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GDP data: Liberal crowd must explain what happened to the last conspiracy theory before moving to next one

We cannot stop conspiracy theorists from spinning their yarns, but we can stop taking them seriously.

You might have heard that apparently, 108 ‘academicians’ have written an appeal talking about “restoring” the “institutional independence” and integrity of statistical institutions.

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108 ‘academicians’ appeal against ‘withholding’ unemployment data

Personally, I feel the unnecessary chatter from the anti-Modi ecosystem around GDP numbers has gone on long enough. The base year for GDP data is always updated from time to time. Always has been. Always will be. Nothing more to see here. Sensible people should move on.

Nevertheless, it’s a democracy. Everyone is free to ask questions.

Now I don’t know anything about the ‘academicians’ who wrote this appeal, so I decided to do a simple Google search for the names of the ‘academicians’ mentioned in the article.

Seriously, try it. It is amazing what 1 minute on Google can throw up. There may or may not be names there which have served on the Sachar Committee for minorities or have used their campus to lead protests against CM Modi in 2002, or have been recommended for good stuff ahead of seniors for mysterious reasons.

Liberals seem to have a conspiracy theory for just about anything that happens during Modi’s tenure, whether ordinary or extraordinary.

Allegations about Modi govt tinkering with GDP data have surfaced before.

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‘Tinkering’ GDP data is not a new allegation

According to the ET report, the IMF team “reviewed the methodology of the new GDP estimates“.

Okay, that was 2015. How about now?

Well, the simple answer is that we can’t put conspiracy theorists in the driver’s seat and run helter-skelter each time they have come up with a new conspiracy theory.

In brief, the anti-Modi ecosystem must explain what happened to their last conspiracy theory before they can move on to the next one.

Just think about this. When the opposition lost heavily in Uttar Pradesh elections of 2017, they instantly floated the theory that EVMs were rigged. The media magnified the message and the Election Commission even organized a contest for parties to show how the EVMs could be rigged. Nobody showed up.

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EC slams political parties

Because they had already moved on to the next conspiracy theory. Unless they stand by the theory, are able to prove it when challenged or at least make an honest apology when their theory is debunked, there is no credibility.

Remember the surgical strike of 2016? Remember all the liberals who scrambled to suggest that the Army was lying? What happened to those allegations? Have any apologies come in? I don’t remember any.

And even before that, remember the terror boat incident? At that time the liberals said the Navy/Coast Guard were lying. What happened to that? Do they still stand by it? Or was it about creating a cloud of misinformation around everything and then running away before the truth can catch up?

Not surprisingly, they are now accusing the Air Force of lying about Balakot and its aftermath.

Remember the Judge LOya case and how the conspiracy theorists failed to prove their case in court? Soon after there was a campaign to impeach the then Chief Justice of India!

Remember the CAG report on Rafale that the conspiracy theorists wanted to see? Then the report came out, found nothing wrong … and then the same conspiracy theorists came up with rumours that the CAG was compromised!

Say random stuff and move on … the pattern is too obvious.

The ‘secular’ media meanwhile is only too happy to fan these theories and act like they are real issues.

This is exactly the opposite of how the ‘secular’ media would let us forget even the biggest, most shocking things in the UPA years.

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How former EC Navin Chawla was removed in 2009

Imagine the kind of uproar it would cause today if the Chief Election Commissioner wrote to the President of India recommending removal of an Election Commissioner, alleging that he was taking phone calls from the ruling party during bathroom breaks!

Or imagine the kind of uproar it would cause today if a mere reader (not even a professor) at some DU college was made Vice-Chancellor of a prestigious institution like Nalanda University. And what if someone of the stature of Dr. Kalam had expressed his disapproval of the way things were going?

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2012 article where Dr Kalam slammed Amartya Sen

And what if it turned out that a daughter of a top minister today had been selected as one out of just 2 Indians worldwide to become part of the Nalanda Mentor Group consisting of 19 eminent people from all over the world?

But back in the day, Dr. Singh’s own daughter becoming one of just 2 Indians found worthy enough to be in the Nalanda Mentor Group raised no eyebrows.

This has been the ‘secular’ modus operandi in the last five years: make an unnecessary fuss about absolutely everything. Opposite to the ten years from 2004-2014, when even the most outrageous stuff was speedily forgotten.

That reminds me. In Nov 2017, an Assistant Editor of India Today Group published an article on Aaj Tak demanding to know why the Modi government was “suppressing” GDP figures? Was it to avoid embarrassment before Gujarat elections?

In his rush to spread a conspiracy theory, the Assistant Editor of India Today Group even forgot to do the basic fact check that would have told him Q2 GDP numbers are always released on Nov 30 at 5:30 pm. His article was written on Nov 22. His article contains the claim that Q2 GDP numbers are released on Nov 1, which is just plain false.

What happened to that conspiracy theory? Was there an apology? Any professional consequences for the person who spread the conspiracy theory?

This is how conspiracy theorists operate: create a cloud of misinformation by throwing a bunch of claims at people, some half true, some false, some impossible to verify.

We cannot stop conspiracy theorists from spinning their yarns, but we can stop taking them seriously. Here is a simple thumb rule: when you meet someone who has a new conspiracy theory about Modi sarkar, ask him what happened to the previous conspiracy theory.

Works like magic. Try it.

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Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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