New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi today served his critics something to snigger about as he told a large gathering in Delhi that the founder of Coca-Cola started by selling "shikanji" or lemonade and McDonalds was born from a dhaba.
- Rahul targets centre, says it helps only a handful of industrialists
- Says it is very difficult for hard-working Indians to make it big
- His analogy, however, triggered jokes and memes on social media
"Who started Coca-Cola company? Do you know? I will tell you who," the Congress president said as he addressed his party's convention for backward castes at an indoor stadium.
"Coca-Cola wala America mein shikanji bechta tha (The man who started Coca Cola sold shikanji in the US). He sold sugar mixed in water. His skill was recognised and rewarded," he said.
Warming up to his theme, he also said, "You know McDonald's. It is everywhere. Who started it? He ran a dhaba (food joint) but we all have seen the brand's progress. You show me one person who runs a dhaba and has sent up a Coca-Cola in India. Ford was a mechanic, so was Honda."
Where, he questioned, are these people in India?
"It's not that we don't have talent, knowledge, power, ability...but we don't have banks willing to help, offer loans. The government isn't supportive."
Coca-Cola was founded by American pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 when he prepared a soda-fountain beverage which later became the world famous cola drink.
McDonald's was set up in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald. The couple first opened a hot dog stand in 1937 in California before growing into a chain that is present in 100 countries.
Rahul Gandhi used the anecdotes to target the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing them of benefiting a handful of industrialists. "The BJP's strategy is clear. 15-20 rich capitalists will give thousands of crores to PM Modi and all benefits will go to just those 15-20 rich people."
As expected, the Coca-Cola-shikanji story was too delicious for Twitter to pass up. Soon, the hashtag #AccordingToRahulGandhi was trending and the Congress chief was being trolled.
One Twitter user sad the Congress IT cell had edited the Coca-Cola founder's Wikipedia page to "prove" the party chief correct.
He was explaining that Dalits have to fight harder to get ahead, when he used the analogy of Jupiter.
"There is a concept called escape velocity in aeronautics. From Earth, your velocity has to be 11 km a second...If you are on Jupiter, you need to go at 60 km per hour....In India, Dalits need Jupiter's escape velocity on Earth," he said, perhaps losing many in his audience during the explanation.