One of the problems with most people, including leading opinion makers, is that they are already so ‘well-informed’ that they just don’t need any further information – not even when the information stares them in their face.
Ordinary trolls often get into lengthy debates after reading just the headline of a news story. Several celebrated intellectuals, however, I have found, do not need to read even the headline – such is the ‘depth & power’ of their knowledge, understanding and ‘sources.’ If only the people and those who shape their opinions, were a little more open to facts and research, then we would be saved much of the misinformation that floats around as information and many of the non-scams that float around as ‘scams’ today.
Take for instance the case of Rafale. A major piece of ‘evidence’ of wrongdoing that is being bandied about by Mr. Rahul Gandhi and those aiding him in his propaganda, is – a contract given to Mr. Anil Ambani, ostensibly for around Rs. 30,000 crores for ‘manufacture of the Rafale Aircraft.’ Anyone with the slightest penchant for truth would have found out that this is nothing but a false bogey being raised by Mr. Gandhi. But the fact that he still continues to raise it without ever being questioned by anyone, is a great testimony to the nature of the media establishment that we have come to have in our country today.
To understand the facts and get to the truth of L’affaire Ambani, let’s look at some of the basic questions that need to be answered:
- What is the actual value of the contract that has been given to Mr. Ambani?
- Who has given the contract?
- Is he (Anil Ambani) going to give something back to Dassault as a part of this contract or is he going to pocket the entire amount?
- What is Mr. Ambani going to manufacture under this contract?
- How much money is he likely to make in this contract?
Hope there is nothing wrong with the questions raised above and hope you would agree that answering these would give us reasonable amount of information to check the veracity of Mr. Gandhi’s claims. Supporters of #Rafale ‘Scam’ theory, however, seem to think otherwise. They think that the above questions seem to show:
– Lack of critical thinking;
– Traits of being a ‘bhakt’; and
– Signs of a person being high on “GauMutra.”
See screenshots attached below if you do not believe me. These are the answers given by Saikat Datta, Editor (South Asia) at Asia Times to the same 5 questions posted above. (Refer to Saikat Datta’s Facebook page for a more complete perspective on the chat).
Mr. Datta, in his comments above, claimed that the article he posted, answered all the queries raised. And hence, I (the person raising the questions) was said to be behaving like ‘Bhakt’ high on ‘GauMutra!’ Now, you may yourself read the article that he posted and conclude if any of the questions above are answered in the article.
If such is the level of comprehension, understanding, debate and ‘quest for truth’ that an ‘intellectual’ shows, then I wonder what a troll will have on offer.
Nonetheless, for the sake of truth and for the benefit of Mr. Datta and others of his ilk, let me give the answers here. Not sure if they will read them or even if they read if they will understand them. Nonetheless, there is no harm trying. Hence, here they are:
Q 1. What is the contract Value?
Answer – It is only around Rs. 900 Crores (3% of Offset value) and not Rs. 30,000 crores! Read this story in Economic Times.
It may also be noted that the contract has been given not to Reliance but to a 49-51 Joint Venture of Dassault & Reliance called DRAL – Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd. So, the actual value of the contract in Mr. Ambani’s share would be only around Rs. 460 crores! In fact, DRAL is only one among 72 different companies form India who have been given such off-set contracts. Why pick on Mr. Ambani alone then?
Q 2. Is Mr. Ambani going to pocket this entire Rs 460 crore as a dole or is he going to manufacture something in return, for Dassault?
Answer – Obviously, DRAL is manufacturing and supplying some parts to Dassault and not pocketing the entire amount as a dole!
Q 3. Who gave the contract – the govt or Dassault?
Answer – Dassault chooses who to give the contract to and not the government. The Government is only informed of who has been chosen so as to check if the off-set obligation is met.
Even if you were to claim government influence in partner selection, then it would be the UPA government led by the Congress party itself that would be to blame as Reliance (then under charge of Mr. Mukesh Ambani) came in as partner of Dassault way back in 2012! Read this. So, who is the scamster in Rafale? Modi, the popularly elected Prime Minister or the ‘Accidental Prime Minister’ or the ‘Accidental Politician?’
Q 4. What is Mr. Ambani (DRAL) going to manufacture under this agreement?
Answer – DRAL is, presently, not manufacturing any spares for Rafale Aircraft, leave aside the entire Aircraft, as the propogandists are making it out to be. DRAL under the off-set contract is only manufacturing spares of Falcon, a Business jet.
Hence, the entire bogey of the expertise of Mr. Ambani over HAL in the manufacture of Rafale – lies shattered!
Q 5. How much money is Mr. Ambani likely to make in this contract?
Answer – Hope you will agree that it is definitely not Rs. 30,000 crores as is being made out to be. It is not even Rs. 900 crore which is the contract value or even Rs. 460 crore which is Reliance’s share in the Joint Venture deal. The profit made will be a certain percentage of the contract value – as it happens in any normal business deal.
So, why then is there this entire hullabaloo of Rs. 30,000/- cores being ‘stolen’ by Mr. Modi and being gifted to Mr. Ambani??
I really wonder why none of the ‘non-pliable’ journalists never question their wanna be Emperor about his Rafale Clothes.
This write-up is a humble effort to try and bust some of the untruths that have gained currency in the Rafale discourse. If not for any write up, hope that the people have some regard for the Supreme Court of India which after looking at all issues, dismissed all doubts about the deal.
Hope the people also realise that the real scam in Rafale is not in the deal but in the myriad ways in which it is being twisted & projected as a ‘scam.’
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