If you like to honour the Congress leader for his dogged onslaught, call him Rafale Gandhi
- R Veera Raghavan
Take this quiz. Who has pronounced 'Rafale', the name of the French fighter jet, more than all others? (A) The jet’s designers; (B) The CEO of the manufacturer, Dassault Aviation; (C) Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi. Yes, C is the right answer.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been talking non-stop about Rafale maligning Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even after the Supreme Court had absolved the prime minister in a public interest litigation over Rafale in mid-December 2018. If you like to honour the Congress leader for his dogged onslaught, call him Rafale Gandhi.
Rahul has been insanely silly and malicious against Narendra Modi for ordering French-made Rafale fighter jets for Indian Air Force, more for a connected issue. He charged that Modi was instrumental in Dassault choosing Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence over the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics, with the makers of Rafale poised to invest, as he alleged, Rs.30,000 crores in a Dassault tie-up with Reliance Defence for subcontract manufacturing of some Rafale components in India.
Four days ago, Rahul Gandhi shot what he imagined was a Brahmastra in his tirade against Modi. He took off from a recent story in The Hindu - which was itself unconvincing, and gave no basis to Rahul’s claims - and cheaply and crudely declared at a press meet that Modi "stole" Rs.30,000 crores from India's defence forces and gave it to industrialist Anil Ambani.
Rahul spoke this, quoted in The Hindu of 9th Feb 2019: "I want to speak to every member of the armed force of this nation ... Here, it is absolutely clear that the Prime Minister has stolen ₹30,000 crore of your money, bypassed a process, and given it to his friend Mr Anil Ambani. Please take a look at this ... friends in the Air Force, Generals, pilots ... it is written clearly here that the Prime Minister is a thief. He has stolen ₹30,000 crore from you"
Everyone knows what stealing is. Put simply, stealing is taking away a thing from somebody without his knowledge and consent. Now, what is the stealing Rahul is talking about? First, what is this money of Rs.30,000 crores and whose money is it that anyone could steal? This is the money of Dassault Aviation, and three other collaborating foreign companies involved in building Rafael jets for India, with all their weaponry. Why is it their money?
As part of India's Rafale deal these four foreign companies - majorly Dassault - will have to invest in many joint ventures they will form with some Indian firms they choose, such ventures to be established for the making of defence equipment in India. In this process, the four foreign companies including Dassault will totally invest about Rs.30,000 crores in their Indian joint venture firms, make technology transfers to those firms and help the recipient firms manufacture some parts for Rafale jets. Reliance Defence, led by industrialist Anil Ambani, has been chosen by Dassault as one such Indian joint venture partner among thirty others so far firmed up, while many others are yet to engage with Dassault likewise. So, this Rs.30,000 crores is the money of Dassault and three other collaborating foreign companies - though they earn it from India on Rafale, while India benefits in acquiring fighter jets and associated technology transfers - that gets invested in a joint venture with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence and with several other entities too. Mind you, this is not the money which the Indian government is investing.
Come back to Rahul's childish cry. He said money of India's armed forces was stolen. He said the prime minister himself did the stealing. He said that, after stealing, the prime minister had given it to Anil Ambani - all of Rs.30,000 crores. And Rahul calls the attention of India's armed forces - the military, the navy and the air force - and tells the men in uniform directly, "The prime minister has stolen your money."
You don't have to be a super thinker to conclude that in Dassault partnering with Reliance Defence there is no stealing of any money, from anyone, by anyone. For the money that Dassault invests in a joint venture with any Indian business entity they choose, Dassault will expect good returns through the quality of the components turned out by the Indian joint venture. For like reasons, the Indian partner in the joint venture too would want the new production facility to perform well. India's Defence Ministry acquiring Rafale jets will also want quality components to come from the Indian joint venture firm. All the three have a key stake in, and will look for legitimate benefits from the success of the joint venture. Pure malice alone can see any stealing here - that too by the prime minister, that too from our armed forces.
Have you seen even a local corporator losing all shame, stooping so low, going so cheap and speaking so false - all in public, before mikes and cameras? Rahul Gandhi alone can do it, because he alone lacks all the shame and all the sense humanly capable to descend to that level. He has a reason too, which is the dangerous part of his prank.
What was Rahul hoping for when he spoke through the media “to every member of the armed force of this nation”? Want to believe that he just wished to quietly canvas for their votes in the Lok Sabha elections three months away by telling them, “Here is a prime minister who stole your money of Rs.30,000 crores, but if I am sworn in as the next prime minister, I won’t steal your funds. So, vote for the Congress”? Anyone would be a dud if he fails to see that Rahul’s message carried an instigation of India’s armed forces to be up against an elected government by stoking anger amidst our men in uniform as if their moneys were deliberately looted by the prime minister himself and handed over to an industrialist. If the instigation has not clicked, it is proof that that our forces are loyal to the nation and are also not fooled by an obviously funny false story Rahul put out.
Rahul Gandhi should better understand that in Pakistan, a political leader may befriend the army against national interests or remain the army's subservient good boy and aspire to be installed as prime minister, but India is different. Even then no Indian leader should drag our armed forces into the rough and tumble of political fights or play a dirty trick on a rival politician - that too a serving prime minister - by pitting him against the nation's armed forces. It is stupid and dangerous, and could backfire too on the shooter anytime later.
The Congress party knows that earlier, on the 14th December 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed four petitions which, arraigning Narendra Modi also, sought a court-monitored probe into India’s Rafale deal. The court held that no proof was shown that due procedures were not followed or that anything was wrong in Dassault choosing their Indian joint venture partner. Yet Rahul publicly addressed the armed forces on issues rejected by the Supreme Court. Because his immaturity is so vast and his desperation against Modi is so deep. And he still wants to be prime minister.
Yes, Rahul spoke to the armed forces on Rafale after he watched the battle in the Supreme Court getting lost. But many will not remember that earlier too he lost an attempted game of instigation, playing an identical shot on an identical ball. Then also, Rahul alleged that Rs.30,000 crores was stolen and given to Anil Ambani, but he alleged that the money was stolen from a different person, viz., the government-owned Hidustan Aeronautics. Proof comes from a report of 26th September 2018 released by ndtv.com which quoted Rahul Gandhi saying this on Twitter: "Rs 30,000 crore stolen from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and given to a man with no SKILLS in making aircraft. Meanwhile, millions of SKILLED youngsters face the highest unemployment rate in twenty years." Feeling sad? Or laughing out loud? Either way, you can’t stop worrying on Rahul Gandhi.