The deal for acquiring Rafale fighter jets is without any doubt going to be one of the most controversial defence deals ever. Not because it was marred by corruption, but like the laughable hoax of ‘Hindu Terror’, Congress sponsored intellectuals as well as some party members made a mountain out of a mole hill.
However, there are still some sane souls who know the importance of this deal, and will not hesitate to call it out as such. IAF veteran and Kargil War hero A Y Tipnis, who oversaw the historic ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ as the then Chief of Air Force Staff, which had turned the tide in favor of India, has not only applauded this deal, but also labeled this deal of acquiring 36 fighter jets as a ‘masterstroke.’
In a long interview with the popular magazine The Week, the IAF veteran laid threadbare the reasons as to why this deal was necessary and how the Rafale shall change the IAF for the better. To quote an excerpt, “The government-to-government deal for the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighters from Dassault Aviation was a masterstroke. As the Rafale takes to the Indian skies, the IAF’s morale will take an upward leap.
The Rafale outranks contemporary fighters—except Lockheed Martin’s F-35—in most parameters of operational capabilities, safety features and ease of operation/ training/ maintenance. The Rafale gives ‘bang for the buck’, if its entire life cycle performance is considered. If our experience with the Mirage 2000 from the Dassault stable can be a guideline, there should be little doubt about the Rafale’s contractual obligations being proven in performance.”
For those unaware, Rafale is a modern fighter jet that has been the pride of the French Air Force. Dilly dallied for years by the Congress led UPA government, the deal was finally approved in a clean way by the then Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar in 2015. Despite every agency, from the Central Government to the company making the jets, i.e. Dassault Aviation having come out whisker clean on the matter, the Congress led opposition is continuously creating absurd conspiracy theories, with the ulterior motive to cripple the capability of the Indian Air Force by peddling their vicious propaganda.
Air Chief Marshal Tipnis [retd.] also came down heavily on the detractors, who are continuously peddling absurd conspiracies about the deal, just so that the incumbent government is unable to bring the fighter jets without any hassles. To quote him further, “Political one-upmanship over the Rafale deal and the media’s insensitivity to national security can turn this possibility into a probability. I will not hesitate to call this an anti-national activity. If India is serious about thwarting Chinese claims to our territory, it should shake off its lethargy in decision making and take corrective action to neutralise the asymmetry in military capabilities. A stiff upper lip in the face of dwindling assets and ageing technology fools not the enemy, but a callous nation bogged down in the mire of its own making.”
This statement by an IAF veteran is not only opportune, but also much needed, when Congress and other secular parties are leaving no stone unturned in order to misle the masses with their white lies about the Rafale deal. We hope that the masses take the words of this hero more seriously and give the habitual liars a fitting reception in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.