Amidst skepticism in the United States over India’s claim about the terror links of members of Ananda Marg, a controversial right wing sect that had a global following in the early seventies, the American Embassy in New Delhi had argued for denying visa to the members of the sect.
A series of Wikileaks’ Kissinger era cables exchanged between the US authorities and its Embassy in India during the Emergency and earlier, revealed that Americans were disinclined to believe Ananda Margs were advocates of terror.
The US officials felt India was making the claim since the Government had banned the sect during Emergency on various grounds including a possible bid to assassinate then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Ananda Margis were also being probed in connection with the assassination of then Railway Minister L N Mishra.
However, sounding a strong note of caution a diplomat at the US Embassy, New Delhi, in a cable titled ‘Ananda Marg’ dated November 7, 1975, said: “Embassy believes that Government of India evidence against Marg cannot be totally discounted and doubts case against Marg over last few years can be considered as ‘show trial’.”
The diplomat added that the Embassy continued to believe that Ananda Marg members in India should not be granted visas to the US “at this time” in view of the imputed “terrorist” aspects of the organisation in India. The diplomat made it clear that the Ananda Marg’s activities in India were on an altogether different plane than those of other groups like the Hare Krishna and Divine Light.
After checking with other Embassies, the diplomat pointed out that British, Dutch and German Missions in New Delhi have also determined that they will strongly recommend against issuance of visas to any Ananda Marg members.
American authorities had earlier communicated to the US Embassy in New Delhi that they cannot deny visa to the Ananda Margis merely because it could adversely affect Indo-US relations.