World Records and Political One Upmanship

I was going through the morning newspaper . As I turned to page 2 , the headlines screeched “Chhattisgarh scripts world record in yoga” with 50 lakh people in 11000 places at the same time participating. As I turned further to page 4 , the headlines said ” Over 54000 attend Yoga Day celebrations in Ahmedabad , set record ” Lin an event led by Yog Guru Ramdev breaking a previous Guinness World Record of 35985 people doing yoga with the Prime Minister at Rajpath in 2015.

It’s not about the newspaper , it’s about the news.

The Chhattisgarh record is a Golden Book of Records one whereas the Ahmedabad one is a Guinness Record which is treated as the most authentic record keeper of the world. In all ignorance , the Golden Record will find it difficult to have 11000 observers to record the exact numbers at all places and will have to rely on the data given to them , right or wrong without any verification and certify the numbers in the record. Morever there is a process of setting the record. There has to be an entry and exit record of the participants at all places and this should be on video.
There has to be a steward for every 50 or 100 participants who certifies the presence and participation of his group. The awarding of the certificate without the process being completed and the report that the 50 lakh numbers are provisional raises many questions of authenticity. Also it is practically not possible to have 50 lakh particpants , ie., 20% of the population . This population includes infants , old aged and other sections of the society , hence even arbitrarily this number looks too dubious to even exaggerate.In the case of Guinness Book , the process of verification is very stringent and the rejections are very high because of their penchant for accuracy. That is the reason why people who wish to take the easy way out take Golden Book of Records.

Prime Minister Modi’s 2015 record was a Guinness Record and the current Ahmedabad record is also a Guinness Record which signifies authenticity worldwide and quality .

The other world Records are not just unverifiable but also do not go through the process that ensures reliability at the end of the event . Yes it’s a bypass for hard work and the ignorance in the local media may give the headlines due to the Chief Minister’s presence. But it does not add value to the achievement worldwide .

It is always suggested that there should be participation in quality records to highlight an achievement rather than making a short term half baked effort to garner headlines . It may be about ignorance but outside of the state and internationally, the effort will not be appreciated and it will show the state in poor light of compensating on quality and effort in all respects .

There have been Guinness Records that have happened in the state like the World’s largest poster of Swachch Bharat which was broken by Bahubali and Singing Relay which still remains a Guinness Record . But these are just a handful , the less authentic Records have gained ground with subsidised effort and easy process and the chances of high success .

I think that the same newspaper showing two news of Records , will despite the huge news space locally will not find a place nationally because of the lower value of the record based on the quality parameters which are well known in the world . Whenever the Chief Minister or the Government is involved due care must be taken not into fall for such gimmickry where there might be controversies or quality issues which reflect on the performance and image of the state. Best avoided.

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