English, Fake News

This ‘British Herald’ magazine with Narendra Modi cover was published in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic in India


An image of the ‘British Herald’ magazine with PM Narendra Modi’s cover is being shared on social media claiming that UK’s leading magazine ‘British Herald’ had recently described Narendra Modi as the “World’s Most Powerful Person”. This post claims that the British Herald news portal had made this fabulous description recognising Narendra Modi’s leadership in controlling the COVID-19 crisis and increasing vaccine production in India. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be seen here.

Claim: UK’s leading magazine ‘British Herald’ had recently recognised PM Narendra Modi as the “World’s Most Powerful Person” in the context of COVID-19.

Fact: The photo shared in the post is an old one. British Herald website had published this magazine cover based on their ‘World’s Most Powerful Person 2019’ reader’s poll. The ‘British Herald’ is an obscure website that is being run by a Kerala-based businessman, Ansif Ashraf. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

On reverse image search of the photo shared in the post, a similar photo was found tweeted by the ‘Republic TV’ news channel on ‘21 June 2019’. ‘Republic TV’ reported that Indian PM Narendra Modi was chosen as the ‘World’s Most Powerful Person’ in a readers poll conducted by the British Herald. Reporting this information, several news websites including DD News have published videos and articles in 2019. They can be seen here and here.

On 23 May 2019, after the BJP’s victory in the 2019 General Elections, the ‘British Herald’ news portal tweeted this image and congratulated Narendra Modi for his victory. Reporting the details of this magazine cover, ‘British Herald’ published an article on 16 June 2019. This article reported that India PM Narendra Modi was chosen as the ‘World’s Most Powerful Person 2019’ in a readers’ poll. According to the article, more than 25 world leaders were nominated for this poll and four leaders were selected for the final poll. These four leaders were Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and Narendra Modi. PM Narendra Modi, with 30.9% of votes had reportedly won this poll and was featured on the ‘British Herald’ magazine cover page published on 15 July 2019.   

Multiple news websites reported ‘British Herald’ as an obscure website with only a few readers. They can be seen here and here.  These websites reported that a Kerala businessman named Ansif Ashraf is currently running this British Herald news portal. Also, no reputed international news organisation had reported this poll result recognising Narendra Modi as the ‘World’s Most Powerful Person’.

To sum it up, this ‘British Herald’ magazine cover page with Narendra Modi’s photo was not published post-COVID-19 in India.


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