On the day Ravish Kumar travelled to Manila to receive the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award, his critics back at home targetted him using a 35-second video clip. The footage that is being widely shared on social media, juxtaposes a 2013 clip of Ravish Kumar’s show on 5% GDP growth with a recent broadcast on the same topic. The video purporting to expose Kumar’s ‘hypocrisy’ carries his quote, “It is very difficult to keep your values safe” (translated).

In the 2013 video, Kumar can be heard saying, “Are we being too critical or sad about the economy? There are many countries in the world which are growing at a rate less than 5%” (translated). The 2019 video he can be heard saying, “The economy is not in a good condition. Despite efforts to hide it, the GDP figures today have exposed the wounds. The 5% figure confirms that it is in grips of a slowdown.” (translated)

Does the 35-second viral clip accurately represent Kumar’s views on economic slow? Did the journalist not criticise the Congress government when the GDP was at 5% in 2013?

No, clipped video viral

The 2013 video is clipped to present a misleading picture. The broadcast is of February 2013 when dismal growth numbers were revealed in the Economic Survey. Alt News accessed the full video and found that Kumar actually started his introduction in a manner almost identical to how he started the same in 2019. Here is what he said:

“नमस्कार मैं रवीश कुमार। वर्तमान काल में देश की आर्थिक स्थिति ठीक नहीं है। भविष्य काल में ठीक होने का अनुमान है। भूतकाल से तुलना करने पर, यानी जब भारत 8 या 9 प्रतिशत की विकास दर से आगे जा रहा था, अर्थव्यवस्था का हर सूचकांक धीमी गति के समाचार की तरह प्रतीत हो रहा है। वर्ष 2012-13 की आर्थिक सर्वे रिपोर्ट में यह बात सामने आई थी कि उद्योग, खेती, विनिर्माण और सर्विस सेक्टर, सभी ढलान पर हैं। हमारा झंडेबाज़ यानी फ्लैगशिप सर्विस सेंटर भी लुढ़क कर 6.6 प्रतिशत पर आ गया है। यानी होटल पर्यटन क्षेत्र में भी तरक्की नहीं हो रही है।”

“The economy of the country is not in a good state. It is expected to recover in the future. Compared to the past when it was growing between 8 and 9%, now every indicator points to a slowdown. Manufacturing, agriculture all show a slowdown. Even our flagship service sector has fallen to 6.6% meaning tourism, hotels, etc all are not growing.”

He then goes on to quote figures from the economic survey to ask if the Indian economy which was regarded as a ‘tiger’ is now better described as a ‘lamb’? He concludes his introduction, with the words that were clipped and shared on social media, i.e., “are we being too critical or sad about the economy? There are many countries in the world which are growing at a rate less than 5%. These are the aspects we will discuss on prime time today.”

You can watch the full video here.

It is clear that Ravish Kumar’s full introduction on the state of the economy as revealed by the 2013 Economic Survey was maliciously clipped to present a completely misleading picture.

Ravish Kumar was active on Twitter in 2013 and on the day the program was telecast, he had commented on the Economic Survey results saying, “Economic or uneconomic condition.”

Journalists join in to malign

Interestingly, the clipped video has been extensively shared by several journalists from other media houses, some of whom ironically have their own fact-checking cells.

Alt News has debunked several instances of misinformation spread about him in the past. This clipped video is one more addition to the long list.

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