Fact Check: Claims of Jesus Christ in Rahul Gandhi's selfie are false | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Fact Check: Claims of Jesus Christ in Rahul Gandhi's selfie are false

May 25, 2024 11:14 PM IST

Some social media users claimed that a photo of Jesus Christ was visible in the background of a selfie shared by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a selfie of him and Sonia Gandhi having voted during the sixth phase of polling for the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the photo was widely shared on social media.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a selfie on social media.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared a selfie on social media.

The claim: Those sharing the photograph took a dig at Gandhi calling himself a 'janeudhari brahmin', (thread-wearing Brahmin), while claiming that he had a photo of Jesus Christ in his room, but none of Hindu Gods.

Among those sharing this is X (formerly Twitter) user 'MrSinha_', who has spread misinformation in the past.

(Source: X/Screenshot)
(Source: X/Screenshot)

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Archives of more claims on social media can be seen here and here.)

But...?: The photo does not show Jesus.

It is a painting titled 'Madonna Oriflamma' by Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, where the lady in the painting is holding a banner of peace.

How did we find out the truth?: We noticed that the photo in the background showed a person holding a banner with three red dots, surrounded by a red circle.

The painting showed a lady holding a banner. (Source: X/Altered by The Quint)
The painting showed a lady holding a banner. (Source: X/Altered by The Quint)

Using this description ('person holding red circle with three dots painting') as a search term led us to a 2017 blog post with the same image.

It identified the image as a 1932 painting titled 'Madonna Oriflamma' by one Nikolái Roerich.

The image shows a painting called 'Madonna Oriflamma'. (Source: Blogspot/Screenshot)
The image shows a painting called 'Madonna Oriflamma'. (Source: Blogspot/Screenshot)

It also mentioned that the geometrical art was Roerich's creation, which he called the 'Banner of peace', elaborating on the symbolism of the banner.

The lady in the painting holds the 'Banner of peace'. (Source: Blogspot/Screenshot)
The lady in the painting holds the 'Banner of peace'. (Source: Blogspot/Screenshot)

We looked up the name of the painting, and found it on several websites across the internet.

One of the results included the painting's WikiArt page, last updated in 2013, which mentioned that the art was on display at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York.

The painting is on display in New York. (Source: WikiArt/Screenshot)
The painting is on display in New York. (Source: WikiArt/Screenshot)

The museum's Facebook page also shared the painting's photograph in 2021, discussing its meaning and symbolism.

Moreover, Roerich's website also carries a visual of the painting with details about its medium and dimensions, stating that it has been on loan to the museum since 1960.

The painting was originally named in Russian. (Source: Roerich.org/Screenshot)
The painting was originally named in Russian. (Source: Roerich.org/Screenshot)

Reproduced and printed versions of the painting are also easily available for purchase on the internet, as seen here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The painting seen in Rahul and Sonia Gandhi's photo is not one of Jesus Christ.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published by The Quint, and republished by HT Digital as part of the Shakti Collective.

Claim Review Claimed By Fact Check
Some social media users claimed that a photo of Jesus Christ was visible in the background of a selfie shared by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Social media False

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