Rahul Gandhi spreads fictitious history of Coca Cola, and scores a self-goal

Never a dull moment when Congress President Rahul Gandhi takes to stage. Today, while speaking to a gathering of the party’s OBC wing at Delhi’s Talkatora stadium, Congress President tried to take a dig at Prime Minister Modi by claiming how Modi government does not value people from humble backgrounds.

To prove the point, he said how the decades-old soda company, Coca-Cola was started by a man who sold ‘shikanji’ (lemonade/fresh lime soda, a popular drink in North India) on the streets of the US. He further added that even the fast-food chain McDonald’s was started by a man who ran a ‘dhaba’.

He further enlightened the crowd gathered by saying that Ford, Mercedes and Honda companies were started by ‘mechanics’. He says how such people from humble backgrounds would never make it big in Modi’s India.

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First things first, Coca-Cola is a beverage which was ‘invented’ by John Stith Pemberton, who was a pharmacist. McDonald’s was started by two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, who ran a hamburger stand which served fries. Henry Ford, who started Ford Motor Company worked as an apprentice mechanist in motor companies in Detroit and had also studied bookkeeping. Karl Benz, was a German engine designer and automobile engineer. Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motors Co was the only one who worked as an apprentice in a garage and worked as a mechanic before returning home to start his own auto repair business.

So, except perhaps Soichiro Honda, everyone had some or the other formal education and some expertise in the business they had set up.

Coming to Rahul Gandhi’s other point where he explains how anyone from a humble background could not achieve this feat in India he has probably forgotten that Dhirubhai Ambani came from a humble background and now the empire he created is a major part of Indian economy.

Perhaps while he says “mujhe Hindustan mein woh dhaba wala dikha do jisne coca cola company banai” he should remember that India has been built on the shoulders of people (and continues in that direction) who come from humble backgrounds to later emerge, victors. Even the Mudra scheme, which he likes to mock continuously, aims to do just that and has various success stories. However, it is not surprising that a ‘Royal Prince’ who is used to everything being served on a silver platter, might not understand the soul of the nation.

Gandhi further accuses that it is difficult for people from humble backgrounds to get recognition in Modi’s India because of ‘crony capitalism’. Firstly, success stories like Dhirubhai Ambani are rare. The reason it is rare is that the Congress unleashed a sordid saga of crony capitalism and license raj that ruined that Indian Economy for decades. The socialist measures and anti-business attitude that was adopted by Congress was broke the spirit of entrepreneurship beyond recognition.

From abnormally high tax rates during the Indira Gandhi regime, to the eternal rhetoric of Garibi Hatao, back by no concrete steps towards the actual emancipation of the poor other than driving the mentality home that ‘they were poor because the others were rich’, the constant demonisation of the word ‘profit’, favours to a handful of businessmen like Mehul Choksi by scam ridden P Chidambarams of the Congress regime mangled the business class and left them gasping for air.

It is thus amusing for the crowned prince of that very legacy to suddenly talk about crony capitalism at a time when India’s indexes are up, corruption is down, business is thriving and the world community is pouring in FDI into the country.

Well, how does he expect people from humble backgrounds to even come forward when he and his party people mock ‘chai’ and ‘pakoda’ walas and ‘cattle class’ in a bid to take a dig at Prime Minister Modi?

Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram likened pakoda sellers to beggars. Congress leader and former minister Shashi Tharoor claimed to be flying ‘cattle class’ when he was flying economy as a minister. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer referred to Prime Minister Modi as ‘neech kisam ka aadmi’. He also mocked Prime Minister Modi for having sold tea on Vadnagar railway station as a child with his father.

And Congress President really doesn’t need to look too far to see how can someone from humble background scale heights in India. He just needs to look around and everyone will remind him how a ‘chaiwala’ is now the Prime Minister of India.


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