Time magazine cover photo of India's PM Manmohan Singh
Time magazine cover photo of India's PM Manmohan Singh

In an epic case of mistaken identity, Tamil Youth Congress workers ripped Times of India newspapers on the streets, believing that the Times of India Group publications were part of Time magazine.

Over 30 Youth Congress supporters threw several torn copies of the newspaper outside the US consulate in Chennai this week, as part of their protests against the US-based magazine which tagged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an "underachiever".

Youth Congress leaders, who led the demonstrations against the magazine's jibe over the PM's governance, realized on Wednesday that the damaged newspaper copies were mistaken as part of the weekly magazine. The agitated supporters, who included several of those coming from North and South Chennai districts, were arrested by the police and released later.

The leaders of the age-old national party cited an excuse that "only a subset of protesters was holding the Times newspapers which they must have brought by mistake as they were in hurry to reach the protest venue."

They further argued that the rest of the supporters held copies of Time magazine.

The magazine's Asia edition published this week featured Manmohan Singh on its cover page photo with a caption that read: "The Underachiever- India needs reboot. Is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh up to the job?"

In an article titled "A Man in Shadow", Time alleged that the centre, which is neck-deep in corruption, is fending off scandals and displaying a lack of economic direction. The magazine also accused the UPA-II government for not pushing enough measures to tackle the monetary challenges faced by the nation.

The magazine's controversial tag on the Indian Prime Minister kick-started a debate across several political circles, with opposition parties causing further embarrassment for the Congress-led UPA government in public.