Journalist Shekhar Gupta who was once called a “wheeler-dealer” on live television has almost made it a habit of getting regularly slammed on Twitter. This has occurred yet again with Gupta and his website “The Print” of which he is the editor-in-chief, getting slammed for making open defecation a Hindu Muslim issue.
The website on Tuesday published an article titled, “Hindus are less likely to use a toilet than Muslims in India” which was also shared on Twitter by Gupta:
Hindus are less likely to use a toilet they own than Muslims in India, finds ongoing study by scholars Michael Geruso and Dean Spears for US National Bureau of Economic Research: https://t.co/BT2Hef2xXJ
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) March 27, 2018
The article in question decided to bifurcate India’s open defecation stats into Hindus and Muslims to conclude that 25% of Hindus who have built toilets, don’t use them and this figure is 10% for Muslims. It also claimed that back in 2005, 68% of poor Hindu households defecated in the open and that the figure was about 43% for corresponding Muslim households.
Disregarding the absurdity and lack of logic for carrying out such a study, the figures quoted in the conclusion too might be misleading considering the report itself admits that in order to study the aforementioned patterns, the writers sought the help of a certain, “Sanitation Quality, Use, Access, & Trends survey”, carried out in North India back in 2013 and 2014.
So clearly the report’s “findings” might be based on older figures, back in a time before the whole “Swachh Bharat Mission” was launched, thereby possibly making the current figures much lower.
People predictably weren’t amused by the article and proceeded to slam Gupta and his website:
Terror has no Religion, Toilets have Religion. pic.twitter.com/p83NqwLnng
— Sriram (@srirambjp) March 27, 2018
Such drivel, how does this even qualify as news? https://t.co/XXH1HbYiCp
— Raghuvir Srinivasan (@srirags) March 27, 2018
— R Jagannathan (@TheJaggi) March 27, 2018
These people have reached in our toilets and yet people complain about NaMo App.
Where is the Privacy? https://t.co/tJPodDGFH2
— Sharmaji Ka Beta (@Chopdasaab) March 27, 2018
This is how malicious reporting happens. The authors clearly say that they have not probed deeper into why there is a difference between Hindu and Muslim HHs in toilet usage. Then of what use is your statistic! https://t.co/7O32tRdPaK
— Pratyasha Rath (@pratyasharath) March 27, 2018
After managing to find a religious angle in people’s defecation statistics, it remains to be seen as to which is the next topic where Shekhar Gupta and company, manage to analyse via the religious lens.