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Henry Kissinger Man Who Once Despised India 

Henry Kissinger, described as the “super Secretary of State” who shaped global policy under US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1969 and 1977, dissed Indians and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the Cold War. But he is said to have become an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Henry Kissinger Man Who Once Despised India 

Why In News

  • Henry Kissinger, described as the “super Secretary of State” who shaped global policy under US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1969 and 1977, dissed Indians and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the Cold War. But he is said to have become an admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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Henry Kissinger

  • A German-born Jewish refugee, KissingerA controversial Nobel Prize winner, Kissinger served under two US presidents and left an indelible mark on the foreign policy of the United States.
  • Although many lauded Kissinger for his intellect and extensive experience, several others also labelled him as a war criminal due to his support of anti-communist dictatorships.
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  • His Thought That The only way to survive in the world was to never put yourself in a position where you did not have power. It is this ruthlessness about power that marks the arc of his career.
  • The list of crimes he explicitly or tacitly condoned is long: Kissinger “had long been concerned about and supported the development of China-US relations, visiting China more than a hundred times and making historic contributions to promote the normalization of China-US relations.”China was one of Kissinger’s most lasting legacies.
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  • Hoping to shake up the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union, Kissinger secretly reached out to Beijing, culminating in a historic 1972 visit by president Richard Nixon and later the US establishment of relations with the isolated country, which has soared to become the world’s second-largest economy and a growing competitor with Washington.
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  • He was instrumental in delaying the Peace Agreement in Vietnam to help the Nixon campaign and the brutal bombing of Cambodia that continued till 1973 and paved the way for genocide.
  • Against the judgement of diplomats on the ground, he ignored the impending genocide in East Pakistan.
  • He gave the go-ahead for the brutal invasion of East Timor, the horrific repression by the Argentine junta, and the overthrow of Salvador Allende.

Henry Kissinger & India

  • Eighteen years ago, some tapes were declassified, in which he and then US President Richard Nixon could be heard using derogatory remarks against Indira Gandhi and also about India in 1971. 
  • Henry Kissinger, who was then the US Secretary of State, received a cold reception when he visited India in 1974, according to an article in The New York Times.
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  • Two factors were mentioned for this treatment of Kissinger, the first being the $10-billion American aid to India, which was thought to be a source of humiliation for India, and the other being US support for Pakistan during the 1971 war
  • Kissinger batted for the permanent membership of India and Japan at the Security Council as early as 1972 before tilting towards China, due to deteriorating relations with Indira Gandhi.
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  • TAfter the Cold War, Henry Kissinger’s views towards India changed, and he pushed to improve ties with India.
  • Kissinger even opposed sanctions on India after the second Pokhran nuclear test in 1998.
  • According to his piece ‘Working with India’ in The Washington Post, he opposed the sanctions, suggesting that “India should be treated as a nuclear country whose progress in the nuclear field had become irreversible.”In such a context, nuclear cooperation with India is appropriate.
  • But it needs to make explicit an Indian commitment not to spread nuclear materials to other countries, such as the United States itself has undertaken.
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  • The scope of nuclear cooperation should avoid the rhetoric and the reality of a nuclear arms race in which China could be tempted to support nuclear programs in Iran and Pakistan as a counterweight,” he stated in the article.

Kissinger Travelled To Listen To Pm Modi’s Speech

  • In June 2018, Henry Kissinger made a rare appearance in Washington to attend the first annual leadership summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). At the event, he said, “When I think about India, I admire their strategy.”
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  • Kissinger had been advocating stronger US-India ties for the last decade (since 2014, when Modi became the Prime Minister), under the leadership of PM Modi.

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