A newspaper clipping is going viral on social media, which claims that the Railways is planning to lay off 50% off its staff.
Claim: “बधाई हो भक्तों !ख़ुशख़बरी है.. ऐतिहासिक बेरोज़गारी,नई भर्ती पर रोक के अलावा नौकरियों से आधे लोगों को निकाल कर आपकी फ़ौज की संख्या और बढ़ा रहे है!”
(Translation: Congratulations Bhakts! I have good news…historic unemployment rates, restrictions on recruiting new people and by removing half the current manpower, your army will see a rise in numbers!)
The article that is going around is written by Arvind Singh, which says –
रेलवे में कर्मचारियों की संख्या 50 फीसदी घटाने की तैयारी में सरकार
सरकार ने रेलवे में सुधार के नाम पर कर्मचारियों की संख्या 50 फीसदी तक घटाने का प्रस्ताव तैयार किया है। रेलकर्मियों के लिए आकर्षक-लाभप्रद स्वैच्छिक सेवानिवृत्ति योजना लागू की जाएगी और आउटसोर्सिंग को बढ़ावा दिया जाएगा।
रेल मंत्री पीयूष गोयल की अध्यक्षता में भारतीय रेल में सुधार को लेकर आयोजित एक कार्यक्रम में यह बात सामने आई है।
(Translation – Government is preparing to reduce the number of employees in railways by 50 per cent.
The government has prepared a proposal to reduce the number of employees by 50 per cent in the name of improving the railway. An attractive and profitable voluntary retirement scheme for railwaymen will be implemented and outsourcing will be promoted.
This was revealed in a program organized under the chairmanship of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to improve Indian Railways.)
Sanjay Yadav, a Congress MLA from Jabalpur, shared the same image on his official Facebook page.
Rajeev Rai, the national secretary and spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party, tweeted the image and claim. This was retweeted by over 650 users.
बधाई हो भक्तों !ख़ुशख़बरी है..
ऐतिहासिक बेरोज़गारी,नई भर्ती पर रोक के अलावा नौकरियों से आधे लोगों को निकाल कर
— Rajeev Rai (@RajeevRai) May 20, 2020
रेलवे में कर्मचारियों की संख्या 50% घटाने की तैयारी में सरकार !!
यह तो मोदी जी के कथनानुसार टेलर है पिक्चर अभी बाकी है !!
पकौड़ा तलने लायक भी नहीं छोड़ेगी मोदी सरकार !!
बजाओ ताली थाली
जलाओ दिया मोमबत्ती !!
आत्मनिर्भर बनें भारत !! pic.twitter.com/E32JR3zR1A
— Sanjay Srivastava (@IAm_Sanjaysri) May 20, 2020
Using the headline and the author’s name as keywords, we searched for the source of the article.
We found the same article, verbatim, published on livehindustan.com, on December 16, 2019.
Live Hindustan is the web version of a newspaper called ‘Hindustan’, which is a Hindi newspaper with the fourth-largest circulation in India. This newspaper is circulated in the Hindi-speaking belt of India.
On further investigation using just the headline, we found more media reports with similar content. These were all published between December 11 and December 16 last year.
A news report by The Wire stated that the plan was being seriously considered after a two-day meeting, held on December 7 and 8, 2019 called ‘Parivartan Sangoshti’ (change seminar). This seminar was attended by top railway officials, including railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Another report by Dainik Bhaskar spoke about the idea being proposed at the end of the meeting
(Proposal to reduce the number of employees
It is proposed to reduce the number of employees for cost-cutting, after the Parivartan Sangoshti meeting of the Railways. It has been reported that 10 per cent of the employees will be laid out in the next three years and 50 per cent in a phased manner later.)
While the proposal was widely reported by news outlets, there was no official press release by the government after the seminar. The Press Information Bureau’s official website had just one press release about the meeting, which stated: “…impactful and promising suggestions have been shortlisted and were brainstormed…”.
Therefore, the newspaper clipping shared by users on social media claiming that the railways will lay off half its employees is from December 2019 and is being shared without its original context.