It is really astonishing to know that the man who came into public life with a “squeaky clean image” might have been a middleman for the Swedish (fighter aircraft) company Saab-Scania. It is even more astonishing to learn that the sworn enemy of American imperialism George Fernandes sought the CIA’s help during the Emergency, as revealed by the Kissinger Cables obtained by WikiLeaks and accessed by The Hindu (April 8). While the former case indicates how a family becomes a burden and bane in India, the latter case points to the hypocrisy of many who subscribe to the so-called anti-American and socialist ideology.
The unexpected revelation is a body blow to the beleaguered Congress, as it has brought corruption back to centre stage. It is a blessing in disguise for the disgruntled UPA allies who can say goodbye without any further delay.
I am amused by the media excitement created by the WikiLeaks exposé suggesting that Rajiv Gandhi acted as a middleman for a Swedish aircraft company while he was a pilot before he entered politics. While he was a pilot, Rajiv sat in a meeting held by the Aviation Ministry with the Boeing Aircraft Company to discuss the purchase of one of its planes.
Much before Rajiv Gandhi entered politics and before Sonia Gandhi became an Indian citizen, she was appointed Director of Maruti Consultancy Services owned by her brother-in-law. She also functioned, while a foreign national, as an insurance agent. Reference to such events passed almost unnoticed by the media then. Why so much excitement now? Those who do not speak when they should, lose the right to speak altogether.
As every WikiLeaks exposé rakes up issues long forgotten, one wonders whether it is worth the newsprint it is printed on. The veracity of the cables is hard to fathom. The cable on Rajiv Gandhi, at the most, will serve to shock people and make them trade charges and counter charges.