Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was glad to meet the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, former British PM Tony Blair and former Australian PM John Howard in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A section of Twitter users were seemingly upset and called the visiting dignitaries war-mongers for their role in misadventures by the US and allies around the world. What riled many of them was Kissinger, who infamously had called former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi a ‘b**ch and Indians ba****ds, according to declassified papers from the White House and State Department in the US.
When as Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi called on the then US President Richard Nixon following the influx of refugees from the then East Pakistan and apprise him of the genocide of Bengalis there, Nixon and Kissinger did not have complimentary things to say, largely because she stood up to them and wanted them to take some action against Pakistan’s military junta.
When the Nixon Tapes were finally released the most striking of them were him calling Indira Gandhi a “b**ch.” Kissinger responded by saying that “the Indians are ba***ds anyway,” and agreed that Gandhi was “a b**ch.” A little later, Nixon added, “we really slobbered over the old witch.”
While PM Modi, who has bent over backwards to woo Western powers and despotic rulers, in particular US President Trump and tweeted about his guests having made ‘ pioneering contributions to international politics and diplomacy,” some Twitter users were not impressed. Some listed Kissinger’s role in the following words:
1. Opposing India at the time of 1971 Bangladesh War was also part of Kissinger’s ‘contribution’ to international politics and diplomacy. He and Nixon had done what they could to stop Indira Gandhi from liberating Bangladesh.
2. He gave Pakistan support of US fighter Jets. He was also responsible for sending out the US 7th Fleet to the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to intimidate India during the 1971 War. Only after spotting the Soviet subs which came to our defence, did the US Fleet retreat.
3. Kissinger & Nixon hated India no end, supported Pakistan and General Yahya Khan despite being fully aware of the atrocities on East Pak Bengalis. Nixon and Kissinger agreed that Indians deserved a “famine”.
4. His strategy deliberately destroyed family farming in India leading to most grain reserves in the world to fall under the control of six multinational agribusiness corporations.
5. There have, in fact, been no legal consequences whatsoever to Kissinger for his actions in Chile, where three thousand people were murdered by Pinochet’s thugs, or for those in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he ordered large-scale aerial bombardments that cost the lives of countless civilians.
Twitterati had plenty to say about this meeting: