Locking down the truth

In his 14 April 2020 announcement of the extension of India’s lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that his government had been proactive in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://youtu.be/F07fXd4vVlg?t=317 He made four claims (listen from 5:19): “When we didn’t have even one case of coronavirus, India had started airport screening of passengers arriving …

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When Harry met Modi

In a Forbes magazine article that caused a happy stir in right-wing social media, Harry G. Broadman argued that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “governing prowess” had “boosted India’s GDP growth” and “produced sizeable increases of inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI)”. He stated that the reforms implemented by Modi in his first three years were …

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Spinning an electricity turnaround in Uttar Pradesh

An Economic Times (ET) report on 26 Apr credited the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) for a dramatic turnaround in the state’s electricity situation. The news report claimed that UP had “shed blackouts within a month of the BJP taking over the reins, moving from perennially running short of electricity …

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Why you shouldn’t be bedazzled by Modi’s LED claims

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is proud of the government’s scheme to distribute millions of low-cost, energy efficient LED bulbs. And why not: Modi told the Lok Sabha on 7 Feb that the distribution of 21 crore LED bulbs had helped households save ₹11,000 crore in electricity bills. Even the name bears his unmistakable imprint: “Unnat …

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Rank exaggeration

A look at India's rapid rise in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index, first published as an oped in the Hindustan Times: It’s clear that the Modi government can’t get enough of comparative rankings and indicators. And this is understandable: despite a solid reform push and favourable (if controversial) official statistics, many feel that …

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Fact checking Modi’s WSJ interview

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a wide-ranging interview to the Wall Street Journal to mark the second anniversary of his government. Modi argued that he had restored confidence to India and put an end to the "sense of policy paralysis, bad economic conditions and corruption" of 2012 and 2013. As usual, there was a grain of truth, and also the exaggeration …

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