FACT CHECK: Do These Images Show The Qutub Minar Lit Up With The Colors Of Russia?
Images shared on Facebook allegedly show India’s Qutub Minar minaret lit up with the colors of the Russian flag in support of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Qutub Minar was lit up to celebrate the 2022 Janaushadi Diwas, a weeklong event dedicated to spreading awareness about the use of generic medicine, according to Indian government sources.
Numerous monuments and buildings across the world, including the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Empire State Building in New York, have been illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag to express solidarity for the invaded country, according to USA Today. A series of images shared on Facebook claims India did the opposite, illuminating a building with the colors of the Russian flag.
A set of four Facebook images appear to show India’s Qutub Minar, a world heritage site, illuminated red, white and blue. “India just lit up the Qutb Minar with the colors of the Russian flag and aptly called it ‘The nectar of freedom,'” the post’s caption claims.
The images are taken out of context. The set of pictures was shared on Twitter March 5 by the verified Twitter account of Amrit Mahotsav, an Indian government initiative, with a caption that translates to, “The color of the nectar festival of freedom and the Janaushadhi project climbed on the Qutub. A confluence of amazing beauty and technology, which you can see from 5 to 7 March.”
कुतुब पर चढ़ा आज़ादी के अमृत महोत्सव और जन औषधि परियोजना का रंग। अद्भुत सुंदरता और तकनीक का संगम, जिसे आप देख सकते हैं 5 से 7 मार्च तक। #AmritMahotsav #MainBharatHoon #IndiaAt75 #JanaushadhiDiwas2022 pic.twitter.com/gMnhVWQTpB
— Amrit Mahotsav (@AmritMahotsav) March 5, 2022
Similar images were shared by the verified Twitter account of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), another Indian government initiative created to increase the accessibility of quality generic medicines.
— Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (@pmbjppmbi) March 5, 2022
Both tweets claim the monument was lit in celebration of the 2022 Jan Aushadhi Diwas, a weeklong celebration taking place between Mar. 1-7 dedicated to spreading awareness of and celebrating “quality generic medicines,” according to a press release published by the Indian Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Check Your Fact found no credible news reporting to suggest the tower was lit in support of Russia.
India’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) debunked the claim via Twitter, stating “@globaltimesnews has claimed in a tweet that Qutub Minar was lit up with the colours of the Russian flag, This claim is #Misleading.”
▶️This claim is #Misleading.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 7, 2022
Chinese-state affiliated news outlet Global Times intially shared a tweet claiming the tower was lit with the colors of the Russian flag but later deleted the tweet, according to Indian news outlet Republic World. The claim that the tower was lit in support of Russia has been widely debunked by fact check outlets including NewsMobile, The Quint and AFP India.