Rafale Saga and related news reporting on media appears to be no more than a “Saas, Bahu and Sajish” analysis, in which the prime importance is given to the latest “politically motivated act” of the “vamp” which spice-ups the “maahol” and keeps everyone interested in the serials or at-least in the news report. Such endless acts produces endless twists and therefore endless episodes.
It seems that the greatest beneficiary of mushrooming of ‘Saas-Bahu’ soaps on the Indian television is Mr. Rahul Gandhi. The interesting part is that he seems to be very much inspired by the role played by the ‘vamp’ in it. The one who clandestinely plays around behind everyone’s back and falsely alleges one or the other family member by telling blatant but somewhat “manageable” lies. The key surviving trait of such ‘vamp’ is the art to hide under a veil of fake sobriety. All these games, lies and spicing-up the script to maintain the interest is entertaining only until it remains on the reel-screen. The moment it becomes ‘real’, it brings chaos in people’s life and if a ‘vamp’ enters into real politics, then the lives of millions of people will get affected.
Having set the context in place, let me clarify why I am sarcastically aiming at Rahul Gandhi. Firstly, Rahul has started a new trend in Indian politics to frame baseless allegations without backing with substantial proofs while making the statement and secondly, by not approaching the honorable judiciary to put forth the case, which means he has nothing to prove. After many such false accusations, he has made it very clear, he is here to spice things up in the Indian politics. Its a sorry state as he is entertaining the masses by becoming a ‘vamp’ than being a lead player with policies, solutions and aim to achieve.
Indians will have to choose between taking Rahul on face value or doing some ground research to analyse what he is saying to create a suitable “maahol” for himself.
Coming back to the Rafale deal, with little efforts I could gather sufficient information which throws ample light on the entire deal and its progress. Few facts with proofs are mentioned below for you to read and decide whether we can allow a person to make fool out of us or not :
1. The Rafale Secrecy Clause: The story revolves around the hesitation shown by Government in sharing the price of fully loaded aircraft. However, I believe that the cost of fully loaded aircraft shall not be released in nation’s security interest, notwithstanding, the secrecy clause signed in 2008. Here is the link, you may refer from Page 2416-2425:
I am amazed and angry by the audacity of Mr. Gandhi in considering citizens of this country so naïve and using parliament to state there was no secrecy clause singed, to mislead us.
2. Association of Reliance and Dassault: Rahul has been making furore about Reliance and Dassault working together, looking at his body language and confident way of lying one can easily be fooled. But the moment you look at the facts, truth comes out of darkness and shows the true colour of a ‘vamp’.
Truth be told, even if the contract would have been signed in its earlier shape that is aircraft being built by HAL in collaboration with Dassault, even then offset clause was supposed to be fulfilled by various Indian private companies including Reliance.
The joint venture between Dassault and Reliance was envisaged in 2012 itself under UPA to satisfy Offset Clause of then Rafale contract, it is to be noted that Offset clause is also put in Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) by UPA government. Links for news articles are placed below from the year 2012, link for the most trusted site “NDTV” is also placed for certifying its “true”:
3. Allegation that none of government agencies were involved in the decision making: Another comfortable lie by our “cute”, “ignorant” and “ill-informed” Prince. Rahul is that the contract was finalised by PM Modi all by himself without even informing and involving any government agency. Well for anyone who is part of the government office knows that it is just not possible, as even in a municipality office a “normal” project file goes from one office to another for approval, where as, Rafale Contract is a high-profile defence contract in which various offices of IAF, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Finance and several other supervising committees are set in place to process and monitor various aspects of contract. For those who are not aware of how a defence contract is finalised, I am posting an extract from DPP which brings out several steps of Defence Acquisition Process, please note that separate teams from various ministries and Armed forces handles of each 12 step.
Defence Procurement Procedure also known as DPP can easily be downloaded from here.
4. Another lie that we are only getting 36 aircraft and not 126 aircraft: Congress led by Mr. Rahul has been moving heaven and earth to prove that Modi government has reduced the number of aircraft from 126 to 36, which is ‘again’ a big lie.
If we look at the complete MMRCA deal and how it took shape under Vajpayee, Manmohan & Modi government, you will find that India will be getting 36 + 110 = 146 MMRCA aircraft and not just 36 or 126 of them.
Why did India buy 36 aircraft in ready to fly condition?
Fact is that one squadron of Indian Air Force consists of 16-18 aircraft, therefore by inducting 36 – Rafale IAF will get 2 ready to fly squadrons at significantly lesser time as compared to manufacturing of aircraft at HAL, please note HAL quoted for 2.7 times more man-hours compared to Dassault which could have led to a massive delay in getting aircraft for IAF. Related link is here.
RFI issued for additional 110 MMRCA on 06 July 2018!
The over all delay of 10-12 years caused by Congress government by not taking a decision even after finalising Dassault as L1 is the real cause of modification in the deal with Dassault at later stage. The prime objective of contract was to replenish depleting fleet of IAF, which was adversely affected by the delay. So, for any logical person the best option was to buy combat-ready aircraft that is 36 or 2 squadrons in this case and issue new RFI for another 110 MMRCA.
RFI for additional 110 MMRCA was released on 06 July 2018, which clearly stipulates that the first 16 or 17 aircraft will be procured ready to fly condition and the remaining 92 or 93 to be made in India under TOT.
Six global companies have already responded to the RFI, which is considered to be quick decision-making looking at the past defence contract. Links of RFI and related news are here and here for your reference:
It is my humble request to all of my fellow citizens that don’t follow public figures who are ‘termites’ in our political system, who feed by creating rumours and leverage upon the limited knowledge of Indians. At this moment in Indian political history, no one is as dangerous as these “Vamp” type politicians, who are busy in putting up a good show rather than putting across the real facts.
If we look at the entire Rafale deal in retrospect, it can be summarised as follows:
- IAF gave an urgent requirement to maintain minimum 42 squadrons in 2006,between 2000-2012 IAF’s actual strength declined to 34 squadrons.
- RFP for 126 to procure aircraft was issued in 2007 by Vajpayee Government.
- Congress govt came in power and declared Dassault as L1 in 2012. Negotiations between HAL & Dassault started.
- There were major disagreements between HAL and Dassault, such as man-hour quoted by HAL for manufacturing were exorbitantly high, doubts related to manufacturing and other service costs incurred.
- The issues were out in open and Congress govt slept on it, completely undermining the fact that IAF wanted these aircraft urgently in 2006. IAF and Indian security was put on stake, due to logjam in decision-making.
- Modi government comes in power in May 2014 and takes prompt decision in favour of national security. NDA government quickly acted and finalised the deal under G2G contract for fast delivery of aircraft in ready to fly condition with all weapons and avionics.
- In addition to this to favour make in India issues new RFI for 110 MMRCA under TOT of DPP to enhance capability of Indian Industries and provide required aircraft to IAF.
I believe it’s a prompt action taken by any Indian government so far and we should applaud them instead of getting influenced by those who actually did nothing when they had power to take decisions and delayed the procurement of urgently required aircraft for IAF.
*The article is an individual opinion of writer based on various facts available in public domain*