Cables: Swamy, an ultranationalist

Published: 13th April 2013 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2013 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

While critics have often dubbed Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy a CIA agent, American diplomats appear to have had no special love for the former Harvard University professor.

WikiLeaks’ cables of the Kissinger era as well as the ‘Cablegate’ period, suggest that the Americans did not consider Swamy to be a natural friend.

During the Emergency, in March 1976, when Swamy, then a Rajya Sabha MP representing the Jana Sangh, had famously gone underground to escape Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s policemen, a US diplomat had in a cable suspected that he had slipped into the US.

While presenting Swamy’s credentials, the diplomat said: “He is also an ultranationalist. His xenophobic writings and speeches before the Emergency did not exclude the US. Swamy was the MP who broke open the ‘Migratory Bird’ controversy in Parliament in 1974. He spoke out against US and has been a longtime advocate of India going nuclear.”

Incidentally, two years ago, a xenophobic article against Muslims penned by Swamy in an English daily had cost him his Harvard teaching assignment.

In a recent Tweet, Swamy clarifying on what the ‘Migratory Bird’ controversy was, said: “Exposed in Parliament, the US Army plan to snoop on India on the pretext of a grant to some society studying bird migration.”

The diplomat claimed that Swamy was suspected to be in the US in disguise and asked senior officials to keep the US Embassy posted on his activities there.

Similarly, in a cable sent in April 2007, former US Ambassador David Mulford said Swamy was known for his vehement anti-Communist views. “Swamy’s detractors criticize him for his pro-US and pro-Israel stand,” Mulford noted.

Recalling that Swamy had told a US diplomat that he was planning a secret meeting with then Nepal King Gyanendra and Prime Minister Girijaprasad Koirala to set up an anti-Maoist coalition in Nepal, Mulford was skeptical of the claim, saying “While Swamy’s statements should be taken with a grain of salt, it is not unlikely that he actually will meet with both the King and PM. Swamy suggested that he and the Nepalese royal family have a special relationship, and that he had been given special protection by King Birendra  during the Emergency.”

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