Newly declassified tapes from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum have revealed the deep mistrust with which former United States president Richard Nixon viewed the people of India, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
According to the tapes, recorded when Nixon was leading America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the late American president staunchly backed Pakistan as it tried to stop the Indians from interfering in what was then East Pakistan.
“Undoubtedly the most unattractive women in the world are the Indian women,” said Nixon in a conversation with his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. “Undoubtedly,” he repeated, with a venomous tone, the tapes reveal.
“The most sexless, nothing, these people. 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,” he adds.
‘They are repulsive, it is easy to be tough with them’
According to The Times, Nixon tried to persuade then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the dangers of going to war with Pakistan as the East Pakistan crisis escalated. He had sparring matches with Gandhi on the matter, the American publication claimed.
Mr. Nixon said: “To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me.” Mr. Kissinger’s response is inaudible, but it did not discourage the president from his theme. by @Gary__Bass https://t.co/cw5roLY0Y1
— Charlotte Greensit (@cgreensit) September 3, 2020
“To me, they turn me off. How the hell do they turn other people on, Henry? Tell me,” Nixon says in another conversation about Indians to Kissinger. “They turn me off. They are repulsive and it’s just easy to be tough with them.”
The New York Times has documented several other instances where Nixon insulted the Indians. For example, in November 1971, while discussing Pakistan and India with his staff, Nixon remarked sarcastically that he didn’t know how Indians reproduced.
‘Their great skill is to suck up to people in key positions’
Back in June the same year, while Kissinger was angry at the Indians for their handling of the East Pakistan crisis, Nixon blamed Delhi for causing trouble in East Pakistan and sponsoring the Bengali insurgency to destabilize Pakistan.
He then condemned Indians as a whole, his voice oozing with contempt, “They are a scavenging people,” he reportedly said. Even Kissinger joined Nixon in loathing the Indians, saying they were masters of flattery and little else.
“They are superb flatterers. They are masters at flattery. They are masters at subtle flattery. That’s how they survived 600 years. They suck up — their great skill is to suck up to people in key positions,” Kissinger reportedly said to Nixon at one point.
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The Times claims that Nixon was soft on Pakistan, the arch-rival of India, and called Pakistanis ‘fine people’ because Pakistan had helped the United States improve relations with Cold War enemy China, boosting Nixon’s prestige both domestically and internationally.