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‘Indians are b*stards’: When Henry Kissinger passed racist comments against India, abused Indira Gandhi

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who died on November 29, at age 100, greatly influenced global affairs under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1969 and 1977, garnering both vilification and the Nobel Peace Prize. However, there were many incidents which reflected his hatred towards India.

Kissinger was born May 27, 1923, in Fürth, Germany, and fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938. As a Harvard University student, Kissinger excelled academically and quickly climbed up the ladder of the US political establishment. During his tenure as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, he played a prominent role in US foreign policy.

During the Cold War, Pakistan was a vital ally of the United States because of its strategic location and counterbalance to India, which had aligned itself with the Soviet Union. Nixon’s NSA at the time, Henry Kissinger, also wanted to use Pakistan for diplomatic openings to China as part of his broader strategy to combat Soviet influence.

Nixon and Kissinger had a vested interest in supporting Pakistan, an American ally that was covertly helping to bring about their historic opening to China. Throughout Pakistan’s atrocities, their biases and emotions contributed to their excessive support for its murderous dictatorship.

Calling Indians ‘scavengers’

In an NYT article By Gary J. Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs, wrote, that as millions of traumatised Bengali refugees fled the Pakistan army, Kissinger was indignant at the Indians on June 3, 1971. According to Kissinger, the Indians were responsible for the refugee flow by sponsoring the Bengali insurgency covertly. Kissinger then condemned Indians as a whole, his voice oozing with contempt, “They are a scavenging people.”

On Indira Gandhi

According to a taped conversation, Nixon cited a meeting with then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the previous day.

“We really slobbered over the old witch,” he told Kissinger, as quoted in a report by The Guardian.

“While she was a b*tch, we got what we wanted too,” Kissinger replied, as quoted in the report. “She will not be able to go home and say that the United States didn’t give her a warm reception and therefore in despair she’s got to go to war.”

“The Indians are b*stards anyway,” he added. “They are the most aggressive goddamn people around,” as quoted in the Guardian report.

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Updated: 30 Nov 2023, 12:59 PM IST

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