Modi’s Himalayan Miracle –Modi the great LIAR 25 June 2013
Tall claims of resuing 15,000 Gujarati Pilgrims show his hype machine at work
On the evening of Friday, June 21, as India reeled from the shock of the calamity in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi landed up in Dehradun with a handful of officers. By Sucday, it was claimed that he had resued 15,000 standard Gujaratis from the wreckage of Uttarakhand and sent these grateful folks back home.
Reports say that Modi pulled off this coup with a fleet of 80 Innovas. How did these cars manage to reach places like Kedarnath, across roads that have been washed away, over landslides that have wreaked most access routes?
But let us assume Modi’s Innovas had wings as well as helicopter rotors. Including the driver, an Innova is designed to carry seven people. In a tough situation, assume you could pack nine passengers into each car. In that case, a convoy of 80 Innovas could ferry 720 people down the mountains to Dehradun at one go. To get 15,000 people down, the convoy would need to make 21 round trips.
It takes longer to travel in the hills than in the plains. So, assuming an average speed of 40 km per hour, it would take 233 hours of driving to pull off the feat.
This assumes non-stop driving, without a second’s rest to identify the Gujaratis to be rescued and keeping the rest of the distressed folk at bay, or any time to load and unload the vehicles. And forget about any downtime for the gallant rescuers.
That is nearly 10 days of miraculous work. And Modi pulled it off in a day.
Modi, ever modest, himself did not make the claim of rescuing 15,000 Gujaratis from Himalayan disaster in a day. It was likely dumped on a gullible media by his public relations agency, an American outfit called Apco Worldwide. In 2007, Apco was hired, ostensibly to boost the Vibrant Gujarat summits, but to actually burnish modi’s image, for $ 25,000 a month.
He is in good company. Apco has worked for the dictator of Kazakhstan, Nursutan Nazarbaev, the governments of Malaysia and Israel and the American tobacco lobby. Apco has also worked for pariah regimes like Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan and Nigerian strongman Sani Abacha.
But modi does not need Apco to lie. In 2005 he announced that state-owned company GSPC had made India’s biggest gas discovery: 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) valued at more than $50 billion, off Andhra Pradesh. This was 40% more than what Reliance had found in the same area. Modi then egged on GSPC to grab projects in Egypt, Yemen and Australia.
In every area the Modi narrative is a tale of bluster and bluff. But his Himalayan miracle is a barefaced, cynical lie.