Modi’s Dhanteras photo on Facebook creates a flutter on social media

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Oct 22, 2014 19:32 IST

US-based photographer of Nepali origin Bimal Nepal posted a beautiful photo of Diwali lights on his Facebook and Instagram pages on Tuesday morning.

The photo of container candles placed in an S-shaped pattern on a wooden floor was clicked last year by Nepal. He posted it on the social media sites this year to wish his friends a Happy Diwali.

A few hours later almost a similar photo or the same photo with some digital alterations appeared on the Facebook page of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he shared Dhanteras greetings with his followers.

There was no credit given to Nepal for the use of his photo without permission. The surprised photographer has now taken this issue of copyright violation to social media.

“I am truly honored that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is using one of my photographs in his Facebook page. My greatest question and concern is—there is no credit for the photographer,” Nepal wrote on Facebook.

He mentions that the photo was clicked in the dining room of his Cambridge Massachusetts home with help of his daughter Abina who set up the Diwali lights on the floor.

“Of course that photo was taken by me. It is on Flickr (photo sharing website) with all the metadata. It is protected by US copyright law,” Nepal wrote to HT in reply to questions about his claim.

“I am one of the greatest fans of Mr. Modi but how he uses this photo is totally unacceptable. I am looking for compensation and the appropriate credit,” he added.

Nepal has found support from many on social media who have urged him to raise the issue with Modi’s office. Some of his friends claim to have written about it to the Prime Minister’s social media team.

“Apparently this image was created by photographer Bimal Nepal (living in Masschusetts) and has been used without courtesy or credit,” eminent Nepali journalist Kanak Mani Dixit commented on Modi’s Facebook page.

Nepal has also found support on Twitter with some expressing “serious concern” and others suggesting him to contact the Prime Minister’s office.

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