So, Rahul Gandhi switched to video format on social media, choosing to ditch his approach of simply putting his comments on text. Beyond that, has anything changed? Is he offering more substantive arguments in the new format? Let’s see his allegations, for it is not difficult to fact-check them. This will tell us whether this video avatar is simply a rant with Rahul exercise or otherwise.
Rahul Gandhi’s Claims
Rahul Gandhi asks why the Chinese chose this time for an incursion and answers this for himself. According to him, there are three main elements. Foreign policy, India’s neighbours, and economic vision. According to him, India failed under Modi Sarkar in all these aspects, allowing China to choose this ‘weak’ moment to target India.
Timing – Is This the First Time Chinese Tried Misadventure?
First, Rahul Gandhi speaks as if this is the first time China tried an incursion into India’s territory when he speaks about timing. If Rahul Gandhi recalls the humiliation for India in 1962 under Jawaharlal Nehru, a very old instance, or even the Chinese incursions during UPA regime and a very weak response of Congress-led government, one knows which side of history he stands on. When the Chinese came into Indian border on May 2013, the then Foreign Minister described it as ‘acne’ which can be cured by putting ointment on it. His remark that he wants to settle down in Beijing since the place is so beautiful was perceived by many as a form of appeasement to Chinese. The contrast is evident this time, when the Modi government gave a mandate to the armed forces to deal with the situation, with PM himself visiting Nimu in Ladakh to address the soldiers.
Here are few reminders from UPA timeline.
Foreign Policy Claims
It is laughable for Rahul Gandhi to claim that the strategic partnership with the US that India had during the UPA era is lost now.
In the present stand-off, the US in no uncertain terms said that it will stand with India. It moved its war-ships to the Indian Ocean in solidarity with India, and openly hailed India’s move of banning the Chinese apps. Just a few hours before Rahul Gandhi released his so-called ‘current affairs’ video, the US put out a statement mentioning Himalayas along with South China Sea and said it will stand with friends against China’s aggression.
America will stand with our friends in upholding sovereignty in the face of Beijing’s belligerence — whether in South China Sea or the Himalayas. Read more here: https://t.co/cjFB8JeHNo pic.twitter.com/UVbFUr0ndn
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) July 16, 2020
Russia facilitated Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit amidst Ladakh stand-off. France, Japan, Australia all have supported India in their own way, the account of which you can read in our coverage India Global Week – The LAC Stand-off Proved That India Already Enjoys World’s Trust.
Rahul’s Claim on Neighbourhood
While India’s relationship with Nepal seems to be experiencing a rough phase, it has not seen a permanent breakdown. The reason behind the open door is that all the unpleasant noises are due to the person at the helm and not from the people of Nepal, which India understands well.
Beyond that, Rahul Gandhi exposes himself as it is under UPA government that India’s relationship with most of the neighbours turned sour. It is during this period that China expanded its sphere of influence among India’s neighbours. The Modi government is actually working overtime to reverse the tide. A few examples can be cited.
- The Modi government achieved a historic land-boundary agreement with Bangladesh through the exchange of enclaves.
- The 2014 oath taking ceremony of PM Narendra Modi witnessed a participation of heads of the state of Asian neighbours. PM Modi’s first foreign visit was to Bhutan. He quickly reached out to neighbours like Sri Lanka, Seychelles which saw a first bilateral visit from an Indian Prime Minister in over two decades.
- The relationships with Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Myanmar have seen a positive turn-around under the Modi government.
If the UPA period is known as the ‘story of a lost decade’, NDA brought economic reforms that were due for decades.
Contrary to the Rahul’s claims, MSMEs are getting much needed assistance in this tough time of Corona crisis.
Clearly, in the case of Rahul Gandhi, only his format of the communication seems to have changed. Apart from that, it is clear that he still thinks that he can replace facts with his rants. They may expose the Congress further.