New Delhi: At a time US is witnessing widespread civil protests against racism, an article in the New York Times has revealed former president Richard Nixon’s deep hatred towards Indians. The article, published Friday, is based on declassified audio tapes accessed by researcher Gary J. Bass.
“There was a deep racist feeling against India and Indians in the Nixon White House but he stoutly denied it. However, some revelations which have recently come out, project Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger as liars,” said ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in episode 559 of Cut The Clutter.
Nixon was welcomed by the Indian establishment and Kissinger was popular too.
How Nixon’s racism was revealed
Gary Bass is a professor at Princeton University who researches and writes about genocides. He had authored a book, ‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide’, which takes its name from former American Consul General to Dhaka, Archer Blood, and is based on the cables he sent to the US State Department during the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide.
At the time, Nixon and Kissinger had decided to tilt towards the Pakistani side. The staff at the US Consulate in Dhaka got so furious at this injustice that they wrote a joint telegram cable to the State Department, which came to be called the ‘Blood telegram’.
Through his research and right to information appeals, Bass was able to access declassified documents and put together some of the events of the time for his book. Over the past two years, Bass’ efforts have led to the declassification of a lot more data, especially audio recordings of discussions inside the White House, Gupta explained.
While Bass’ book, in itself quite explicit in detail, said that the US government had failed to denounce the suppression of democracy and atrocities, and evidenced what many considered moral bankruptcy, his more recent NYT article said the Nixon administration had deep seated racist issues.
In the article titled ‘Terrible Cost of Presidential Racism’, Bass said this prejudice wasn’t just a strategic calculation, but also resulted in a sexual hatred of Indians. Nixon was driven by racism, and his staff and Kissinger did nothing to discourage him or stop him, Bass added.
Nixon’s hatred and sexual revulsion of Indians were revealed in the declassified audio tapes. Between July 2019 and May 2020, 28 tapes were declassified.
Nixon’s sexual hatred for Indians
During a meeting in June 1971, President Richard Nixon described Indian women as “the most unattractive women in the world” and “the most sexless”.
In the tapes, Bass claims, Nixon compared Indian women to Black women and said, “I mean, people say, what about the Black Africans? Well, you can see something, the vitality there, I mean they have a little animallike charm, but God, those Indians, ack, pathetic. Uch.”
Bass said that Nixon, after a meeting with then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 4 November 1971, he was heard telling Kissinger: “To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me.”They are repulsive and it’s just easy to be tough with them,” he added.
“They are repulsive and it’s just easy to be tough with them,” he added.
In another instance, on 12 November 1971, while discussing the India-Pakistan war with Kissinger and his Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Nixon is believed to have said, “I don’t know how they reproduce!”
“It’s quite remarkable for the most powerful man in the world to have this kind of sexual hatred for the second largest population in the world,” Gupta noted.
In one of the tapes, Bass stated that Kissinger was heard calling Indians “a scavenging people”. In another tape, Kissinger, now a great fan of India, explains that Indians are “super flatterers Mr. President, they are masters at flattery” and “that is how they’ve survived … their great skill is to suck up to the people in key positions”.
Gupta noted that Kissinger’s attitude towards India had “dramatically changed over the past two decades”.
On 10 August, Kissinger was talking about Pakistan, which was a US ally, and said, “Pakistanis are actually decent guys, but they are primitive in their mental structure”.
Gupta said these conversations reveal deep-seated racism and sexual prejudices. He added that in times to come, psychiatrists and psychologists should study Nixon’s sexual hatred of Indians.
Watch the full episode of CTC here:
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