NITI Aayog’s Amitabh Kant Denies Statement “India is too much of Democracy” However, Video speaks Otherwise

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Amitabh Kant - Wikipedia

Recently The Hindustan Times ran an article titled: ”Too much of democracy’ hampering reforms in India, says Kant’, which has now been deleted. Hindustan Times tweet and article were based on a PTI report.

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, found himself in the middle of a controversy when he was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “Too much of democracy hampering reforms in India” while speaking at a virtual event organised by Swarajya Magazine. 

After the news article was published, Amitabh Kant took to twitter to deny sating the above statement. His tweet mentioned, “This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme & resources being spread thin & need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector,”. The Hindustan Times tweet attached with Kant’s tweet has been deleted.

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After Kant’s reaction, Hindustan Times deleted the tweet as well as the article. The link now opens to a page that states, “This story, sourced from news agency Press Trust of India, has been withdrawn“.

The report by Hindustan Times cited a part of Amitabh Kant’s answer to a question during an event organised by Swarajya magazine. Post which Swarajya magazine also took to twitter and clarified that “Swarajya’s interaction with @amitabhk87 was on PLI & manufacturing and not on political systems. His response was in the context of spreading resources too thin & not creating global champions. Some mischievous elements have attempted to distort & quote it totally out of context.”

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Following Amitabh Kant’s denial, Twitter users posted the specific clip of his speech to show that his statement seemed to be along the same lines as the quote that he was denying. 

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We got access to the original interview where we found that Mr. Kant was asked about the Centre’s policies for the manufacturing sector amid the pandemic and if the crisis was a “second chance” for India to make its mark.

To this Kant replied:

“Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context…we are too much of a democracy. For the first time, the government has had the courage and determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors…Mining, coal, labour, agriculture. These are very, very difficult reforms. The easier reforms were done away with. You needed a huge amount of political determination and administrative will to carry out these reforms which have been done.

And many more reforms still need to be done…across logistics, across power. But this government has at least demonstrated its political will to do hard-headed reforms and we need to see them through to become a major manufacturing nation. It’s not easy to compete with China…It’s not easy to become a manufacturing nation…It doesn’t happen by holding seminars and webinars. It requires a very hard-headed ground-level approach which has been attempted for the first time in India.”

— Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant

One can hear the above statement in the video from 33-minute timestamp.

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Title:NITI Aayog’s Amitabh Kant Denies Statement “India is too much of Democracy” However, Video speaks Otherwise

Fact Check By: Aavya Ray 

Result: Explainer