Kissinger’s U-Turn on India
Kissinger’s dislike towards India is also documented by Bass in his book. Another set of tapes had revealed Kissinger calling Indians “the most aggressive people around” and insulting Gandhi by calling her a “b**ch.”
Years later, in 2005, Kissinger had apologised for his remarks. He told NDTV: “(The foul language has) to be seen in the context of a Cold War atmosphere 35 years ago, when I had paid a secret visit to China when President Nixon had not yet been there and India had made a kind of an alliance with the Soviet Union.”
Kissinger, who later went onto win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, has had only good things to say about Gandhi and India in the later years of his life.
In the second edition of his book ‘White House Years’, Kissinger said that although he shared the views of President Nixon about Gandhi, he did not personally feel offended by her “strong personality.”
He wrote: “Mrs Gandhi was a strong personality relentlessly pursuing India’s national interest with single-mindedness and finesse. I respected her strength even when her policies were hurtful to our national interest.”
However, in 2019, when PM Narendra Modi posted a photograph with Kissinger, a major controversy erupted, with many left puzzled as to why a prime minister who pegs his victory on nationalism would post a picture with a former ‘India-hating’ US diplomat.