Einstein and Newton were among the top trends on Twitter on Thursday, and the reason had little to do with their contributions to science, and more with Union minister Piyush Goyal's gaffe at a board of trade meeting on Wednesday.
"Don’t get into the calculations that you see on the television that if we’re looking at a $5 trillion economy, the country will have to grow at 12 percent... Don’t get into those maths. Maths never helped Einstein discover gravity," he told the attendees of the meeting.
His remark crediting Einstein for Newton's discovery didn't go unnoticed by netizens. Twitterati massively trolled Goyal for the comment, which came days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sparked a controversy by claiming the "millenial mindset" was behind the slowdown in the auto industry.
As a result, memes and jokes on Goyal and the NDA government surfaced in no time.
— Riaz Ahmed (@karmariaz) September 12, 2019
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 https://t.co/obNAB07oMS — Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) September 12, 2019
Stop mocking @PiyushGoyal ! It's a well known fact that maths didn't help Einstein to discover gravity. He discovered it when he saw Ola charges coming down after a surge. — Rofl Gandhi 2.0 (@RoflGandhi_) September 12, 2019
Finance Minister in-waiting says “Einstein discovered gravity”. Mind you - NOT Newton. Then he says he did so without math. He’s wrong. In fact, Modi ji was the one who discovered gravity when he found the extra 2ab in a+b square. pic.twitter.com/kSK8FLda5H — Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) September 12, 2019
Congress and few other Opposition leaders were among those who lashed out at Goyal for the goof-up. Congress sought to correct Goyal on Twitter, while also reminding him that the knowledge of mathematics was required to fix the economy. Recent official data on economy had revealed that the GDP growth had seen a six-year-low at 5 percent for the April-June quarter.
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. pic.twitter.com/Nr3QyYbPpA — Congress (@INCIndia) September 12, 2019
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh mocked the Narendra Modi government for its ministers, while party spokesperson Sanjay Jha joked that Goyal also thinks Bollywood actor Rajkumar Rao – who acted in the film called Newton – discovered the three laws of motion.
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 pic.twitter.com/Zcpj2jOjP8 — Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) September 12, 2019
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted a "made up" version of Einstein's theory of relativity and wrote, "State of economy is proportional to how much a mantri relies on math and knows about science". He also took a dig at the Centre and said the Modi government can blame the gravitational pull for the "crashing" economy.
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 & knows about Science@PiyushGoyal thanks to your govt our economy is crashing. I guess you could say it’s a GRAVITATIONAL pull https://t.co/RcWglID3So — Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) September 12, 2019
Goyal didn't stay mum on the controversy, and later issued a clarification on his remarks.
#WATCH Union Minister Piyush Goyal's clarification on his recent comments: The comment that I made had a certain context. Unfortunately some friends have sought to remove the context, pickup one line and create a very mischievous narrative. pic.twitter.com/bzugSwSTyi — ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2019
"Unfortunately some friends have sought to remove the context, pickup one line and create a very mischievous narrative," he said.
However, Goyal seemed to be completely unaware about the gaffe and instead went on to explain why he spoke against the dependence on calculations for innovations. "Maths never helped Einstein discover gravity – this line has been misinterpreted. The next line I said is not being added and shown correctly. After this, I said if he had gone only by structured formula and past knowledge, I don’t think there would’ve been any innovation in this world. It is an effort to make the people confident, give them the spirit of positivity. If we live in the past, we will never be able to achieve our goals," he told ANI, paving way for a fresh round of trolling.
With his "clarification" Piyush Goyal provides a perfect example of that old adage: "It is better to be quiet and let people assume you are stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." — Omair Ahmad (@OmairTAhmad) September 12, 2019
It is very clear @PiyushGoyal doesn't even know what he needs to clarify! With each clarification he establishes more firmly that he can't tell Newton from Einstein and gravity from relativity https://t.co/sAWJDawLqA
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) September 12, 2019
Agree @PiyushGoyal Ji
Some mischievous element to this.
How can it be that his claim about #Einstein discovering gravity not have been corrected in the 2nd clarification
Clearly someone kept him in the dark about why the clip went viral♂️
(No one cares about maths anyways) pic.twitter.com/MhrtPd9kw9
— Akash Banerjee (@TheDeshBhakt) September 12, 2019
When the second clarification is even worse than the first, which was even worse than the original statement.Perhaps it's a hint one should maintain a gracious silence at some point @PiyushGoyal ?By reacting so much, you're only magnifying your faux pas. https://t.co/DOvO4d4bP3 — Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) September 12, 2019
Updated Date: Sep 13, 2019 21:16:41 IST