Nixon’s remarks towards Indians mirror his ‘vulgarity’, ‘racism’: Former diplomats

New Delhi, September 5

Former US president Richard Nixon’s disparaging remarks on Indians, revealed in newly declassified White House tapes, mirror his “vulgarity” and “racism” in addition to his anti-India stance pushed by his choice for Pakistan, say former Indian diplomats.

While former international minister Natwar Singh labelled the 37th president of the United States a “third-rate” human being, former diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar termed him “uncivilised” and former Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar recalled his animus with Indira Gandhi. They additionally spoke of Nixon being outwitted and out-maneuvered by Gandhi.

The “newly declassified trove of tapes provides startling evidence of the bigotry” voiced by Nixon, who was president from 1969 to 1974, and his nationwide safety advisory Henry Kissinger, Princeton professor Gary Bass has revealed in The New York Times.

Asked about Nixon’s remarks, Natwar Singh stated Nixon’s language mirrored “his vulgarity and racism”.

“Richard Nixon was a third-rate human being and his entire record shows that and also the manner in which he was dismissed,” Singh informed PTI, referring to the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s resignation.

Nixon had a real choice for Pakistan vis-a-vis India and he knew in regards to the genocide that was occurring in Bangladesh however turned his eyes the opposite approach. In this, his confederate was Kissinger, Singh stated.

“Kissinger, 20 years later at least had the decency to apologise, but Nixon went to his grave and never apologised,” stated Singh, who has been a embellished diplomat and India’s envoy to a number of international locations.

Singh additionally hailed then prime minister Indira Gandhi for “completely out-maneuvering” the Americans.

Aiyar, a former Union minister and IFS officer who has dealt with delicate assignments, additionally slammed Nixon, describing him as “very vulgar” and “completely uncivilised”.

“The Nixon tapes have long ago revealed that Nixon was a very vulgar, completely uncivilised and perhaps typical white American male of his generation. The revelations made by Gary Bass only confirm that,” Aiyar informed PTI.

“It is perhaps Indira Gandhi’s greatest achievement that she completely outwitted and put to shame this horrible man who was perhaps the only president to be driven out of office for his misdemeanours,” stated Aiyar, who had simply come again from a posting in Hanoi within the early 1970s to when the remarks date again to.

According to Aiyar, Nixon was infuriated with Indira Gandhi as a result of she didn’t behave like different world leaders when the “American boss wags his finger at them”.

“She just went away disgusted and did her thing…she put them in their place and that is why they hated her,” he stated of the 1971 Bangladesh War episode.

In his opinion piece titled “The Terrible Cost of Presidential Racism”, Bass writes that the complete content material of the tapes reveal how “U.S. policy toward South Asia under Mr. Nixon was influenced by his hatred of, and sexual repulsion toward, Indians”.

In the “stunning” dialog – that takes place on the Oval Office in June 1971 between Nixon,  Kissinger and his chief of workers H.R. Haldeman – the then president asserts in a “venomous tone” that Indian ladies are “undoubtedly, the most unattractive women in the world”, Bass says.            Nixon additionally calls Indians “most sexless”, “nothing” and “pathetic”, based on the tapes.

Asked whether or not the remarks had been the end result of non-public behaviour or a product of the Cold War period, Shankar stated, “I think it would be a combination of personal animus  and perceived complications for the US policy.”

“He did not get on with Indira Gandhi… for whatever reasons, they did not hit it off, and subsequently there was the whole issue of the opening up to China with Kissinger using Pakistan as the intermediary to pave the way for his confidential diplomacy,” she informed PTI.

Both these points knowledgeable Nixon and Kissinger’s behaviour in direction of India, she stated, including that the chilly struggle colored the US’ notion of India.

G Parthasarathy, who has been India’s envoy in a number of international locations, stated the remarks may very well be attributed to a “mixture of circumstances”. 

“Firstly was his own character. He was given to being foul mouthed. Secondly, the dislike for India was very clear and he was planning was a sort of Pakistan, China and the US getting together and that was what we saw in the Bangladesh conflict.”

“Therefore, if you look back on the vehemence  and venom with which he had spoken, all credit to Mrs Gandhi that she completely out-maneuvered him,” he stated.

Former international secretary Salman Haider, nevertheless, stated the revelations had been “very unfortunate” as ties between India and the US have developed in a really passable approach and the relations have taken the flip for the perfect.

On November 4, 1971, throughout a non-public break from a contentious White House summit with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, a uncommon girl chief on the time, the president harangued Mr. Kissinger about his sexual disgust at Indians, Bass, creator of “The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide”, writes. 

Referring to Indians, Nixon says to Kissinger, “To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me.” According to Bass, whereas Kissinger’s response is inaudible within the tapes, it didn’t discourage the president from his theme.

In November 1971, in the midst of a dialogue about India-Pakistan tensions with Kissinger and Secretary of State William Rogers, after Rogers talked about reprimanding Gandhi, the president blurted, “I don’t know how they reproduce!”    

While Nixon and Kissinger had some causes to favour Pakistan, an American ally which was secretly serving to to result in their historic opening to China, their biases and feelings contributed to their extreme assist for Pakistan’s murderous dictatorship all through its atrocities, Bass says. — PTI


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