Just days after a photo of former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, wearing RSS cap and standing with RSS salute went viral, it has emerged that the culprit behind morphing his image was being followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The photo of Mukherjee was taken from an event at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, where Mukherjee had chosen to be the right-wing organisation’s guest despite opposition from his own party.
His daughter and a Congress leader, Sharmistha Mukherjee had reacted with ‘I-told-you-so’ comments. She wrote, “See, this is exactly what I was fearing & warned my father about. Not even few hours have passed, but BJP/RSS dirty tricks dept is at work in full swing!”
See, this is exactly what I was fearing & warned my father about. Not even few hours have passed, but BJP/RSS dirty tricks dept is at work in full swing! https://t.co/dII3nBSxb6
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) June 7, 2018
Meanwhile a report by India Today said that the man responsible for faking Mukherjee’s image was one Mihir Jha, who is ‘proud to be followed by PM Narendra Modi’ on Twitter. According to the India Today report, it was Jha, who had first requested his friends, experts in photoshopping images, to see if Mukherjee’s image could be doctored to make him look like he was wearing an RSS cap.
He reportedly wrote to one @Athiest_Krishna, who Twitter bio says ‘I photoshop pic for PUN,’ saying, “Bhai @Athiest_Krishna, can u put one black cap over his head and change hand gestures? Asking for a friend from Congress IT Cell.”
But even before @Athiest_Krishna could oblige his request, another common friend Abhi Jha, who used Twitter handle @DarrKeAage, posted the doctored image of Mukherjee using his own photoshop skills. The dangerous twist in the entire saga was how Mihir Jha tweeted this photo claiming it to be real. His tweet had read, “What a Brilliant Pic taken by friend @DarrKeAage, who is attending this #RSSTrithiyaVarsh event as guest….”
Speaking to India Today, the man blessed to be followed by PM Modi reportedly confessed to his involvement in doctoring Mukherjee’s image calling it ‘pure entertainment.’
Mihir Jha has now removed the line ‘Proud to be followed by PM Narendra Modi’ from his Twitter bio. His bio now simply says, “Politics, Business, Movies, Sports. Personal Views of a Free Citizen. RTs ≠ Endorsement.” He’s also made his account private, thereby restricting others from accessing his tweets.
Interestingly, the RSS had blamed the divisive forces for the morphed image controversy. A statement by RSS joint general secretary Manmohan Vaidya, had said, “Some divisive political forces have posted a morphed photo of former President Pranab Mukherjee standing in a prayer position with a folded hand during recitation of the Sangha ‘prarthana’ (prayer) at yesterday’s RSS function at Nagpur.”