Most nations act in their own self-interest. Ours is probably one democracy that is at constant political conflict and uses every opportunity to paint patriots as fascists, as killers and bribe-givers. On the flip side, traitors and separatists are glorified by our MSM and some are even decorated by the GOI. For nearly a decade that has been the job of the Indian Congress party and their crony media happily picks up the song and plays it over and over again.
Remember Charlie Wilson? He was a specialist in Pakistan strategy for the US. I say ‘was’ because Congressman Charlie Wilson died in 2010. Apart from his colourful life, Charlie is most famous for ‘Operation Cyclone’ which involved the funding of Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviets. Some of the funding has also reportedly involved illegal lobbying by the CIA. It is famous as ‘Charlie Wilson’s war’. While Wilson may have succeeded in arming the Afghans there isn’t any doubt a lot of crumbs and benefits were also picked up by Pakistan. When the Soviet occupation ended late 1980s it is public knowledge where the attention of leftover warriors and Pakistan too turned to. It’s also now known that a good amount of Charlie’s funds went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a senior Taliban leader and a supporter of al-Qaeda since the Soviet exit. Wilson is celebrated as a patriotic American hero.
So lately, when a group of US Congress members are on a visit to India, particularly Narendra Modi, the same machinery of the media started claiming the three US lawmakers were bribed to visit Modi, speak highly of him, speak highly of Gujarat, were bribed to give Modi an invitation to the USA and get him an entry permit. Who are these dumb people? It is one thing for dumb spokies to utter rubbish but quite another thing for the media to repeat such garbage like a box of parrots. That’s why the sign in a previous post says “Never trust an editor”. The profession of most editors is dead or at least their conscience definitely is. Let’s sample some comments from an Outlook Magazine report:
Rashid Alvi (Congress): "Shame that the Congressmen were paid for getting a visa and certificate of development for Modi… One feels ashamed over this kind of news. It is an insult to a nation. The Congressmen were given Rs nine lakh each so that America can give him (Modi) visa and a certificate of development... This is unfortunate. If the money had been spent in Gujarat for the poor and development, then it would have been much better". Even if we buy the argument that the Congressmen were paid a total amount of 27 lakhs it is amazing to think that Congress spokie like Alvi, whose party has guzzled lakhs of crores in scams, believes 27 lakhs would dent development in Gujarat. This amount is less than even peanuts as bribes for even a low level political broker in Delhi. And then he makes the assumption that the Americans too are servile parrots and slaves of their party’s king or queen and make statements they don’t even believe in. Outlook quotes another:
AICC Secretary Praveen Davar hit out at the US delegation for inviting the Gujarat CM describing it as "thoughtless" move. "I strongly condemn the three Republicans for inviting Modi to the US. Have Americans forgotten who masterminded 2002 Gujarat genocide? Repeated victory at the hustings does not absolve Modi of alleged crimes against humanity. Lawmakers must withdraw their thoughtless invite.
Can you ever imagine an American lawmaker talking about their elected representatives in the manner that this guy Davar talks in reference to a foreigner? In my book this is the language of anti-nationals. First of all he makes a foolish statement. Then, by what logic or entitlement does he believe he has the right to condemn the American visitors? Even if the group was not an official one from the US govt this Davar demonstrates the kind of foolishness with which we handle our foreign relations issues.
Look at it from another angle. If the US Reps were indeed bribed to invite Modi and get him a visa then who were the people and parties who bribed the US authorities to deny entry for Modi in the US? Surely, a lot of money must have been spent on the lobbyists who urged the US govt to deny entry to Modi. This was around 2005. Your guess is as good as mine on who spent a helluva lot of money for the anti-Modi campaign with the US govt. Who knows! Maybe the anti-Modi clause has been used as “leverage” in many deals and with many institutions. This is one thing the GOI has never learnt from the US. That nation comes first. That no matter what Charlie Wilson is celebrated as a patriot despite some future unfortunate events supposedly being outcomes of his funding. Wilson has never been blamed for such outcomes.
So where did all this screaming of “bribery” start from? From a community news site called “Hi India” in Chicago. The very nature of the report itself is laughable and not surprisingly no editor or reporter in the Indian media has questioned it. It has no source whatsoever to report on except a printed “invitation” card which is nearly a public document. The rest is a background story on the sponsors organising the trip. Seriously, are the reporters at Hi-India suggesting that bribes were offered by printed invitations? Please note though that Hi-India itself does not mention “bribery” anywhere. This is an invention of the Congress party and Indian media. Is that such a surprise?
Here’s what I estimate and consider most appropriate: Three US Reps were invited by a BJP supporter or a sympathiser on a trip to India and a meeting with Modi too. Given that, the sponsor is certainly not going to invite US Reps who are anti-Modi or anti-BJP to lead the tour. He used their prominent names and position to rope in other businessmen or investors for a package cost options of between $3000 and $29000 per person or couple as the case maybe. Since the US Reps were not travelling as “couples” the news site concluded their cost would be $16000 (the highest rate for individuals in the highest class) which in turn is inferred as “bribery”. Very smart, isn’t it? On being questioned, one of the US Reps has offered clarification which is carried in the Outlook report but while you may read that, it is not even relevant to the whole case. Just for the record, a US Rep’s annual salary is reportedly $174000, just under $16000 pm. So, imagine our media implies that for just over a month’s salary they can be bought. Even Indian politicians can’t be bought for that.
If a sponsor is using the lead team of “prominent lawmakers” to invite others to join the trip at a price then how exactly does it amount to a bribe to the lead-team? Given that the Reps were “invited to lead” it is not even unnatural that their expenses would be borne by the sponsors. It is not confirmed that is the case though. Since I quoted India Today’s headline earlier let us consider Narendra Modi was invited as key note speaker at their recent Conclave and there would have been expenses. Now, we don’t know who bore the expenses of Modi. But supposing India Today had borne the travel, commuting, stay and food expenses of Modi amounting to say Rs.2 lakhs, would that be considered a bribe paid to Modi for speaking at their event? This is the stupid inference ‘Hi-India’ makes which our media editors then repeat like parrots.
As for the political statements coming from the Congress, the less said the better. Their hatred for Modi and their funding of anti-Modi media and NGOs is all too well known. After 11 years even Madhu Kishwar who had earlier bought the media arguments has now written nearly a whole book about the hateful campaign against Modi funded by Congress and other vested interests. Not surprisingly, this blog and many others have been saying this for years now.
And since we are on it, why not go another step? What exactly is this ‘Hi-India’? While the Indian media quoted their “bribery” source as a community news site in Chicago most of them did not even mention the name “Hi-India”. Because if they did, you would read and discover how farcical the story is. That would defeat the purpose of the lies, eh? Well, it’s published by a man named Hemant Bramhbhatt. Not much is known about him except that he has been doing a ‘South Asian’ community service news site for many years. Okay, what next? He also publishes something called “Sandesh”. And who helped him getting into this publishing business? Ah well, it’s family friends from the second-highest sold news newspaper from Gujarat called “Sandesh”. This is published from many cities in Gujarat. Sandesh does not have a reputation of being Modi-friendly but we don’t need to make any assumptions. It is important to merely know the connections of ‘Hi-India’.
That the US Reps came and spoke highly of a State within India seems intolerable for many politicians and media houses. Ever seen such shameful conduct? In July 2011 the GOI announced it would investigate activities of many journalists and activists who were frequent guests of an anti-India campaigner like Ghulam Nabi Fai. He operated liberally with ISI funds and the participants, including Dileep Padgaonkar, Kuldip Nayar, Gautam Navlakha and many more, were beneficiaries of his doles. Why doesn’t that constitute bribery yet? That too by a known enemy! These are not Americans who can’t be investigated. Is it any surprise that these people are glorified in our media?
The Gujarat 2002 riots campaign of lies failed to stick and win elections. They then turned to some lame corruption charges. Then they turned to fantasies about malnutrition in Gujarat being the worst in India. Having failed in all that, the media now clings on to fantasy of any kind that drops their way, including fantasies of bribery for praise and visa.