A photo of Milind Soman running naked on a beach is being misleadingly circulated on social media platforms with the claim that the image is that of a migrant worker from Bihar.
Several social media accounts were found sharing and re-sharing the image with the claim that the migrant labourer in the picture (Milind Soman) was marooned at a beach following the sudden call for a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Many people also erroneously claimed that the migrant in picture (found to be Milind Soman later) had lost all his sources of income overnight and was left to fend for himself at the beach, when in order to satiate his hunger, he was forced to barter his clothes in exchange for a morsel of food.
Following the sudden announcement of a lockdown, several migrants and daily labourers had resorted to returning back to their villages on foot. By looking at the picture, it was easy to mistake it for that of a labourer, especially given the lean figure of the person in question. It was also claimed that the migrant in question was running and not walking because he was being driven out of the beach after his clothes were impounded by the cops for failing to wear a mask.
Not only social media users, but prominent media persons and political leaders shared the picture claiming it to be of a poor unclothed migrant worker, ignored by the governments.
“Emperor is completely naked but nobody around him has the courage to tell him,” tweeted one leader.
As the picture went viral, Milind Soman had to take matters in his own hands and clarify that he was neither poor, nor a migrant worker nor running away to his village in Bihar. Our team of fact checkers also undertook a reverse image search which led us to Milind Soman’s personal Twitter account, thus verifying that his claims were indeed true. The picture was in fact shot by his own wife, at a beach, to mark his birthday in his ‘birthday suit’.
Tasteful, a work of art and a display of body positivity – nude pictures are often looked through an artistic lens by expert connoisseurs. However, post-lockdown, the perspective of many have been altered to a large extent. Almost every other media person or political leader has become extremely sensitised towards any pictures depicting of poverty or hunger, no matter the country it orignates from.
The limit was reached when recently a prominent media personality shared a video from the popular pornsite ‘Brazzers’, expressing her grief towards the state of migrant labourers in the country. The video was later taken down after it was found to be not that of a migrant family, but that of a white couple.