On 21st December 2022, former Cricketer and Trinamool Congress Leader Kirti Azad shared a photoshopped image from his Twitter handle to attack PM Narendra Modi. Kirti Azad used a photograph of PM Modi in a traditional attire of Meghalaya during his recent visit to Shillong to insinuate that the PM was wearing a woman’s dress. Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has slammed him and accused the cricketer of insulting the culture of Assam.
It is notable that Kirti Azad also wrote a derogatory caption while sharing this image on Twitter. Kirti Azad wrote, “It’s neither male nor female. It’s just the priest of fashion.” Apparently, Kirti Azad called the Prime Minister to be a transgender person or a cross-dresser. In his tweet, Azad posted an image containing a photograph of PM Modi in the Khasi attire, and deside it there was an image purportedly showing that the attire the PM is wearing is actually ladies’ wear which is available for online sale at a lucrative discount on an e-commerce platform.
However, a cursory glance will tell that there is no such online listing for the ‘women’s attire’. Kirti Azad posted a doctored image to insult the PM. He used the screenshot of a listing for a ‘Multi floral embroidered dress’ on an e-commerce platform named Shop Pay that showed a model in a floral dress, and the image of the Khasi attire that PM Modi was wearing was copied and pasted on that image. In the badly done image editing, it is clear that it is the same attire, and that two images have been combined to create the fake image.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted to reply to the TMC leader and wrote, “It is saddening to see how Kirti Azad is disrespecting the culture of Meghalaya and mocking our tribal attire. TMC must urgently clarify if they endorse his views. Their silence will amount to tacit support and thus will not be forgiven by the people.”
It is saddening to see how @KirtiAzaad is disrespecting the culture of Meghalaya and mocking our tribal attire. TMC must urgently clarify if they endorse his views. Their silence will amount to tacit support and thus will not be forgiven by the people. https://t.co/XytXuytUst
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) December 21, 2022
It is notable that a Congress-supporting Twitter handle named United With Congress first shared this doctored image in an attempt to criticize the Prime Minister. Its caption read, “Hurry while stocks last.”
Hurry while stocks last ! pic.twitter.com/7yiBYPGbzG
— United With Congress (@UWCforYouth) December 18, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image used in this doctored photograph is from his recent visit to Meghalaya. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Shillong on Sunday, 18th December 2022. The meeting was held to mark the golden jubilee celebration of the North Eastern Council, which was formally inaugurated in 1972. PM Modi was seen in Khasi attire during this program.
As PM Narendra Modi is known for respecting the local traditions and wearing local traditional dresses during his visits to various places in India, he wore a traditional Khasi outfit along with a traditional Garo hat in the meeting in Shillong. Khasi and Garo are two major tribes in Meghalaya, and the PM’s wardrobe conveyed respect for them. But the TMC leader is using that to insult the prime minister, also insulting the tradition of Meghalaya.