As Gujarat gets ready to cast its vote from tomorrow, Saturday, December 09, Left-Islamo-Secular spin doctors are displaying a clear sign of fatigue. Having sent Rahul hopping from one temple to another and marking his forehead with ‘Tika’, the undesirables have resorted to doctoring facts and spreading fantastic rumors that the NDA-2 government has finalized a secret plan to rob people of their deposits in banks and other financial institutions. And on top, top Congress Party intellectual Mani Shankar Aiyar dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘neech’. Since the word used by the former diplomat has serious sociological connotations, it has kicked up a veritable political storm and exposes the party’s commitment to the social contract.
Maybe, Mani’s outburst, like his previous one before the 2014 national election in which he called Naren a ‘chaiwala’, is a signal that Congress and its allies may have failed in creating a ‘grey swan’ moment (kindly refer to Prof. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s black swan concept) for the BJP in Gujarat which they have been trying to do as pointed first by us in a previous assessment report. Hence, the desperate slur.
And as usual, half-educated newsroom despots, whose only qualification to hold top editorial posts is their unmatched ability to work as errand boys/girls of media barons and baronesses, are having a field day in bombarding people with unbaked and stupid caste-based analysis and unverifiable random surveys.
Take, for instance, this so-called poll of opinion polls, which gives BJP 105-106 seats in Gujarat. Maybe, or maybe not, the BJP would get that many seats. As you are aware, Indianmandarins does not get into that kind of astrological predictions. The point of concern for us is the fact that this so-called poll of opinion polls is based on simple averaging of the numbers forecast by three surveys conducted by ABP-CSDS, Times Now, and India TV. There is no question being raised on the unverifiability inherent in the randomness of these surveys. Although it would not be fair to expect arithmetic students to apply Heisenberg’s ‘uncertainty principle’ of quantum physics to understanding the mathematical inequalities in the surveyed data, the well-accepted principle of journalistic neutrality demands that all election surveys must carry a clear disclaimer to warn readers and viewers that the prediction made is hypothetical and is totally devoid of mathematical purity and certainty.
Look at these amusing but pathetic predictions. The India TV opinion poll forecasts that the BJP will get between 106 and 116 seats, the upper end of which range will mean the party equalling its tally last time. The Times Now survey shows the BJP getting 111 seats while the ABP-CSDS opinion poll predicts the lowest tally for Gujarat’s ruling party at between 91 and 99 seats.
All three opinion polls show the Congress bettering last time’s performance, with India TV predicting that the party will win between 63 and 73 seats, Times Now giving it 68 seats and the ABP-CSDS poll showing a close battle, predicting the Congress will get 78-86 seats. Could you figure out the flaws, dear readers?
All these surveys leave no room for the factor of chance for either the BJP or the Congress. That’s because the authors and purveyors of these surveys have yet to figure out the significance of the principle germinated by Taleb in his classic work “Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets.” For the readers’ benefits, it may be apt to add that Taleb has been a distinguished professor of risk engineering at NYU’s School of Engineering and written over 45 peer-reviewed papers.
By M K Shukla and Rakesh Ranjan