Following a raging debate about whether the portrait President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled at the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was actually of actor Prosenjit Chatterjee (who played Netaji in a film titled Gumnaami), the film's director Srijit Mukherji has issued a statement.
Srijit took to Twitter to write, "The following is the picture on the basis of which the painting at Rashtrapati Bhawan was painted by Paresh Maity. For any similarity of Prosenjit's look to this photo, the credit goes to Somnath Kundu. #Gumnaami @prosenjitbumba".
Somnath Kundu is the make-up artiste of Gumnaami, the person behind Prosenjit Chatterjee's transformation.
The following is the picture on the basis of which the painting at Rashtrapati Bhawan was painted by Paresh Maity. For any similarity of Prosenjit's look to this photo, the credit goes to Somnath Kundu. #Gumnaami @prosenjitbumba pic.twitter.com/Lhy5FTzjtt
— Srijit Mukherji (@srijitspeaketh) January 25, 2021
Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee also took to Twitter to clarify.
Would like to congratulate Paresh Maity for the wonderful piece of art in remembrance of our National hero Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. As an Actor,I’m elated that people thought,that the painting resembles my character in Gumnami,dir. by @srijitspeaketh and prosthetics by Somnath pic.twitter.com/HBkXvwFFSw
— Prosenjit Chatterjee (@prosenjitbumba) January 25, 2021
The President of India’s official Twitter handle is yet to react to this incident.
On 23 January, the President's official Twitter handle posted some photos from the event. Soon after, people started claiming that the portrait was not of the real Subhas Chandra Bose, but of actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, who played Netaji in the Bengali film that dealt with his mysterious death.
Several prominent personalities, including Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and senior journalist Barkha Dutt, had tweeted about the confusion but later deleted them when some pointed out that the portrait was based on a real photograph of Netaji.
MP Mahua Moitra had said, “God Save India (because this government certainly can’t)” in reaction to the incident. “After donating Rs 5 lakhs to the Ram temple the President honours Netaji by unveiling a portrait of Prasenjit, (sic) the actor who played him in biopic”.
Barkha Dutt had also tweeted stating that she was “shocked” to hear about the incident and that it was “utterly embarrassing”. She later deleted her tweet after another journalist claimed that the portrait by artist Paresh Maity was based on an original photograph of Netaji sourced from his grand niece.
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