The Minister of Railways and Commerce of India, Piyush Goyal urged the country’s people to overlook GDP maths as “maths never helped Einstein discover gravity” on September 12.
In a video circulating online, Goyal was seen speaking to reporters following a meeting with the Board of Trade. He aimed to instil confidence that India was on track towards the government’s goal of making the Indian economy worth USD 5 trillion in five years.
“Don’t go by all these calculations you see on TV, that if the country has to become a [USD] 5 trillion economy, it will have to grow at 12 per cent but today it is growing at 6-7 per cent. Don’t get into those maths. Those maths have never helped Einstein discover gravity,” Goyal said.
The comment went viral on Twitter as trolls chimed in with their quirky remarks.
Twitter user @sumitkashyapjha posted: “1. Einstein didn't discover gravity. 2. Newton did. 3. Gravity was discovered based on Mathematical work of laws of motion, not falling apple.”
Similarly, another Twitter user @indicheguevara wrote: “#Facts 1. Newton discovered gravity. 2. A gravitational wave is a concept predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. General relativity states that mass distorts both space and time. 3. The above was based on mathematical equation. 4. BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] should avoid science talk.”
User @Vidyaraj51 shared a video of Goyal making the comment and wrote: “Was Gravity invented by Einstein? No comments! After Nirmala Sitharaman, now it is the turn of Piyush Goyal! Great bunch of ministers Modi government has! No wonder why economy is facing crisis!”
After the incident, Goyal spoke ot the media in order to clarify what he had previously said. In clips spreading online, Goyal is seen saying that “people took it [his comment] too literally”.
Talking to the press, he alleged that “there is a very mischievous and baseless narrative presented about my closing comments at the Board of Trade meeting this morning”.
He also claimed that the comment that he made “had a certain context and unfortunately some friends have sought to remove the context, picked up one line and create a very mischievous narrative”.
However, during his rebuttal he did not clarify why he had said that Albert Einstein discovered gravity instead of Isaac Newton.
On the topic of the Indian economy, earlier this week, the country’s Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the auto sector slowdown was because of millennials.