Published: 13th January 2022
Fact check: The Kerala porter who cracked the UPSC using the public railway WiFi. Or did he indeed?
What is the real truth behind this man's rags-to-riches story? Read on to find out right here!
What is it with stories that tug at your heart and make you smile at the wondrous feats of everyday people? You read them and go gaga over their achievements. Indeed, who doesn't love a good underdog, rags-to-riches story? One such recent fairytale was that of a porter at the Ernakulam Junction railway station cracking the UPSC exam. What made this tale even more otherworldly was the fact that he did so using just the station's public WiFi and a smartphone. But that's where the story actually reaches a dead end. The truth is that the news that's been making rounds are all false. But the truth, as this EdexLive writer found out, is not all gloomy.
Upon contacting him, the porter firstly clarified the bit of news saying that the reports of him "cracking the UPSC are certifiably false". But that's not all to his tale. He did attempt the 2018 Kerala PSC exam and cleared it too but could not get a job as there was a leaked question paper scam and the Kerala High Court issued a stay over it. This was not the first time the man's luck was dreadful. More than a decade ago, he had attempted the CISF exam interview but he was disqualified when someone stole his application at the interview site on that ill-fated day.
Speaking about the fake news that spread about his so-called 'feat', he says "I did not want the news to go so wrong, of course. But at the same time, I felt that if someone did read that and found it personally inspiring, then so be it. Maybe it would be a good thing for someone who could indeed achieve something worthwhile. That's why I did not go out of my way to make a statement saying that it's a bit of journalism gone awry."
"The bit about using the station WiFi is simply bogus because, these days, not just me but everyone has their own mobile data. The station WiFi does not help anyone these days," he added. "I know the reality that I did not crack the UPSC but in this age where good news is hard to come by, I thought that the inadvertent false story would be a positive boost to someone seeking hope in life. I now no longer wish to propagate it further and that's why I chose to remain anonymous for this conversation," the man stated.
Needless to say, one must always stay wary of fake news. Even the 'feel good' ones could be without an iota of truth in them. This episode, in the end, teaches us just that.