Indira Gandhi, P N Haksar proved more than a match for Nixon-Kissinger in 1971: Jairam Ramesh

    The Hawk
    November30/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Honoring Kissinger: Jairam Ramesh Recalls 1971 Diplomatic Clashes, Reflects on Controversy and Brilliance in Tribute.

    Indira Gandhi with Nixon-Kissinger

    New Delhi: As former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger passed away, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday recalled that in 1971 then US President Richard Nixon and Kissinger created huge headaches for India but then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her close aide P N Haksar proved “more than a match for them”.

    Kissinger, who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam, died Wednesday. He was 100.

    In a post on X, Ramesh 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, Ramesh noted.

    “But there can be no doubt about his sheer intellectual brilliance and awesome charisma,” he said.

    For the last three decades, he positioned himself as a great friend and supporter of India and indeed he was, Ramesh said.

    “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. However, Indira Gandhi and P N Haksar proved more than a match for them,” the former Union minister said.

    “I have described the Kissinger-Haksar and Nixon-Indira Gandhi encounters with archival detail in my book 'Intertwined Lives: PN Haksar & Indira Gandhi',” Ramesh said.

    He also pointed out 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.