After Prime Minister’s marathon interview on the new year, today was quite hectic day among already ongoing political mud fest. Apart from scintillating debate on Rafale in Lok Sabha between Mr Gandhi and Mr Jaitley , things took a whole new turn by emergence of a so called explosive audio clip with respect to Rafale. In this tape, Goa Health minister( Mr. Vishwajit Rane) seems be in discussion with some unknown person regarding Mr. Manohar Parrikar ( Ex Defence minister ) having Rafale files in his possession. Mr. Rane is also heard saying that Mr. Parikkar is holding them ( read BJP ) to ransom .
Mr. Gandhi also wanted to play this clip in the Lok Sabha but couldn’t do so as madam speaker asked him to authenticate the clip which he didn’t agreed on and hence was not given permission.Right after the news went viral, Goa health minister has termed this clip as doctored and asked for the investigation on the same.
Though the clip doesn’t seems to have any new information to prove any act of omission or commission in the deal but for the sake of 21st century we tried to perform a basic level of authentication check on the audio file and in our analysis the controversial portion seems to be doctored/tampered.
Basis of Analysis :
- Every audio file can be plotted in terms of waveforms .
- In a coherent and continuous conversation these wave forms are continuous and form a well defined pattern based on the pitch of sound and other factors.
- In case someone temper the original audio then this coherency is distorted which can be observed to establish the authenticity of the audio.
Steps followed :
- We took a audio having this alleged clip and converted it to mp3 file.
- Then we generated the waveform for this entire clip and listened through the same multiple time to establish the authenticity by observing any distortions in the graph.
Here is the original waveform generated from the audio (Audio Source : ABP News). Audio file is available below.
- The Waveform is continuous and follow a pattern till news Anchor is speaking.
- It is full of gaps as soon as alleged telephonic conversation starts.
- It seems to have as many as 10 clean gaps.
What does it suggest:
- In the original conversations the pattern should be continuous and ideally there shouldn’t be any clean gaps.
- Even if in the course of telephonic conversation no one is speaking background sound should be recorded and plotted.
- But this graph suggest otherwise and looks like the course of conversation is tempered with and different sequence has been deliberately jumbled to make it look like a genuine conversation by mean of editing.
If you try it yourself here are the steps that need to followed :
- Take below audio file and import it into some video editing tool. ( we have used iMovies )
- Importing the audio should create the waveform graph.Zoom the waveform graph so that gaps are evident.
- Listen through the content and observe the cursor going through the waveform. The conversation looks made up as it goes through the gaps in the graph.
We have tried to carry out the basic autopsy of the alleged clip and definitely there is much more which can be done to make it full proof and ensure that clip is genuine or not. Considering that it is related to a matter of national security ,we are of the opinion that clip should be investigated thoroughly by the appropriate agencies and culprits should be brought to justice in case any wrongdoings has been committed on anyone’s part.
Original waveform image:
Observed waveform image: