Come Republic Day, images showing the Indian tricolour illuminated on world-famous iconic buildings go viral. These fake images do the rounds every Republic Day since 2015. This year too similar images have gone viral on social media.
In 2017, UAE’s iconic building Burj Khalifa donned the Indian tricolour — saffron, white and green, with the song Jai Ho from the Oscar-award-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire, as part of the Republic Day celebrations on January 26. It coincided with the visit of UAE’s Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed to India as the chief guest of the Republic-Day parade in New Delhi. See the twitter message below that was shared on January 25, 2017.
— Chandra Prakash (Namo Again) (@chandra007) January 25, 2017
A blog FilterCopy went a bit further and made all the iconic buildings in the world don the lighted Indian tri-colour and tweeted it the next day, which was shared by many in 2017, including former IPS officer Kiran Bedi. This year too, some Facebook accounts have used these pictures, claiming that the iconic buildings in the world have donned the tricolour lighting to celebrate our Republic Day and used it to showcase India’s standing abroad, as shown below:
Fantastic. Jai Hind. pic.twitter.com/itEiCcVSEu
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) January 27, 2017
These photos keep surfacing on Twitter and Facebook, and are usually taken from the FilterCopy account on Facebook. The iconic buildings include London’s commercial skyscraper 30 St Mary Axe, Big Ben Clock, Colosseum in Rome, Eiffel Tower in Paris, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Petronas Twin Towers, statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Statue of Liberty in New York and Burj Al Arab in the UAE, as seen below:
Netizens often mistake these to have actually happened all over the world as part of the Indian Republic Day celebrations, while some of them attribute them as an achievement of Narendra Modi’s government in making India respectful in the eyes of the world. However, the truth is that they are fake images going viral every year on the Republic Day.
It was actually reported first time in August 2015 when Narendra Modi visited the UAE, when fake news was shared online claiming that Burj Khalifa was lit up with tricolour. However, the reports were proved fake and a senior reporter at Khaleej Times confirmed it via his Twitter handle as seen below:
— Bernie Debusmann (@BernieDebusmann) August 14, 2015
But the annual fake event has not stopped and keeps re-surfacing on social media on the Republic Day. None of them are true and nowhere the tricolour lighting was done on any of the monuments. These are “fake” images being circulated widely.