A photograph showing members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) standing in front of Queen Elizabeth II has gone viral on different social media platforms with a claim that the RSS was seen saluting the Queen while the rest of the country was busy fighting for its independence.
However, we found that the viral photograph was a morphed one and created by superimposing two different images. While the photograph of the RSS members was a stock photo, which has been on the internet since 2008, the photograph of Queen Elizabeth was from 1956 in Nigeria.
The photograph purportedly shows members of RSS standing in front of the Queen of England. The text on the photograph says, "जब पूरा देश अंग्रेजों से लड़ रहा था,तब कुछ गद्दार इंग्लैंड की रानी को सलामी दे रहे थे, सुना है इनके वंशज खुद को देशभक्त कहते हैं|"
(Translation: When the whole country was fighting with the British, some traitors were saluting the Queen of England, heard that their descendants call themselves patriots.)
The same caption was used by many social media users and we found that the same photo has been shared previously since at least 2016.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
When we conducted a reverse image search for the photograph on Google, we found that the photograph of the RSS members was published in a news article by Jagran in 2011 and in Deccan Chronicle in 2015.
We also found the photograph on Wikipedia, where it has existed since 2008.
We then conducted a reverse image search of the viral photograph by cropping the part showing the Queen and found a link to an article published in CNN. The image credit in the photograph mentioned Getty Images. Using relevant keywords, we found the photograph on Getty Images' website.
According to the caption, the photograph was taken in 1956 at the Kaduna Airport, Nigeria.
"Queen Elizabeth II inspects men of the newly-renamed Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force during her Commonwealth Tour, " the caption said.
Evidently, two unrelated photographs were morphed together two create a false narrative stating that the RSS members were seen saluting the Queen during India's freedom struggle.
It was debunked by SM Hoax Slayer in 2016 when Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had shared the viral photograph on his Twitter profile.
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