How Indira Gandhi would have felt about Rahul’s appeal to America
In a video interview to former US under-secretary of state Nicholas Burns, Rahul implored America to intervene in India’s domestic affairs and pull up his rivals
Rahul Gandhi’s trust on the Indian democracy grows more tenuous each day he and his family sit out of power. As the Congress becomes increasingly un-electable, his sense of entitlement seems to be fermenting into a dangerous sourness.
In his latest video interview to former US under-secretary of state and Harvard University professor Nicholas Burns, Rahul has implored America to intervene in India’s domestic affairs and pull up his rivals.
“I don’t hear anything from the US establishment about what’s happening in India. If you are saying partnership of democracies, I mean what is your view on what is going on here,” he told Burns.
The Congress president-in-waiting also complained to Burns about the “wholesale capture of institutions” by the BJP.
Rahul's recklessness on foreign affairs is nothing new. His desperation to dislodge Modi by allying with foreign forces — or anyone who would help him, regardless of whether it is in national interest or not — has been growing.
He met Chinese diplomats during India’s Doklam conflict with China. He repeatedly made noises undermining India’s position and buttressing China’s during the subsequent Galwan and Pangong Tso clashes. There are reports of the Congress party signing an MoU with the Chinese Communist Party in 2008 during the UPA rule.
Rahul had also demanded proof of India’s surgical strike on Pakistan. Pakistan returned the favour by quoting his comments on Kashmir to attack India at the United Nations.
The list is long. But there is a grim aspect to Rahul’s invitation to the US to meddle in India’s affairs besides his seeming scorn for sovereignty.
Rahul is either oblivious of or does not care about how the US under Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger loathed his own grandmother, then prime minister Indira Gandhi, and Indian women in general.
Gary J Bass, a professor at Princeton and the author of ‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide’, has exposed alarmingly racist and misogynist conversations between the two from dozens of White House tapes, some of which were declassified in 2018-19.
In one of the tapes, after a meeting with Indira, Nixon says: “They turn me off. They are repulsive and it’s just easy to be tough with them.”
A few days later, again on the subject of Indira and India, the President said: “I don’t know how they reproduce!”
It does not stop there. In an appalling conversation at the Oval Office involving Kissinger and White House chief of staff HR Haldeman in June 1971, Nixon said: “Undoubtedly the most unattractive women in the world are the Indian women. Undoubtedly. The most sexless, nothing, these people. I mean, people say, what about the Black Africans? Well, you can see something, the vitality there, I mean they have a little animal-like charm, but God, those Indians, ack, pathetic. Uch.”
Kissinger has also been quoted saying about Indians: “They are a scavenging people.”
A decade earlier, Indira had faced humiliation from Jacqueline, the wife of another US President John F Kennedy. The First Lady said in a 1964 interview: “She liked to be in with the men. And she is a real prune — bitter, kind of pushy, horrible woman. You know, I just don’t like her a bit. It always looks like she’s been sucking a lemon”.
It is the same Americans that Rahul has now run to. Asking for lessons and interventions in democracy from a nation which was burning all of the last election season, where Capitol Hill was stormed, and which took months to count votes in the middle of a most uncivilised, puerile shame-game.
Lastly, the democracy within Rahul’s own party is gasping. Organisational polls are being repeatedly deferred in the fear that the 50-year-old dynast could be challenged and even overthrown by a dissenter. Perhaps he reckons that Americans understand how a famiglia is run.