Doctored photo of Indian PM Modi surveying flood-hit Chennai draws flak on Twitter

The real image (left) compared to the edited one (right) of Indian PM Narendra Modi gazing out of a helicopter window.
The real image (left) compared to the edited one (right) of Indian PM Narendra Modi gazing out of a helicopter window. PHOTOS: TWITTER
A flooded area in Chennai.
A flooded area in Chennai. PHOTO: AFP/PIB

A purportedly photoshopped image of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gazing out of a helicopter window during an aerial survey of flood-hit Chennai has been criticised on social media.

India's Press Information Bureau, a government agency in charge of disseminating information to the media, had posted the controversial photograph on Twitter on Thursday (Dec 3).

It has since been taken down after netizens questioned its authenticity, although the bureau has yet to comment publicly on the alleged gaffe.

Buildings besieged by the flood could be clearly seen in the window, which many felt would not be possible from an aerial survey.

This was made worse by the fact that Mr Modi himself had also posted on Twitter what appeared to be a similar photo - one which showed a barely visible scene of submerged fields and buildings.

 

Mr Modi had personally flown in to Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu, on Thursday for a first-hand look at the rescue effort.

Thousands of residents were evacuated and the current death toll stood at 280, following a massive 24-hour cloudburst that dumped 345mm of rain on the city earlier this week.

The federal government has pledged US$141 million (S$199 million) in immediate relief and launched a survey to assess losses to life and property.