India – Rafale Public Hearing

September 24, 2018

India – Rafale Public Hearing

Padmini Arhant

The strength of democracy lies in transparency and accountability. In the absence of checks and balances on crimes committed by those in authority especially the ones at the helm, the democratic system fails in the credibility factor leaving the population vulnerable to corruption and abuse of power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declining to face the public on Rafale scandal in confirming whether or not he mentioned Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company during the signing moment on the Rafale deal as revealed by former French President Francois Hollande conclusively affirm allegations into conviction. 

BJP representatives and surrogates subversion of statement from French President Francois Hollande needs to be understood due to concerted effort to mislead Indian electorate. The ex-President of France, Francois Hollande’s initial statement categorically specifies Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s direct recommendation of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company. The members present at contract signing were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Anil Ambani of Reliance Defense company and French President Francois Hollande. 

The subsequent response from French President Francois Hollande to media question on his knowledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi applying pressure on Dassault – the aviation manufacturer to choose Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company is reported as the former French President Francois Hollande indicating that Dassault should respond to that query. Again the French President did not retract from the earlier statement on PM Narendra Modi proposing Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company at the time of signing the agreement. 

The comment from French President Francois Hollande is deliberately distorted to defend Narendra Modi’s indefensible engagement. As for respect to Prime Minister post, those occupying the office of Prime Minister is responsible to safeguard the status with honesty, integrity and courage by testifying to the people rather than avoiding them that only validate Rafale gate and other affairs.

Last but not the least, it is not only incumbent on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come out in the open and clarify on the precise issue – the reason behind scrapping the earlier defense deal that was finalized on 126 air crafts, substituting government owned company i.e. people’s funds invested organization in the public sector – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with financially bankrupt, ill-reputed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense Company ignoring India’s security, economic and future prospects.

The individual contributing to complexity of the supposedly government to government contract –  Anil Ambani of Reliance Defense Company should appear in televised public hearing under oath to explain the dynamics of his business ventures covering all fronts through investment in former French President Francois Hollande’s girl friend film production and on the Indian side having Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his service. Clearly, Mr. Anil Ambani’s planning and pre-meditated strategy to seize multibillion dollars business opportunity comes to light with the calculated move to win favors from both sides without the risk of rejection.

Hence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani of Reliance Defense Company should be subject to same laws that are applicable to average citizens in society instead of granting them immunity. The defiance in this regard from both of them would unequivocally signify the prevalent corruption culture in politics and prominent members in economic sector.

Importantly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani should refrain from undemocratic and unethical tactics i.e. threatening and harassment of members in society sharing valuable analysis and opinion on this highly scandalous endeavor.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter PadminiArhant.c0m


India – Rafale Controversy Update

Padmini Arhant

The latest controversy on BJP defense purchase – combat aircraft Rafael from France deserves full investigation considering the tax payers funds and inadequate fulfillment of Indian Air Force inventory requirement. Furthermore, the deal benefitting a particular company lacking in relevant expertise on manufacturing or components supply of critical defense procurement pose conflict of interest.

The incumbent administration headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to satisfy Indian citizenry given the public funds investment in the venture. Notwithstanding depriving other Indian companies the fair opportunity to compete effectively in the major defense deal.

The Prime Minister rebuttals as clarifications through cabinet members and party representatives to political opposition and media discussions on this issue is missing on core substance especially the cost benefits and overall gains in the face of extraordinary expenditure and inventory shortfall that merits transparent public disclosure and settlement of this matter.

The scandal directly involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his recommendation of Indian business owner Anil Ambani newly set up Reliance Defense company in the government contract between India and France is quid pro quo largely benefitting the financially embattled Anil Ambani’s company with no exposure to defense projects at India’s national security expense.

As such Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s  failure in many economic and social fronts has staggering impact on the vast majority of Indian population with many forced into suicide on demonetization debacle, land confiscation from farmers and indigenous groups to favor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign financiers – industrialists Adani, Ambani among many others in the economic sector.  The skyrocketing fuel prices with ripple effects on food supplies has caused enormous strife against Narendra Modi’s government with the middle class, lower income and the poor struggling to make ends meet barely surviving on meager income amid rising inflation. The rural and urban youth unemployment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership has been disappointing prompting young members in society to leave India in search of job opportunity overseas like Singapore, Malaysia, Middle East and other destinations. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hardline approach with severe crackdown on human rights activists, civil rights advocates, journalists, writers and environmentalists sentenced to prison without trial or substantiated charges and many held in house arrest endanger democracy together with gross violation of fundamental rights nationwide.

The Rafale gate highlights Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rejection of public request and expectation to present  personal account to dispel legitimate concerns and doubts about treason besides undercutting many worthwhile companies and industries in the multibillion dollars government procurement. The aggressive reactions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi through spokespersons and surrogates upon raising questions on the monumental breach of trust adds credence to critics assessment of defense deal as a setback in terms of fewer jets that are still well below Air Force stock replenishment together with the price factor and above all granting Anil Ambani exclusive economic privilege to salvage Mr. Ambani’s enterprise from chronic debt situation.

Under these circumstances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence and unwillingness to address the nation with appropriate facts and figures including his endorsement of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company that was confirmed by the former French President Francois Hollande, the other signatory and party to the agreement leads to the conclusion on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s acknowledgment of misuse of authority and erroneous decision.

The nation reserves the right to reset anything that are not in country’s best interest. Accordingly, the French company Dassault withdrawal of offer or revoking the pact with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defense company as it is related to stipulation in government contract is necessary along with price revision to increase further affordability in fulfilling actual number on defense equipment i.e. fighter jets to strengthen capability. 

Any reluctance to accept or dismissal of this proposal would verify incumbent authority’s misplaced priority and squandering of public money to enhance individual political and economic status. The independent non-partisan probe is the immediate step to prevent such events from becoming established practice regardless of political parties assuming power. 

With election season underway, the public attention on these developments is critical in proper understanding to revive democracy and ethical efficacy in governance. 

The segment on election choices on this topic will be presented separately.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Author & Presenter



Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.