Made a mistake, says Piyush Goyal; hits back at critics over Einstein gaffe
Piyush Goyal, the union minister who was targeted on social media for incorrectly attributing Newton’s discovery of gravity to Albert Einstein, on Friday acknowledged that he had erred but got back at his detractors who had taken potshots at him.
“Mistakes are made by everybody and I’m not one of them who is scared of making a mistake,” Goyal said at an event to flag off new trips of Rajdhani Express from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
Railways minister Piyush Goyal, a key backroom strategist of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, lamented that the primary message that he was trying to deliver was lost in the rush to highlight his mistake.
WATCH | Minister Piyush Goyal clarifies on ‘Einstein discovered gravity’ remark
In his address at the Board of Trade meeting yesterday, Goyal, who also holds the portfolio for the commerce and industry minister, had argued that India’s ambition to become a $5 trillion economy should not be looked at as a mathematical issue. “Do not get into the calculation that you see on television; if you are looking at $5 trillion economy then you have to grow at 12%, but today it is 6-7%. Do not get into the maths..those maths never helped (Albert) Einstein discover gravity. If he had only gone by structured formula and what was past knowledge, I do not think there would have been any innovation in this world,” the minister said.
That error - he had credited Albert Einstein for the concept of gravity propounded by Isaac Newton who was born more than two centuries earlier -- made Piyush Goyal the target of many barbs.
Goyal said he had clarified and issued a statement the moment he realised his mistake.
“I said Einstein instead of Newton but Einstein has said: A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new,” he told his audience.
The minister’s “slip of tongue” had come on a day the Congress announced plans to start a nationwide campaign blaming the government for an economic slowdown. The social media handle of the Congress on Twitter said: “Einstein did not require maths to discover gravity, but Sir Isaac Newton did. FYI, maths is also required to Fix The Economy.”