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Shameless Ravish Kumar’s Prime Time on inflation

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.

Every now and then, I keep looking at the content that aims to find flaws in the current ruling dispensation. Why? Because its a must. How do I know if I am missing something if I keep looking at the same type of content? How do I know if there exists another valid point of view which makes sense? When I try to do that, every now and then I come across Ravish Kumar’s Prime Time show. And every time I see the show, I remember about a girl I met a couple of years ago in Europe.

I met her a couple of years ago at a Board Game evening. She used to stay with her elder brother, her brother was running a little late and would join us amongst others in an hour or so. She added a new word to my vocabulary that time – Smoke-Up; apparently it is a euphemism for smoking weed. “Oh god you don’t know what smoke up is?” was her exact reaction. I felt a little embarrassed and quickly did a google search to check what it actually is. In the meanwhile she took the makeshift cigarette lit it up and puff – a cloud of smoke rose high up in the sky. After some time, her brother showed up and as soon as she saw his brother, who did not smoke coming, she stubbed the cigarette, got rid of the left over cigarette, popped a mouth freshener and behaved as if nothing had happened. Why? I guess this was normal or she had some decency. Don’t judge me on the choice of words, I am just telling what happened. I guess younger ones in India hide their bad habits from the elders. But things changed this time when we met. She had completely gone berserk smoking weed right in her brother’s presence. No more being discreet about the bad habit or making any efforts to cover up. She now had the audacity to smoke on her brother’s face and staring in his eyes without any sort of shame on the face.

Now just replace, the girl with Ravish Kumar, the habit of smoking weed with biased journalism and the girl’s brother with the audience or the people of India.

During, Modi government’s first term, Journalists like Ravish Kumar were at least pretending to be neutral and were making efforts to cover up their misdemeanors; were furthering their agendas discreetly. Fast forward to Modi government’s second term, they have got the audacity to showcase their biased journalism without any shame, they do it right in your face, staring in your eyes and if you blink, they call you the stupid person who’s understanding comes from whatsapp university.

I recently saw this episode of his on Inflation, have a look:

Here he literally calls people who support the government, stupid amongst many other things like “Inflationist”. He keeps on complaining about the rising inflation. So, I actually wanted to check the numbers on my own, since he didn’t give any numbers on inflation in the show. I mean, if you are making a show talking about rising inflation, at least you will give some numbers like:

What is current Inflation?

If it is high, what inflation rate are we comparing it to? High cannot be in isolation, high compared to what?

Does Petrol price alone decides the inflation rate? Because in the show, rise in petrol price is equated to rise in inflation

So, I tried to find these numbers on my own. Here are the findings:

  • India inflation rate for 2020 was 6.62%, a 2.9% increase from 2019.
  • India inflation rate for 2019 was 3.72%, a 0.22% decline from 2018.
  • India inflation rate for 2018 was 3.95%, a 0.62% increase from 2017.
  • India inflation rate for 2017 was 3.33%, a 1.62% decline from 2016.

And the chart:

The year 2021 is not included as the year did not finish yet, below is the data for this year on a monthly basis:

To my eyes, it looks like inflation is actually decreasing since May this year. Where is Ravish Kumar getting his data that suggests that Inflation in India is rising? When he says Inflation is high, compared to what? Compared to 12% during UPA’s era? You could see the chart yourself, even with a Pandemic and Global Energy Crisis the Inflation in 2020 was way – way less than what was a normal during UPA’s both the terms. I will come back to Petrol Prices in just a minute. And if we go by RBI’s forecast for the rest of the months for this year, the inflation is going to stay less than 6%. And just to remind, RBI’s target is to keep inflation between 2% to 6%, so that’s the comfort zone. Ravish Kumar may think that a Pandemic would not affect inflation, but that’s his thinking. Inflation rates for mostly all the countries took a jump because of it; for instance the inflation rates in the US jumped from 1.4% to 5.4% a whooping 4% rise; you could check for any country on Earth of your liking and you will find the similar pattern. Last I checked, we were also a country on Earth; may be Ravish Kumar and his team has been in contact with Martians.

Now coming back to Petrol Prices. Indeed the prices have sky rocketed and are at their highest so far. Ravish Kumar very conveniently says UPA subsidized petrol prices, why can’t BJP? True, UPA did subsidize Petrol Prices and reduced the Petrol prices but at the very same time had a bump in Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation. So, while the common man was paying less for Petrol but was somehow spending much more overall. In short, UPA made a fool out of the common men, made them to spend more in their day to day life and still kept their good graces. The point is Petrol is one of the many commodities that contribute in the Headline Inflation. If we take an overview the Headline Inflation (the overall inflation), it is a weighted sum of Food Inflation, Fuel Inflation and the Core Inflation (everything other than food and fuel). Also conveyance fuel (Petrol and Diesel) go to the core inflation via the transportation sub group. My simple point being, if we are talking about the spending of the common men, we should be talking about the headline inflation (overall inflation). And when we have to analyze why the inflation is so high (if it is high), then we have to talk about the individual sub groups. But claiming that inflation is rising high and citing petrol prices when inflation is not even rising, is simply an attempt to create chaos.

Having said that, should we not question the government on rising petrol prices? Yes, of course we should, different groups of people are affected with different severity levels with the price rise. But then there should be more sensible questions, like:

  • Our honorable minister of Road Transportation and Highways of India, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, in each and every of his interaction mentions the usage of Ethanol produced from crop residue etc. as a potential fuel for vehicles. So, the question is what is the status? How much ethanol is being used as fuel today? I know there is a global energy crisis, so it seems like a viable option. But there should be numbers to track? You cannot keep saying, we will do this – we will do this like Congress did for the last 70 years for every other thing. We do not have an eternity to wait. Do we?
  • He also lays a lot of emphasis on Electric vehicles. And I get that rising petrol prices would in some way drive this plan of EV usage and replacing the vehicles running on petrol and diesel to Electric Vehicles. But what about the infrastructure required? Charging stations? How much of the public transport like buses are electric as of now? What is the time line here?
  • Our honorable prime minister proudly mentions the rate at which renewable sources of energy like solar energy are being utilized. So, the question again is how long will it take to rely solely on these renewable sources alone? I know there is a global coal shortage. Solar energy sounds a viable option to replace solar energy. So what’s the timeline here?

These are just a few questions, there are many more. But Ravish Kumar or any other journalist like him would never ask these questions. Why? Simply because, the goal here is not to improve the state of the country or the condition of the common man but the goal is to create anarchy, chaos, just enough to get rid of this ruling government and get back to power. These questions would force the government to do something constructive, questions like these have a positive tone. But that’s not what journalists like him want. Do they? Power!! Corruption!! Illicit Money!! Filth is what they want.

You might have heard the word “sledging“, it is a term used in cricket to describe a devious practice whereby some players seek to gain an advantage by deliberately insulting or verbally intimidating the opposing player. The purpose is to try to weaken the opponent’s concentration, thereby causing them to underperform or be more prone to error.

This is exactly what’s happening for last few years, just shamelessly trying to build pressure and forcing the government to make mistakes, once they do – GAME OVER!!

Thank you all for your time and patience with the article. If you liked the content please do share the article and don’t forget to post your views in the comment section.

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Anant Chetan
Anant Chetan
An aficionado blogger and an engineer by profession. By qualifications, a Masters in Embedded System Design.
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