BJP leader JP Nadda Makes a Gaffe: Why Are Our Netas Socially Distanced From Maths?


BJP leader JP Nadda Makes a Gaffe: Why Are Our Netas Socially Distanced From Maths?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

It’s a known fact that politicians trade barbs for political points, often exaggerating the misdemeanors of the other side. Still, BJP leader’s JP Nadda’s tall claim about the Congress’ generosity towards China a week ago, was met with much mirth online. JP Nadda was due for an education in both maths and geography after he tweeted rather overzealously a few days ago that the Congress had ceded 43,000 kilometers of Indian territory to the Chinese during their time in power.

Because it clearly needed pointing out, a number of social media users reported back that the whole diameter of Earth was only around 12,000-odd kilometers. Even the circumference of the earth — approx 40,000 kilometres — fell short of what the Congress had allegedly given to the Chinese over 60 years, the BJP leader was soon informed.

While the BJP chief possibly got the unit of measurement wrong, and meant to say 43,000 square kilometers, as other members of the party have alleged, social media couldn’t have enough of the latest gaffe. Some said the BJP needed to hire better fake news creators.

Others innocently pointed out that the entire distance between Karachi and Beijing was only 4,860 kilometers, and that the Congress had committed a grave offence if the BJP leader’s figures were true.

Members of the Congress, meanwhile, took this opportunity to fire potshots at the BJP, saying the BJP leader “deserved” to be party president.

But their own former president was also called out back in 2017 for getting his figures wrong in a tweet targeting the Prime Minister. Talking about gas cylinders, Gandhi had noted that the price had gone from Rs 412 to Rs 742, and called this a 179 per cent increase. (The correct figure is 79 per cent).

But that wasn’t all. Gandhi went on to make the same mistake three times while commenting on the prices of pulses, onions, and tomatoes.

In a video also from 2017, Uttarakhand’s education minister Arvind Pandey makes a basic mathematical blunder, while apparently trying to “correct” a teacher. In the clip he’s seen asking her what the equation “- + -” means, and proudly gives her the wrong answer before she has the chance to respond.

A week ago, a news channel proved that it too had skipped maths and statistics classes after putting out a pie chart that showed 39.8 per cent as a higher figure than 60.2.

“Do you think India has taken suitable steps to give China a befitting reply?” the “Times Now” poll asked, before concluding that 39.8 per cent of the vote was higher than 60.2 per cent.

Two years ago, the BJP’s apparent dig at the Congress over the rising petrol prices during their time in power also backfired over a simple mathematical error. Using a bar chart in the worst possible way, the poll had appeared to say that the price of petrol in 2018 (at Rs 72.83) was lower than the price in 2012 (at Rs 56.71).

This week BJP leader JP Nadda has ensured that he too will enter the league of politicians who may need lessons in mathematics.