“Thanks to many who pointed issues with earlier image. While we illuminate streets, social media helps illuminate facts, helping us improve.“, tweeted Power Minister Piyush Goyal after deleting a tweet of his in which an old picture of unknown origin was claimed as that of street lighting on Indian roads. This was not the first time Piyush Goyal had deleted an erroneous tweet, but was definitely the first time he acknowledged an erroneous tweet. The tweet in question was:
The picture that shows an illuminated road is as old as 2009 and was posted a good five years before NDA Government’s present term. It was posted on CNET website as part of an article about partnership between Luminus and a Japanese firm.
When multiple people on social media pointed out to him that his claims are being represented by a 8 year old picture whose origins are not in India, Piyush Goyal deleted his tweet.
Thanks to many who pointed issues with earlier image. While we illuminate streets, social media helps illuminate facts, helping us improve.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 21, 2017
Funnily enough, this same picture was also used by certain Pakistani news websites to represent LED street lights in Islamabad.
Other such instances
In June 2017, Piyush Goyal had tweeted a picture from an Amnesty International report which had documented the human tragedy behind the expansion of coal mines. When the Amnesty International report came out, Piyush Goyal had rubbished the report. However, his ministry did not think twice about using a picture from the same report. Piyush Goyal deleted his tweet when a former Amnesty India employee had pointed out the glaring contradiction. Alt News had written about this issue here.
— Aruna Chandrasekhar (@aruna_sekhar) June 15, 2017
Earlier, during demonetisation, Piyush Goyal had stated on CNN-IBN that only those who have black money are complaining about demonetisation. He posted a link to the said discussion on his Twitter timeline. Considering that many people had died while waiting in bank queues during the period of demonetisation, Mr Goyal’s tweet was seen as reeking of ignorance and was heavily criticized by folks on social media. Piyush Goyal later deleted the tweet, but the video of the discussion still exists on his personal YouTube channel.
— Nikhil Pahwa (@nixxin) November 13, 2016
In May 2016, when a 800 MW supercritical thermal unit was commissioned at MW Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (TPS) located in Raichur district of Karnataka, Piyush Goyal had tried to take credit of the same by congratulating National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for this success via a tweet. In reality, this project was developed by Raichur Power Corporation Ltd (RPCL) – a joint venture of Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) and BHEL and had nothing to do with NTPC. Piyush Goyal had deleted his tweet after his error was pointed out to him.
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) May 27, 2016
The one that wasn’t deleted
In PM Modi’s 2016 Independence day speech, he had claimed that electricity had reached Nagla Fatela (a village in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh) after 70 years. He said, “Nagla Phatela village is just 3 hours from Delhi, but Delhi took 70 years to send electricity to it”. When reports came out that there was no electricity in the village, PM Modi had to delete his tweet in which he claimed that people of Nagla Fatela were watching Independence Day celebrations for the first time.
— Kapil (@kapsology) August 16, 2016
Power Minister Piyush Goyal had also tweeted regarding the same with additional pictures. Strangely, he has chosen not to delete this misleading tweet despite the PM having deleted his.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 15, 2016
Other than the misleading claims, this tendency of using fake, misleading, photoshopped pictures has become a trend. When we have illuminated 50000 km of Indian roads as claimed by Government of India, surely we can find a picture of one such road?