President Ramnath Kovind is facing severe backlash on social media after he unveiled the portrait of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday to commemorate the freedom fighter's 125th birth anniversary. On Monday, several users, including those from opposition parties, called out President Kovind for what appears to be an embarassing gaffe involving Netaji's portrait.
Based on various reactions on Twitter, it was widely believed that the portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose at Rashtrapati Bhavan is that of actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, who played the role of Netaji in 2019 Bengali film Gumnaami. Here's a look at the facts.
Some of the influential individuals who called out President Kovind, alleging the portrait gaffe is TMC MP Mahua Moitra, INC's social media co-ordinator Gaurav Pandhi, prominent journalists and several users.
Sharing photos of Chatterjee, also known as Bumbada, from the movie in full Netaji's avatar, netizens compared them with the portrait unveiled at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. While many users ridiculed the mix-up, several netizens were furious on how a national leader such as Bose could be insulted in such manner.
At International Business Times, we dug into the facts about the portrait and if it was indeed a mix-up or netizens were merely starting an unnecessary controversy. Firstly, we compared the portrait that was unveiled at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Kovind by placing it next to the poster pic of Chatterjee from the movie Gumnaami. By looking closely at the features it was evidently clear that there was no resemblance to the actor despite the similarities at first glance, which is more to do with the actor's appearance.
Then we found the portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose, which was referred to while recreating the portrait at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The original image is in black and white and the painting is made in colour, which could've fooled many eyes. The original portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose was also shared by Netaji's grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose and grandniece Jayanti Bose Rakshit, adding authenticity to the image. The photo was provided by Netaji's family to renowned Padma Shri award-winning artist Paresh Maity, who painted the portrait.
Chandra Kumar Bose also confirmed that the portrait made by the artist is indeed of Netaji.
In fact, a journalist even retracted the tweet criticizing President Kovind after many users pointed at that the portrait at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is of Netaji and not the Bengali actor. TMC MP Mahua Moitra has also since deleted her post.
Finally, here's a closer look at the original portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose, the painting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and a photo of Prosenjit Chatterjee from the movie Gumnaami. Just glancing at the collage below, you'll be able to see how the criticism and allegations against President Kovind for unveiling the wrong portrait of Netaji are all false.
Based on these facts, International Business Times arrives at the conclusion that the portrait unveiled by President Kovind is of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and not of Bengali actor Prosenjit.