I was not surprised when I read the story of Huffington Post on World’s richest Politicians and inclusion of Sonia Gandhi as 12th position with $ 2 billion net worth . Its not the first time websites from US carry this story. Business Insider , celebrity net worth, worlds luxury guide carried same stories in the past . But the reaction of Indian media surprised me. Apart from usual suspects First Post & One India , reliable channels like NDTV also published this news which gave it a hype, and for which BJP supporters were craving for. For them any news which will save face of ‘Saheb” and him“stalking” is fine.
What is the source of this story ?
• Huffington Post says this story is based on third party websites but according to Headlines today report was based on celebrity net worth.com
• Celebrity Networth says its sources are OpenSecrets.org, HuffingtonPost and Business Insider .
• Business Insider says its source is Worlds luxury guide ( the biggest lie you can see here, in brackets Business Insider says World’s Luxury Guide source is “OpenSecrets.org, Forbes.com, Bloomberg.com, Wikipedia.org, Guardian.co.uk” but hide the truth that its based only on story of Schweizer Illustrierte in 1991)
• Worlds Luxury Guide – as listed in Schweizer Illustrierte in 1991 as the alleged wealth of her deceased husband, Rajiv Gandhi .
So the source of all these stories are based common source - on 1991 Swiss magazine report
Before going to Schweizer Illustrierte story details let us just think why this news only published in US websites
1. It may be a planted story, Modi’s PR agency APCO is based in US and they are notorious in planting such stories
2. To increase traffic to site, a controversial story like this will substantially increase page views
3. Chances of someone from other country to file a case against US websites is very rare
In my personal opinion I believe it’s a planted story , because before each election i have seen this news has poped up in news papers . RSS ideologue S. Gurumurti wrote an article in Indian Express before 2009 election, in 2011 again Gurumurti wrote a column in Indian Express, Ramjathmalani wrote an article in Sunday Guardian both rely on 1991 article of Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte . I am not considering numerous articles of Subramanian Swamy because he will change his stand according to wind .
So my point here is that these accusations are nothing new, it’s in public domain from 1991,someone wants to package it as new and try to tarnish image of Gandhi family. So this outrage is just a “blue virus” campaign .
What is the truth behind Schweizer Illustrierte story ?
The news was Imelda Marcos expose in the November 11 1991 issue of a popular Swiss weekly, Schweizer Illustrierte (Swiss Illustrated). It also ran pictures of some Third World dictators and leaders , and said they had fat Swiss bank accounts. Among them was Rajiv Gandhi .
The one on Imelda keeping money in Switzerland was based on the evidence revealed during an official Swiss probe. But the sums secreted away by others are not. Under the Swiss banking laws, unless there is an official investigation, one cannot find out the details of any bank account.
India today story quotes (Jan 15 1992) “reliable sources at the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, the Federal Police and the Justice Ministry divulged that there was no official evidence of funds hidden by the Nehru-Gandhi family in Switzerland” . India today continues - “the magazine has a reputation for exaggerating and embroidering its stories. So even BJP & Janatadal is not pursuing this case.. . The Swiss weekly's editor-in-chief and the story's author were not available for clarifications...So the charges appears baseless.”
In 2011 (Nov 25) Supreme Court rejected Public Interest Litigation on the same stating it was "frivolous and slanderous" to quote 20 year old unauthenticated magazine report. "Tomorrow anyone can publish a magazine and publish a photograph with baseless insinuation. Should that become a basis for a PIL?" It dismissed the petition saying it lacked in factual basis and contained vague assertions.
So the news item Saffron brigade is showing is 22 years old, rejected in Parliament, Supreme Court and in people’s court . When you have a leader who don’t have any ethics, don’t practise democratic values, who don’t know to respect opponents , who don’t respect women, who don’t respect colleagues and celebrated only for "dead bodies", so what else can we expect other than a planted story or a paid news.
Huffington post removed the post and apologised to Sonia Gandhi, but they have done enough damage (or intentional damage for the money they received) . Congress supporters can expect more such stories as long as Saheb’s stalking saga is in public domain . Its “APCO” and ‘Blue viruses” at work . Everything is fair in love (Maduri) and war ( for PM post)
1. PIL rejected by Supre Court
2. Swissbank account of rajiv Gandhi Allegation raised in Parliament 2002
3 Inside story of Huffingtonpost
4. Business Insider - Sonia gandhi
5. World's Luxury guide - Sonia Gandhi
6. Celebrity Networth - Sonia Gandhi