Fact Check: Viral Claim over Mahar Caste Soldier Fighting the Battle of Koregaon Is Fake

On January 1, 1818, the Battle of Koregaon was fought between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of Maratha Confederacy at Koregaon Bhima.

In the above context, an image of a tribal man is widely being shared on social media claiming that it is the soldier of Mahar caste, who fought the Battle of Koregaon.

The caption of the image reads: “भीमा कोरेगांव की लड़ाई में अपना पराक्रम दिखाने वाले एक महार सैनिक की दुर्लभ फोटो, जो तत्कालीन ईस्ट इण्डिया कम्पनी के सलाहकार मि डेव्ही जोन्स की डायरी से प्राप्त हुई है.” (English translation: “Rare photo of a Mahar soldier showing his valour in the battle of Bhima Koregaon, obtained from the diary of Davy Jones, Advisor to the then East India Company.”)

The link to the post can be seen here.


NewsMobile did the fact-check, and found it to be fake.

Doing a Google Reverse Image Search, we found the same image published by Alamy with a caption saying that it is the image of Prince Ndabuko kaMpande, (younger brother of King Cetshwayo kaMpande, who was the king of the Zulu Kingdom from 1873 to 1879 and its leader during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.)

The same image on Wikimedia, mentions: “The photograph, purportedly showing King Cetshwayo kaMpande, is actually his younger brother Prince Ndabuko kaMpande dating from the mid-1880s.”

According to Royal Collection Trust’s website, “Cetshwayo ka Mpande was king of the Zulus from 1872 to 1879. Following his defeat in the Anglo-Zulu war in July 1879, he was exiled first to Cape Town and then, in August 1882, to London.” Hence we can ascertain that the viral claim is fake.

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