This refers to the WikiLeaks exposés on Rajiv Gandhi and George Fernandes (April 8). While one may be tempted to dismiss them as being of little relevance, they confirm the belief that our nation’s image is besmirched by corrupt politicians. The Hindu is doing a fine job by publishing such news which will make the young and old more well informed.
The Kissinger Cables have revealed that Rajiv Gandhi had interest in arms deals even before he became a public figure. It is no secret that in the pre-Bofors and the post-Bofors era, kickbacks, bribe and middlemen were serenading in defence deals.
The revelation will certainly ruffle the feathers of the Congress, with the party alleging that vested interests are out to tarnish the country and the Gandhi-Nehru family name. Only an outlandish mind will allege that an official communication between an embassy and the foreign office of a country has innuendos, slander and unsubstantiated matters.
The Congress’ reaction to the allegation that Rajiv Gandhi acted as a middleman for a Swedish arms company is along expected lines. No political party has ever admitted its flaws.
The credibility of the revelations is, no doubt, a point of debate. It is the opposition parties that are the real beneficiaries of the latest WikiLeaks exposé.
Sanu G. Pillai,
This refers to the report that George Fernandes sought CIA funding during the Emergency (April 8). I was on the JNU faculty at that time and quite active in the Socialist Party. Mr. Fernandes was the party chairman. Throughout the Emergency, I collected funds for the party and for financing the families of socialist detenus. I was in constant touch with T.R. Ramakrishnan, office secretary of the party, whom Mr. Fernandes used to meet at nights in the forest areas of South Delhi, and through whom he used to communicate with his friends, comrades and trade union leaders in India and abroad for solidarity.
I do know that George made appeals for “moral and material support” only to the leaders of socialist parties and trade unions abroad. He never approached any foreign government or agency like the CIA for funds. It is also a high fantasy to suggest that a much wanted political opponent of Indira Gandhi, whom the police were frantically chasing, sought a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Similarly fabricated is the story about the destruction of bridges and burning of government offices. George had a clear line that his ‘sabotage’ agenda would be confined to the derailment of goods trains.
It is well known that diplomats come up with many theories. They are at best personal hunches. News about Rajiv Gandhi after 22 years of his death has no relevance.