New Delhi: A day after Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman blamed “Ola, Uber using Millennials” for slump in automobile sector, commerce, industry and Railways minister Piyush Goyal came up with a fresh theory asking people to leave mathematics out of economics since “maths never helped Einstein discover gravity.”
In his zeal to defend the government over sluggish economic growth, Mr Goyal during an event forgot that it was Newton who discovered gravity and not Einstein and went on to say: “We should not be concerned with GDP maths, since maths never helped Einstein discover gravity. If he had gone by structured formula and what was past knowledge I don’t think there would have been any innovation.” Mr Goyal was addressing the board of trade meeting on Thursday where his Cabinet colleagues Mr Hardeep Singh Puri and Mr Som Parkash too were present.
Moments after the gaffe, Newton’s third law – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – came into play. Several jokes and memes started circulating on social media and Mr Goyal was heavily tolled with some even calling him “Pappu”. Twitterati enjoyed discussing Mr Goyal’s statement, #Einstein and #Newton were in the trending list throughout Thursday.
Though Mr Goyal later tried to clarify over his comments but he again went by the “Einstein discovered gravity” theory. “The comment that I made had a certain context. Unfortunately, some friends have sought to remove the context, pick up one line and create a very mischievous narrative,” Mr Goyal said and he repeated the “Einstein discovered gravity” lines.
Lapping up the opportunity, his political rivals took no time to comment. “Yes, Mr. minister. Einstein did not need maths to discover gravity since Newton already had. Now wait for HRD minister to say that long before Newton our ancients knew all about gravity (or has he already?) With such ministers, only God can #FixTheEconomy,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted.
“Former Finance Minister @PiyushGoyal is correct, Einstein did not require maths to discover gravity, but Sir Isaac Newton did. FYI, maths is also required to #FixTheEconomy,” Congress party tweeted. Interestingly, #FixThe Economy was also trending through the day.
“The govt shouldn’t wait for an apple to fall on its head before it realises that Maths about the economy is all bad. It doesn’t even need an Einstein (due apologies to Newton) to tell us that. Instead of focusing on distant dreams, minister would do well to focus on reality,” tweeted CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.
“Since we’re making up science, a look at Einstein’s (made up) theory of relativity: State of economy is proportional to how much a Mantri relies on Math and knows about Science @PiyushGoyal thanks to your govt our economy is crashing. I guess you could say it’s a GRAVITATIONAL pull,” tweeted AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.
The general public too did not spare the minister. “Brilliant! Maths didn’t help Einstein discover gravity....because he didn’t. Newton did. And obeying gravity, the economy is free falling,” tweeted Opthalmologist Ajay Kamath
“1. Einstein didn’t discover gravity. 2. Newton did. 3. Gravity was discovered based on Mathematical work of laws of motion, not falling apple,” tweeted Sumit Kashyap.
“It takes special talent to deliver such bullshit with so much confidence. Well done @PiyushGoyal , you have beaten @nsitharaman in absurdity. Key Points by legend @PiyushGoyal in this video clip 1. Einstein discovered Gravity, not Newton. 2. Maths is useless. 3. Maths restricts innovation. Ladies and gentlemen , We have a new Pappu in @PiyushGoyal” wrote Roshan Rai.
Author Ankur Bharadwaj tweeted, “Einstein discovered gravity (that too without Maths) and Newton saw him do it and stole his idea.”
Foreign media too lapped up the interesting comment of the minister and Russian news agency Sputnik ran a story with a headline: “Indian commerce minister lands in hot water as he boasts ‘Einstein discovered gravity.’