That Photo of Clean Ganga Isn’t Just Doctored, It’s From 2012!

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A photo collage has been going viral on Twitter and Facebook as a comparison between the status of Ganga during the Congress rule and now, during the Modi government’s tenure. The photo above claims to be a photo from the Congress’ tenure, while the photo below claims to show Priyanka Gandhi Vadra drinking water from the Ganga, in 2019.

The photo below even has Gandhi Vadra circled boldly. The photo is being shared with the narrative that the BJP government has managed to do what the Congress government could not. The emphasis is on the fact that the water of the Ganga has become so clean that even Gandhi Vadra is drinking the water of the river. This is being used to show the success of PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Namami Gange’ programme.

Multiple people have shared this photo on Twitter and Facebook with the same narrative.

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The post was also shared by a Bengali Facebook page called “চৌকিদার সমর্থক” and had over 5K shares. The text on the photo said that the one on top was taken during the Congress tenure, while the one on the bottom says Ganga during Modi’s time.

Posted by চৌকিদার সমর্থক on  Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Firstly, the photo at the bottom is doctored, with a photo of Gandhi Vadra superimposed on a different photo of the river.

However, Gandhi Vadra did indeed drink water at the Triveni Sangam on 18 March. ABP Live has a video of her performing puja, after which she drinks water from the river, but from a different angle. A screenshot of it is given below.

The photo that is actually superimposed on the photo is the one below, which has been reversed for the larger photo.

Secondly, both the photos in the post are old.

According to SM Hoaxslayer, the first photo, which is credited to Getty Images, was taken in 2009. The photo on the portal is credited to Prakash Singh.

The caption with the photo says that the photo was taken on 5 April 2009, at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

“Indian scavengers look for coins and other valuable items from among the offerings of devotees in the Ganges at Varanasi on 5 April 2009”, is the caption.

More importantly, the other photo is also old. By conducting a reverse image search and applying a filter of results from before 2014, it was found that the photo in question was taken from a 2012 blog post from a blog owned by Jodi Surfas.

According to her blog, the photo was taken in Haridwar, Uttarkhand.

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Therefore, the photo that is being shared as proof of the Ganga having become clean under the Modi government is actually from 2012, meaning from during the UPA government’s tenure and is taken in Haridwar.

It is therefore a fake post, with a doctored and old photo being used to push the narrative favourable for the BJP government.

(With inputs from SM Hoaxslayer.)

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