Skip to main content

Modi's Rafale deal in France "reminds" one of how tinpot dictators would carry fat chequebooks during trips abroad

By Our Representative
One of the top-most Indian diplomats, who has worked as ambassador in several countries, has taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rafale deal in France, saying, this reminds one of how the French would get around “authoritarian rulers” and “tin-pot dictators” – like Muammar Gaddafi – who would carry fat chequebooks in their pockets while travelling abroad.
Calling the deal a “disgrace”, in an analysis in Delhi-based journal, “Mainstream” (Mol LIII, No 17), MK Bhadrakumar says, one need not go far to knows why the French leadership went the “whole hog to make Modi’s visit memorable.” A career diplomat, Bhadrakumar has served in former Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.
“The entire leadership—President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the charming Mayor of Paris herself—kept aside their weekend to escort Modi on a Seine cruise”, the diplomat recalls, adding, “That would make President Barack Obama go green with envy.”
Saying that this was for a “very good reason”, Bhadrakumar contends, “The French got, finally, what they wanted, namely, a revision of the terms of conditions of the MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) deal that would absolve them of the need to make the Rafale fighter aircraft in the shoddy Indian defence factories.”
He says, “Any vendor would love to sell rather than co-produce with the buyer, but the previous UPA government was adamant for some strange reason that the French should stick to the terms of the tender under which they had won the deal”, adding, “Maybe, it was the then Defence Minister AK Antony’s magical touch”, or maybe the UPA didn’t want “yet another scam of arms procurement.”
Pointing out that “Modi has now blinked”, Bhadrakumar insists, “The chilling truth is that the MMRCA deal has been arbitrarily revised by Modi on a balmy weekend afternoon in Paris. Just like that. And, that too, without even India’s Defence Minister being involved in his discussions in Paris with his fawning French hosts.”
Bhadrakumar say, “The fact that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was inaugurating a fish stall in his home State of Goa even as Modi was striking the ‘flyaway’ Rafale deal in Paris speaks volumes about India’s cabinet system of government during the Modi era.” He wonders whether India was a “banana republic”.
“The spin being given is that the French are selling at a competitive price”, says Bhadrakumar, adding, “Of course, they will quote a good price. What else would you expect from shrewd businessmen? Because, any vendor knows that the trick is to somehow make the entry into the market.”
Under the deal, Bhadrakumar says, “The Indians have now no option but to buy dozens and dozens more of Rafale aircraft. The Indian Air Force is ‘locked in’. It can’t be that the IAF’s need for Rafale ends with 36 aircraft after having trained an entire cadre of personnel to fly and maintain the aircraft.”
Saying that the deal is also the of Modi’s talk of Make in India, Bhadrakumar underlines, “At least, this government should do us a favour—Modi and his Ministers should never dare to utter those eleven syllables again, ‘Make in India’. If they do so again, it will be an insult to the Indian people’s common sense and intelligence. A non-performing government is bad enough. But to sell airy dreams to the people is the height of political cynicism.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.