Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rahul Gandhi's Truth-O-Meter


Politifact is US based web-magazine that fact-checks the utterances of key politicians and public figures. It also has a ‘Truth-O-Meter’ that measures the truthfulness or falsehood of the statements made by such public figures. If you haven’t given it a look earlier I encourage you to do so. The Truth-O-Meter is a registered trademark but this once I will use their meter for my favourite politician – Rahul Gandhi. It is safe to say Rahul Gandhi came into his own at Bhatta-Parsaul with his ‘mounds of ashes and dead bodies’. Since then he has been going from strength to strength; with his game-changer (as he himself humbly called it) speech in August in the parliament and since November 14 has been on a roll. Some image-specialist must have advised RG to turn his voice into a growl and behave like the angry young man. And the Indian media loves that. The slavish media also reports and telecasts his every speech and utterance but doesn’t find the time to fact-check all that RG says. So let’s look at a few of the prince’s profound statements as well as by the media.


Indian Express (Dec 17) “Four days into his mass contact programme, Rahul Gandhi’s speeches may be becoming repetitive, but his public meetings are drawing huge crowds in this Mulayam Singh Yadav stronghold.” Hmm! Considering that the live telecasts hardly showed these ‘huge’ crowds this is hard to believe and in the absence of any image as evidence has to go down as not exactly accurate.

Indian Express (Dec 17) RG Quote: “How many of you go to Mumbai and Delhi to work? Do you find development there? How many of you have mobile phones? Do you know who brought mobile technology to India?” People go to work to a lot of places but what is this about mobile phones? RG asks the question but leaves the answer to the imagination of his audience. Well, the mobile phone technology first came into India around 1995 during Narasimha Rao’s govt. Of course, crediting Rao for anything is a Congress crime. Still, mobiles got fully introduced only in 1996 during the subsequent govt of Deve Gowda.

Computers: RG: “In 1980 Rajiv Gandhi talked about computers and people are benefited today. Until and unless leaders think long-term UP cannot progress..” This one has to be an extra-ordinary nonsense that passed without a question. Congress returned to power in 1980 after the Janata Party and Rajiv Gandhi wasn’t even very active at that time. He became active only after the death of Sanjay Gandhi in June 1980. Also, computers as we know it became popular only after IBM introduced the PC in August 1981 although personal home computers existed since mid-70s.

Expressbuzz: On the fourth day of his five-day mass contact programme here, Rahul said "farmers are facing problems as 60 per cent of vegetables go waste.. we brought FDI in retail so that they could sell their produce directly". 60% ? It is true that vegetable-produce goes to waste for many reason but there is no authentic document to prove the 60% claim. There are some reports that quote 30-40% wastage but this 60% waste claim is clearly a figment of imagination. But I doubt any villager is going to ask RG!

"A packet of chips is made from just half a potato," he added, virtually turning the opposition to FDI into a conspiracy against farmers." Hahaha! Obviously, Rahul Gandhi has never been in the kitchen trying to make chips. Oh and potatoes come in different sizes so even if one takes the average Indian potato this is simply a ‘chip from the old block’ of Congress jokes.

Rahul dubbed the anti-FDI position of Congess's rivals - ranging from SP, BSP to BJP - as a betrayal of farmers, while pitching FDI in retail as a panacea to farmers of this region, known as the 'potato belt' of UP. Well, if the FDI in retail policy had to be shelved for the present it is more because of Congress’ allies and not because of the opposition but one can pass this off as election rhetoric.

Potatoes: And finally, RG says the market price of potatoes is Rs.2/- per kilogram but a packet of chips sells at Rs.10/- His inference is that FDI in retail would have got the farmers a much better deal. Well, he doesn’t tell us the weight of the potato chip packet but never mind. What the brilliant RG misses is that there is already 100% FDI in the potato chips business. Pepsi, being the largest seller is something that the villagers or the media is not going to question RG about.

So there you go, if the media were to carefully analyse the utterances of Rahul Gandhi, as also other politicians, they will realise much of these are mere nonsensical statements with no real substance in them. The “elephant in Lucknow eats your money” maybe somewhat true and entertaining but that’s just about it. And that elephant in comparison is much smaller than the dinosaur at the centre.

Note: The ‘Truth-O-Meter’ from Politifact is used only for demonstrative and educational purposes.

7 comments :

  1. RG is akin to the tale "the Emperors New Clothes"
    Stupid moron !! LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. RG is just infant in politics. And this idiot infant is dreaming to be PM of India. Shame!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have started feeling sad for electorate of UP because they have to deal with dynastic morons like Akhilesh & Rahul whose only achievement is their dad's legacy of Corruption & Muslim card.
    Congress party is desperately trying to win over every section of society but would actually end up in getting no one to vote it.
    Unfortunately the Media knows this but cannot bell the cat who feeds it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is an interesting post at the following link:

    http://democracyreform.blogspot.com/2006/11/democracy-needs-reformation-by-ohmyrus.html

    It's main points are:

    Politicians are votrepreneurs (vote + entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs want to make money while votrepreneurs want to earn votes!); and in the presence of Universal Adult Suffrage

    1. Democracy produces Welfare States.

    2. Democracy produces short-term thinking.

    3. Democracy has a tendency to divide people.

    Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said: 'Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.'

    In India we can see all of these three tendencies over the years.

    The proposal at the above link suggests reforms for USA and we need not take them. However, the basic theses sound reasonable and we must seriously consider reforming our system.

    Hermann Hoppe has also written extensively from an economist's perspective on Democracy. His famous book: Democracy: The God that Failed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since truth is the issue, let's go back to Lt. Col. Frank Jessop( Jack Nicholson)--"You can't handle the truth!....."

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think Democracy was first introduced in Beriklis wherein the parliament should pass and finally approved by the king. In due course of time they brought a woman and the parliament passed the stricture to execute her. When it went final authority, instead of deciding he started weeping, for it was none but his wife.

    The offence was who ever practice the preaching of Plato and Aristotle, it was declared a crime. Hence they immediately changed whoever preaches from the word whoever practices. Thus democracy encountered failure at its origin itself.

    One from US claimed they were at the peak of democracy for they could go and stand near the white house and clamour the president down, down. Russian countered they also could stand near Kremlin and shout American President down down.
    Thus fooling the common is the patent right of the democracy. If cat closes its eyes, rats will show its ***** to it is an adage in telugu. When majority of the voters are short of intelligence, (courtesy corrupt cong ruling for more than six decades; they sell the idea of it was instrumental to have brought Pacific ocean to ND and therefore the credit goes to cong

    ReplyDelete

Comments are welcome and are not moderated so as to allow free speech. However, comments that are off topic, abusive, defamatory or slanderous may be deleted. Comments disclosing personal information of individuals/entities will be deleted.Comments appearing here do not imply endorsement by author of this blog.