Earlier in July this year, China had received an order worth a whopping $5.5 billion from Thailand to export its bullet train technology. The order was approved by Thailand on the sidelines of a high speed bullet train project that aims to connect the Thai capital to southern China. Its likely to be operational by 2021.
At this point of time, China was eyeing on receiving not one but two international orders, the other one being India for its Ahmedabad to Mumbai and Delhi to Chennai projects. But Beijing was sidelined when the Narendra Modi-led NDA government decided to pick Japan instead over the neighboring China.
Thereafter, the ceremonious launch of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project in the presence of Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14 added fuel to the fire. The event also saw the Indian prime minister hailing Japan as “our true friend.”
The Rs 1.10 lakh crore project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Not many were impressed by this huge expenditure of the Indian government on bullet trains. Adulation and criticism from different quarters continued for many days but a big chunk of people, some with verified accounts on Twitter and Facebook, chose to criticize the government and the Prime Minister in a manner that they had to apologize later. One among them was expelled Aam Aadmi Party leader and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
In a tweet on October 2, he said:
“Thailand approves 3000-km Chinese bullet train from Bangkok to China for $5.5B. India approves 500-km train for $17B.”
Needless to say, the Delhi CM retweeted the same without much delay.
But, was this criticism based on facts? Not really.
Twitter users soon pointed out to Mr. Bhushan that the Thailand government had approved $5.5B only for the first phase of the project, which was about 370 km, and not the entire span of 3000 km.
Against bullet train but need to set record right. 5.5 is only for Thailand part spanning 370 kms. Not even to the border. Only 1st phase.
— shankar kalambur (@shankarkalambur) October 2, 2017
However, Bhushan clarified and apologized for his mistake, on realizing the same.
He wrote in his tweet –
On further research, it seems that $5.5B may be for the first phase of this train track of only 256 km length. My apologies.
Funnily enough, he deleted both his tweets soon after.
However, this is not the first time that the ex-AAP leader has posted unverified tweets and later apologized for the same. Previously, he had “unintentionally hurt the sentiments of many” by depicting Lord Krishna as a legendary eve teaser.
I realise that my tweet on Romeo squads&Krishna was inappropriately phrased&unintentionally hurt sentiments of many ppl. Apologize&delete it
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) April 4, 2017
In fact, recently, he was in news for posting a fake photograph of the BHU incident. He had used the image of an injured girl from another incident and connected it with the BHU protest. Thus, targeting the government for ill-management of the entire issue.
Seeing from this light, Bhushan has had a long history of such offenses and subsequent apologies. Do you think he will mend his ways in future?