and removed vibhuti (holy ash) from his forehead.

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Fact check:

The allegation is false.

NewsMeter did a reverse image search and found a tweet from the International Chess Federation (FIDE) from August 23, 2020. It had posted a photo of Praggnanandhaa. Here too, the young chess player is seen without vibhuti (holy ash) on his forehead.

We also found a News18 articles August 2020 issue titled “R Praggnanandhaa, Divya Deshmukh shine as India stuns China to qualify for FIDE Online Chess Olympiad quarters”. He had posted the same photo of Praggnanandhaa as seen on India Today. Photo credit under the image has been assigned to FIDE Twitter.

Many news outlets had published a similar photo and provided the photo courtesy of FIDE Twitter.

Additionally, we found Press articles who had published the photos of Praggnandhaa where we noticed vibhuti on his forehead. However, it is faint and we can barely see it. We watched the viral image closely and saw that the holy ash is applied to his forehead but it is very weak. (Read more here and here)

Below, the comparison between an image carried by Mid-day (on the left) and that published by India Today.

The India Today article clearly gave photos courtesy of FIDE Twitter and did not photoshop the vibhuti of her forehead. Therefore, the statement is false.

NewsMeter has also contacted the International Chess Federation and is awaiting their response. The article will be updated once we receive a response from them.

Examination of the complaint:India Today photographed the vibhuti of chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa’s photo.
Claimed by:Social media users
Complaint reviewed by:Newsmeter
Source of complaint:social media
Verification of the facts of the claim:Fake

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