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India Today interview: Rahul Gandhi says he wants to destroy Modi’s image, interviewer repeats a lie about Modi

The pliant media merely displays its servility to the Gandhis, one softball interview at a time. 

Rahul Gandhi, the President of the Congress party gave a rare interview to India Today. In the interview, Rahul Gandhi spoke about a host of subjects including the Congress’ strategy to ‘defeat Modi’ in these 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, there was one extremely revealing segment, where the malice of Rahul Gandhi and the servility of the interviewer was starkly visible.

In one segment, Rahul Gandhi interestingly reveals his true plans and talks about how one of his primary goals during campaigning was destroying the image of Narendra Modi.

In this segment, Rahul Gandhi says that when he started off, he asked his partymen what Narendra Modi’s strength was and they said, his strength is his incorruptible image.

Rahul Gandhi says that his response was “Okay, I’m going to rip that strength to pieces. I’, going to take it and shred it”. He then asserts that he has managed to do just that because he was ‘persistent’.

Rahul makes a rather interesting revelation here. The Rafale deal rhetoric has been a persistent campaign ploy with the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi. The desperation to prove that a scam existed in the Rafale deal was such that Rahul Gandhi once lied blatantly on the floor of the house, claiming that the French President had spoken to Rahul Gandhi personally and told him that there was corruption in the Rafale deal. Later, in a massive embarrassment, the French government had to issue a statement, essentially saying that Rahul Gandhi lied and no such meeting ever took place.

In their desperation to prove that Rafale deal was a scam, Rahul Gandhi even pretended to visit ailing Manohar Parrikar as a courtesy visit. That “courtesy visit” was later turned into a ploy to attack the Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi used a visit made to an ailing Chief Minister to claim that Manohar Parrikar had himself told Rahul Gandhi that he had some files on the Rafale deal and that there was a scam in the deal. Parrikar, suffering from cancer, had to come out and issue a statement calling out Rahul Gandhi’s lies. In fact, even after Manohar Parrikar lost the battle to cancer, even in death, Rahul Gandhi lied in Manohar Parrikar’s name.

The changing numbers of the “scam” amount, the fact that his allegation of the amount “Modi gave to Ambani” is greater than the entire offset amount, the shoddy audio tape that was thrown out by the parliament, the fact that the Supreme Court itself gave a clean chit to the deal and the fact that he admitted that the Supreme Court had made no observation of ‘chowkidar chor hai’ as he had alleged are all facts that have been put forth a number of times. Rahul Gandhi was forced to apologise.

After all of this, the fact that Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly walked the path of lies, thereby undermining national security, was a conundrum that alluded many, until now.

With Rahul Gandhi’s admission that he wanted to “rip PM Modi’s incorruptible image”, the strategy behind his Rafale lies are clear. With Congress’ corrupt image that reduced them to 44 seats in 2014, the only way Rahul Gandhi thought Congress could even have a shot at winning was by shattering the PM’s image.

In his NDTV interview, Rahul Gandhi had repeated this as well. That he has succeeded in shattering PM Modi’s ‘incorruptible image’. He, in fact, went ahead and said that when he started off with the Rafale rhetoric, only 20% people believed that there was a scam in Rafale, whereas now, according to Congress’ internal numbers, 67% of the country believes that there is a scam in Rafale. Interestingly, according to CVoter, as on 2nd May 2019, only 9.68% believe that corruption is an issue in the country at all. Unfortunately, we don’t have the data from the Congress era to compare, but logic dictates that the number would have been much, much higher. If according to CVoter data, only a little over 9% believe that corruption is an issue, where the 67% number that Rahul Gandhi cites comes from is a mystery. Perhaps just like most of his lies, this number has also been pulled out from the deepest corner of his vivid imagination.

While Rahul Gandhi lies blatantly, what is interesting is how the interviewer just stays mum and lets Rahul run around with his inconsistencies, unabated.

The Rafale lies were un-countered in both the India Today interview and the NDTV interview. The interviewers were more than happy to let Rahul Gandhi further his lies. Not one question was asked about how his “money given to Ambani” number is higher than the entire offset amount or how Rahul’s own Eurofighter shenanigans play a part in his Rafale rhetoric.

In the India Today interview, the interviewer goes a step ahead. He repeats a lie about PM Modi, out of the blue.

The interviewer asks Rahul Gandhi whether NYAY will be like Modi’s “failed promise of putting Rs 15 lakh in every bank account from the money seized abroad”.

A blatant lie, repeated by a journalist, to help Rahul Gandhi further his lies and propaganda.

Prime Minister Modi had mentioned ‘Rs 15 lakh in every bank account’ to indicate the quantum of money that is stashed abroad. Basically saying that there is so much black money stashed abroad that everyone can get Rs 15 lakh if that money is brought back. At no point of time, was this rhetoric an actual promise that was made to the people of India. For Congress trolls to further this lie is understandable, for a journalist to further this lie just so Rahul Gandhi can lie further is unfathomable.

The media has a penchant of soft-balling the Gandhis. Who can forget Shekhar Gupta asking Sonia Gandhi whether she knew how to cook and whether she tossed the pasta? Or Rajdeep Sardesai asking Sonia Gandhi about her mother-in-law. Or even a Pallavi Ghosh asking Rahul Gandhi about his dog, Pidi. The nature of soft-balling changes. From talking about mothers-in-law to aiding and abetting political lies, however, the nature of the interviews remain the same – an attempt to help the Gandhis perpetuate their lies further.

None of these journalists asked Rahul Gandhi about his own dubious deals. The fact that Christian Michel was a lobbyist for Eurofighter and against Rafale or that in his fax, he had said that Sweden has sway over the Gandhis because of the Bofors scam. Or whether Rahul Gandhi met Eurofighter representatives in Germany and does he have links to Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari or even whether his mother, Sonia Gandhi’s Italian family benefitted from the Bofors scam. The pliant media merely displays its servility to the Gandhis, one softball interview at a time.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, since October 2017

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