After all the 41 tunnel workers trapped in the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel were rescued successfully, a piece of news started to float around on social media that the Australian tunnelling expert Arnold Dix, who was part of the mission, was actually an Indian born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. It is being claimed that his birth name was Anand Dixit, and he later changed it to Arnold Dix once he moved to and settled in the US. Let’s fact-check this claim through this article.
Claim: International Tunneling expert Arnold Dix is an Indian named Anand Dixit.
Fact: According to news reports, Arnold Dix is from Monbulk, Victoria, Australia, not from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. None of the media reports that covered his role in the Uttarkashi tunnel rescue mentioned anything about him being born in India or that his name was Anand Dixit. Hence, the claim made in the post is False.
To check the claim’s veracity, we performed a keyword search on the internet using relevant keywords and carefully went through all the recent reports on him and his role in the Silkyara-Barkot tunnel rescue operation.
News reports (here, here, and here) identified Arnold Dix, who is also a professor and a Barrister, as an Australian from Monbulk, Victoria. While interviewing Arnold Dix, Today Show Australia called him a “Melbourne Man.”
When writing about prominent Indian-origin celebrities working abroad, media outlets generally mention the celebrities’ Indian ties in their stories (here and here). But, when it comes to the news reports on Arnold, none of the major media outlets (here and here) mentioned anything about him being an Indian from Kanpur or that his name was originally Anand Dixit. This contradicts the viral claim.
After the success of the Uttarkashi Tunnel rescue, Australian PM Anthony Albanese tweeted about him on X. “A wonderful achievement by Indian authorities. Proud that Australian Professor Arnold Dix played a role on the ground,” Albanese wrote.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s tweet through ANI, Arnold said, “Thank you, Mr Prime Minister. But as an Australian, sir, if you’re watching, it’s been my privilege and my pleasure to show that we’re fantastic at not just cricket, I love cricket, but we do other things as well, including tunnel rescue.” All of this makes it pretty clear that he is an Australian and not a native of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, whose original name was Anand Dixit.
We have also written to Arnold Dix seeking clarification about his claim. We will update this article once we get a response.
To sum up, there is no evidence to suggest that the Uttarkashi tunnelling expert Arnold Dix is originally an Indian native named Anand Dixit.