Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fact checkers in India

Finally somebody has taken it upon themselves to start fact checking the claims made by politicians. Just read an article in Mint about claims made by Mr. Narendra Modi in a speech yesterday.

Here is the summary.
Mr. Modi made two claims, 1) only 23% homes have latrines in Bihar 2) 16% homes have electricity in Bihar. Both facts are right from the census data.

What is bothering me is the fact that Mr. Modi is truthful but is being economical with truth. Have a look at chart below.

As we can see Mr. Modi is right about Bihar, it is really at the bottom of the ranking, but I have two questions in my mind. Mr. Modi's party was ally of Mr. Nitish Kumar till few months back and why did they not do anything about it and Mr. Modi is running Gujarat for last 15 years and why did he not do anything about it there. To put it is perspective, as per 2001 census data, Gujarat was 18th in the list and in 2011 it is 21st. So I would say it is hard to believe Mr. Modi when he claims that he can fix the problem in Bihar.

As we can see from the chart above, Gujarat ranks 16 th in Electricity availability as per 2011 census. The same census data suggests that it ranked 11th in 2001.
So, Mr. Modi is right when he claims that Bihar has not progressed enough under the government of Mr. Nitish Kumar. It still lies at the bottom of the pool along with UP. He should take the share of the blame since his party was running the government with Mr. Nitish Kumar till some month ago. Mr. Modi is not so right when he claims that he can fix it because on these two accounts, Gujarat has gone down in the ranking of states.

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