Many of us have probably come across the post on social media — a US CEO — an NRI by some accounts — has “redesigned” the Indian map to depict its states as countries with equivalent populations. This was done, the post claims, to laud the efforts of the Modi government and “explain to his employees” that India is “indirectly handling Covid-19 situation of so many countries”. However, the post, which names neither the CEO nor the company he purportedly leads, is a hoax because the redesigned map is at least four years old.
Even so, the post has been shared on several social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. On WhatsApp, it has been shared with the following message, in Hindi as well as English. “This is Indian map redesigned by an American CEO where he marked the Indian states population which is almost equal to the population of some of the countries. He tried to explain to his employees that India is indirectly handling the Covid-19 situation of so many countries. It’s about the management of the problem in an efficient manner. He praised Modiji in this unique way. The world is recognising the efforts of Modiji but some insider slaves and traitors are still criticising Modiji for mismanagement of Covid-19 in India.”
On Facebook, too, the post is doing the rounds in English as well as Hindi with more than 700 shares. However, the map has been traced at least four years back to 2016, long before Covid-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China. In April 2016, it was shared by Norwegian diplomat and former minister Erik Solheim in a post about the growth in Indian population.