Friday, August 7, 2020
Home Fact-Check How ‘alternative facts’ were used by a ‘fact checker’ to show PM Modi in...

How ‘alternative facts’ were used by a ‘fact checker’ to show PM Modi in poor light

An article was published on Hindustan Times yesterday, which claimed to “fact check” the speech made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election rally at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh on February 16.

The article was written by someone working at an organisation called IndiaSpend, which OpIndia.com had earlier found lacking in their “fact check” rigour, and it appears that this article was another example of that.

The most notable aspect about the article is that the author couldn’t find a single claim made by PM Modi that was completely wrong (except one, which was ‘alternative facts’ by the author himself, as we’d see it later in this article), yet the article went on to claim that the speech was full of “half-truths” and “tall claims”.

In essence, the only “tall claim” was that the article was presented as “fact check”, and the “half-truths” were some of the claims made in the article. For example:

On crimes against Dalits:

Modi says – even the article quotes this – “Hindustan mein sabse zyada daliton par atyachaar agar kahin hote hai, to us pradesh ka naam hai Uttar Pradesh”. This, the article claims, is “wrong”.

This sentence clearly indicates that, in terms of absolute magnitude, Uttar Pradesh sees the highest number of crimes against Dalits. The article however assumes that PM meant the crime rate against SCs i.e. crimes reported per 100000 SC population, which although a valid indicator, is not what Modi himself was using in his statement.

It’s like a person saying that “Sachin Tendulkar has made the maximum runs” and some “fact checker” shouts “wrong” because Sachin is not the number one in batting averages.

Nonetheless, using this crime-rate indicator, the article makes a point that many other states have a higher crime rate than Uttar Pradesh against SCs. However, it is one thing to say Gujarat has a higher crime rate against SCs than Uttar Pradesh, and yet another to conclude Uttar Pradesh is safer for Dalits than Gujarat. The latter – the article concludes that Uttar Pradesh is “better place” for SCs than Gujarat – becomes a heavily contestable claim which ignores other possible factors that feed into this data.

The “fact-checker” assumes it is as easy or difficult for an SC to report a case against a dominant caste in Uttar Pradesh as it is in Gujarat. In a region infamous for its heavily caste-ridden and politically connected security apparatus, for an SC to file a case against a dominant community may be an uphill task. In fact, Modi himself mentions in this very speech that IndiaSpend refers to, that it is difficult for a Dalit to register cases in police stations in Uttar Pradesh.

Remember that in Uttar Pradesh, outside the cities and sometimes even within, politically connected strongmen and bahubalis rule the roost and even the police are not immune to such influences. Recently, there was a case of even the Supreme Court having to intervene and order the Uttar Pradesh Government to register an FIR in a case of alleged gangrape of a minor against a minister in Akhilesh’s cabinet.

Deriving conclusions by looking purely at the crime rate from a numbers-only perspective without contextualising it with ground realities may be misleading.

Further, Gujarat had a crime rate of 29.2 in 2013, 27.7 in 2014 and 25.7 in 2015 while Uttar Pradesh had 17.1 in 2013, 19.5 in 2014 and 20.2 in 2015. The rate in Gujarat is dipping gradually while the situation in Uttar Pradesh is going in the opposite direction, and this is something the article itself concedes.

This constant rise in crime rate against Dalits makes Uttar Pradesh a “better place” than Gujarat where it’s going down? The crime rate against SCs jumps from 15 in 2012 to 20.2 in 2015 – an increase of about 35% – a pretty damning indictment of Akhilesh’s governance actually.

On crop insurance:

The fact-checker observes, as opposed to Modi’s claim, that the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is not the first in covering natural calamity risks since the Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) is already present to cover weather-related vagaries.

However, there is one key difference between the two schemes. What is unprecedented is that the PMFBY actually covers extremely localized calamities which the RUA (Reference Unit Area) based approach of the WBCIS does not – a nuance which a fact check should have covered since it claims WBCIS already did all that PMFBY does.

PMFBY states “For Risks of Localized calamities and Post-Harvest losses on account of defined peril, the Unit of Insurance for loss assessment shall be the affected insured field of the individual farmer”. WBCIS adopts an RUA-based approach where claims are studied based on conditions in the RUA than in the specific field of the insured individual farmer.

In this sense the PMFBY, surely has an important first up its sleeve whose value-add may be subtle on paper but can turn out to be a life and death question for an individual farmer whose field saw adverse natural conditions affect his prospects which an RUA-based insurance scheme may not consider since it considers weather conditions of the overall RUA to evaluate such a claim.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Muslims chose to stay back in India: An analysis of the mythical, unsubstantiated trope that is used to make Hindus feel guilty

Muslims who stayed back in India after the partition, did not primarily do so out of their innate love for mother India

Soil from ancient Sharda Peeth in PoK was also used in Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan: Read how VHP and some dedicated devotees managed that

This Sharada Peeth is significantly important for Hindus because it is said to be one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas.

Assam: Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan celebration by Bajrang Dal attacked by Muslim locals, curfew imposed

The Muslim locals allegedly objected to the Bajrang Dal members chanting slogans and playing music. The arguments soon led to a violent clash.

Ram Janmabhoomi movement: Three sacrifices that can never be forgotten

Five hundred years of struggle went into Ram Janmabhoomi moment. There would be so many heroes that it is impossible to remember them all.

From being bigoted, kids are ‘hope of secularism’. The Wire’s Rohini Singh explains how

The Wire journalist Rohini Singh on Wednesday took to Twitter to share an image wherein she claimed that her child drew a mosque and a temple side by side and wrote an essay on tolerance.

Hindu cricketer Danish Kaneria deletes tweet about Ram Mandir billboard in NYC after Pakistani Islamists flood his TL. Here is what happened

The former Pakistani cricketer had shared an image featuring Ram Mandir's digital image in a giant billboard at New York's Times Square before deleting it.

Recently Popular

Twitter user arrested by Maharashtra police for criticising the Uddhav Thackeray govt on social media

Mumbai Police arrested Twitter user Sunaina Holey for posting against Maharashtra CM and his son, to be presented in court today

Here is why #BabyPenguin is trending on Twitter, and why Aaditya Thackeray is called so by some

Yuva Sena registered complaint against twitter user for calling Aaditya Thackeray "Baby Penguin" and Uddhav Thackeray "Aurangzeb"

While most Bollywood actors and cricketers chose not to welcome Ram Mandir, here are the ones who did not shy away

Only a few actors and sportspersons celebrated Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan and shared wishes on social media.

TV actor Sameer Sharma found hanging from the kitchen ceiling, case of accidental death registered

After body of Sameer Sharma was recovered from his house, a case of accidental death has been registered by the Malad police

Muslims chose to stay back in India: An analysis of the mythical, unsubstantiated trope that is used to make Hindus feel guilty

Muslims who stayed back in India after the partition, did not primarily do so out of their innate love for mother India

Maulana from All India Imam Association threatens that ‘believers of justice’ will demolish Ram Mandir and rebuild disputed structure

Maulana Rashidi stated that the Ram Mandir will one day be demolished and a disputed structure will be rebuilt.

Pakistan borrows $1 Billion from its all-weather ally China to repay $1 Billion Saudi Arabia loan to avoid default on international debt obligations

China tightens its grip over Pakistan, gives $1 billion loan to repay Saudi Arabia's $1 billion loan, grants 90% of $6.8 billion railway project

CBI registers case against Rhea Chakraborty, her family and aides in Sushant Singh Rajput death case

CBI files case against Rhea Chakraborty, her father, mother, brother and 2 others in Sushant Singh Rajput's death case

‘As a CM I have no problem with any religion, but as a yogi, I will not go for a Mosque’s ground-breaking ceremony’: Yogi...

When asked whether he will attend ground-breaking ceremony for the mosque at Ayodhya, Yogi Adityanath said that he will not be invited

Complaint filed against Maulana Sajid Rashid for inciting Muslims to demolish Ram Mandir at Ayodhya

President of the All India Imam Association Sajid Rashidi had said that a mosque will be rebuilt after demolishing the Ram Mandir

15th EU-India Summit: Promising an opportunity for India in the post-COVID world

The 15th EU-India Summit was held in the virtual space, which can be called the Covid-19 era normal. Before the pandemic made its presence felt, this Summit was planned to be held in March in Brussels.

Dalit organisation lodges a complaint with MHA seeking an FIR against AIMPLB for intimidating and hurting the faith of Hindu Dalits

AIMPLB had issued a menacing threat yesterday hinting at converting the Ram temple back into a mosque

CBI starts the process of registering a case in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, forms SIT for the probe

CBI to probe Sushant Singh Rajput's death after the center issued the letter to CBI on Bihar Police’s request on 5th August

Is being a Hindu acceptable but having faith in Hindutva ‘dangerous’? Quite the contrary

Is being a Hindu acceptable while faith in Hindutva is not? Is it even dangerous? Many Hindus seem wary to be associated with Hindutva

Mumbai faces massive flooding and destruction due to heavy rain, rainfall in one day exceeds the season’s average

Mumbai received 2,319.7 mm rain on Wednesday, which is more than the seasonal average of 2,206.4 mm, causes heavy flooding

Muslims chose to stay back in India: An analysis of the mythical, unsubstantiated trope that is used to make Hindus feel guilty

Muslims who stayed back in India after the partition, did not primarily do so out of their innate love for mother India

Connect with us

239,250FansLike
423,282FollowersFollow
291,000SubscribersSubscribe