Three days ago, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor posted a sepia-tinted photograph of what he claimed was a visit by former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi to the United States in 1954. "Look at the hugely enthusiastic spontaneous turnout of the American public, without any special PR campaign, NRI crowd management or hyped-up media publicity," the caption read, in an apparent jibe at the glittering "Howdy Modi" event that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump addressing a packed stadium in Houston on September 22.
However, after a couple of fact-checks by social media users on Twitter, the Congress leader admitted that the grainy photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi waving at huge crowds from an open jeep was "probably" from a visit to the erstwhile USSR.
Of historical interest: film footage of that first arrival in 1949, & his second visit in 1956 when then Vice-President Nixon received him at the airport & President Eisenhower welcomed him at home: https://t.co/buYGkwLqYt And with JFK in 1961: https://t.co/xQNIJIm2z8https://t.co/e64c8PFNvF— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 26, 2019
Still, one couldn't expect the Congress' in-house wordsmith to give up that easily. Today, in an attempt to set the record straight, he shared YouTube videos of the first Indian Prime Minister getting a grand welcome from various US premiers during his trips to the western country.
While one such video posted by Shashi Tharoor showed Jawaharlal Nehru being received at an airport by former US President Harry S Truman in 1949, another had former US President Dwight D Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon rolling out the red carpet for him as well as a young Indira Gandhi in 1956. A third clip from 1961 showed Jawaharlal Nehru meeting John F Kennedy before addressing the Indian diaspora in Washington.
After the Twitter kerfuffle about a mislabelled photograph, here's an authenticated pair of pix from our PM's visit to the US in 1949: a large crowd of people gathers at the University of Wisconsin to listen to a speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in November 1949. pic.twitter.com/ik0VBbXV0G— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 24, 2019
Even on Tuesday night, the Congress leader had posted a couple of photographs that showed Nehru addressing a huge crowd during his visit to the United States in 1949. "After the Twitter kerfuffle about a mislabelled photograph, here's an authenticated pair of pix from our PM's visit to the US in 1949: a large crowd of people gathers at the University of Wisconsin to listen to a speech by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in November 1949," the caption read.
For those not familiar with Shashi Tharoor's vocabulary, kerfuffle means a disturbance or commotion typically caused by conflict.
Incidentally, another error made by Shashi Tharoor in his original post still remains unaddressed. He had referred to Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter and the country's third Prime Minister, as "India Gandhi".
(With inputs from PTI)