Chandigarh, December 1
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday remembered Henry Kissinger, who passed away at the age of 100 on November 29, saying he was immensely consequential and hugely controversial, and in 1971 he and US President Nixon created headaches for India, which were overcome by former prime minister Indira Gandhi and PN Haksar.
Remembering Kissinger, Congress general secretary Ramesh in a post on X said, "Henry Kissinger has passed away. He was as immensely consequential as he was hugely controversial. In his long and eventful life he has been both celebrated and condemned. But there can be no doubt about his sheer intellectual brilliance and awesome charisma."
"For the last three decades, he positioned himself as a great friend and supporter of India and indeed he was. But this was not always so and in 1971 especially, President Nixon and he created huge headaches for India and thought they had us cornered," the Congress leader said.
"However, Indira Gandhi and PN Haksar proved more than a match for them. I have described the Kissinger-Haksar and Nixon-Indira Gandhi encounters with archival detail in my book ‘Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar and Indira Gandhi’," he said.
He said that Gary Bass in his book ‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide' indicts Kissinger severely for his role in the events of 1971 leading up to the creation of Bangladesh.
In the 1970s, Kissinger was the secretary of state under Republican President Richard Nixon and worked on several global events.
In US declassified taped conversations between Nixon and Kissinger shortly before the India-Pakistan war in 1971, which led to formation of Bangladesh, both are heard talking about Indira Gandhi soon after a meeting with her.
During the heated conversation, Nixon refers to Indira Gandhi as an "old witch". Kissinger called her a "bitch" and says the “Indians are bas***s anyway.”
Nixon is also heard making derogatory remarks against Indian women and his description of Indians as "most sexless" and "pathetic".
Kissinger had later offered a public apology for his remarks on Indira Gandhi.
With PTI inputs
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